Day 3 of Veganmofo had me stumped.
I could not take photographs this morning before leaving for work, and after I returned the light was receding, so photographs were just not possible!
I have a stash however.
Since a year, I have been wanting to write a cookbook celebrating Indian vegan recipes. Despite it being the age of the internet I firmly believe a book has a wider reach and voice, that will help me get across my message to a varied audience. However, I have no idea as to how I go about this. I probably did not try hard enough, but for now I have decided to just keep sharing recipes and ideas on the blog. Someday, when I am no longer a working mom, I will be more focused on this. I feel bold and a little exposed, having talked about a dream. Now, I will have to do something about it!
Today I delved into that reserve.
The recipe is a spin-off on the kosumalli (kosambari / koshimbir), a simple carrot salad served as part of ceremonial meals in Karnataka and sometimes in Maharashtra. I have dressed it differently. I learnt to do that at THAC. While I was there, I found that dishes could be delicious even without fatty or unhealthy, superficial trimmings (some of which I am quite fond of). The meals at THAC are vegan, whole grain, local and fat-free, AND yet, they are extremely delicious. Almost cathartic, and rejuvenating. I recognized many of recipes as the ones that I grew up with, refurbished, and presented with a contemporary feel. Strangely, these were dishes that took me back to simple cooking, creating foods that build. A few makeovers were too sweet or tart for my taste but, that could just be me. Maybe I just don’t need that much sweetness in my meals. What impressed me was the subtlety of the South Indian makeovers. It brought home the fact that our meals were never really rich. We have over worked on them and some have been shorn off their very purpose. One has the right to disagree, of course! But not before you have my version of kosumalli.
Recipe: Carrots, mung bean sprouts and pine nuts salad with an inspired lemon dressing
Yield: Serves 2
Time: 10-15 minutes to assemble the salad, if you have soaked and sprouted mung beans on hand
Winter carrots / Gaajar – 2 cups
Sprouted mung beans / saboot moong sprouts – 1/4 cup or more as per preference
Lemon juice from 2 medium sized lemons (ripe, yellow ones), divided
Green chilli – 1 or as per preference
Black salt – As per taste, for flavour
Fine ground sea salt – As per taste
Fresh grated coconut – 1 tbsp.
Finely chopped coriander – 1 tbsp.
Grated ginger – just a bit, maybe 1/8 tsp. or ginger juice
Fine slivers of date – 1 tbsp., or more as per taste
Garnish with a tbsp. of toasted, shelled pine nuts per bowl.
Steam the sprouts for two minutes and cool. Place along with the carrots in a large mixing bowl.
Add everything else except pine nuts, and give it a good mix. Adjust chilli for heat, salt as per taste.
Serve with a garnish of pine nuts.
With such heavenly ingredients, it is obviously delicious. Anyone can cook. I could have it with a meal, as an appetizer, as a meal but ideally as a verrine.
But to register in google search I must call it a ‘salad’! I do go back to the basic kosumalli when I need a quickie. Its a favourite too.
At eating rules, October is being pledged as a time for unprocessed foods. I do not use processed foods as a rule, and I believe in the philosophy of eating right. I am pledging too. 🙂