Have you ever heard of an authentic Indian salad recipe?
No really right? Have you wondered why?
Indian cuisine has a heightened heritage of over 8000 years and an unparalleled diversity. It has an assorted food ethos that springs such distinct sub-cuisines. Any kind of foodie is likely to find something of their liking. But if there is one thing it doesn’t offer in abundance, it would be salads. We might create some salads with references of Indian spices, but there is no true authentic Indian born salad recipe. Hence, I am often trying to explore this not so rewarded expanse of Indian food culture.
Nevertheless, I have observed these days there are references of Indian cuisine in popular salad recipes like curried cauliflower, puffed rice (bhelpuri) mixes, tomato base lentils, or green chutney dressing. It’s exciting to see that the salad scene today is high on Indian cooking spirits. Here, I am looking to add my 2 cents to the salad scene and make it more savory with an Indian salad!
CHEELA – the Indian USP of this salad
I want to try something fresh and unexplored. So clearly no curry or chutney will work as my reference. In this recipe I am creating a salad around a popular North Indian breakfast called Cheela. Well if it seems hard to remember you can try to recall this with the word “Cheetah”….. Sorry for my bad taste in jokes ; ) But the salad is sure to leave a good taste with you.
So, what is a Cheela? It is a like a pancake made out of chickpea flour, besides its made savory with onions, chilies, and spices. Mostly it is served with chutneys. I am going to use the Cheela as the main subject of this Indian salad and combine it with a healthy portion of leaves, veggies and nuts, dressed in a spicy and savory mango dressing!
Why is Cheela healthy?
I believe salads need not be a bowl of leaves and veggies only. They should have some amount of protein weight, be a good balance of all nutrients and most importantly be tasty. After all who wants salad everyday if it is boring? Keeping that in mind Cheela is a good lead for this salad. Cheelas made of gram flour, which happens to be rich in protein and fairly low calorie. A regular size Cheela may have about 80-100 calories only. We are looking to use 1 cheela for a single portion of salad. Combined with some green health and nut richness, this plate is a balanced meal for you. Having said that, if you are looking to eat a heavier salad, you can always add 2 Cheelas to one salad portion.
Let’s get you started with collecting the simple ingredients.