Guest Chef Shachi Mehra, Adya Fresh Flavors of India, Anaheim
MENU:: Strawberry Lassi and Quinoa & Chickpea Salad
Strawberry Lassi – serves 4
Lassi is a popular Indian yogurt drink, available in many flavors. Refreshing and delicious with fresh strawberries, this one is perfect for warm summer days.
1 lb fresh strawberries, washed and stemmed (3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup sugar or 2T honey (as needed, depending on sweetness of strawberries)
1/4 teaspoon ground green cardamom
2 cups plain yogurt (whole-milk or low-fat)
1 cup ice cubes
In a blender, puree strawberries with cardamom and sugar or honey, if using. Add in ice and yogurt and puree until smooth. Serve chilled.
Quinoa, Snap Pea and Chickpea Salad – serves 4 to 6 as a side
All the elements for this salad can be prepared ahead of time and can be tossed together one day before, making it the perfect accompaniment to a picnic or barbeque.
2 cups cooked & cooled Quinoa (traditional or mixed) **see note for cooking tips**
3⁄4 cup cooked chickpeas *if using canned, rinse before use; if using dried, soaked and cooked*
1 1⁄2 cup fresh snap peas (from TMA garden), washed and cut in half
2 small cucumbers, sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1⁄2 serrano chili, seeded and minced
1 avocado, 1⁄2 diced and 1⁄2 in long slices for garnish
2T chopped fresh cilantro
1T chopped fresh basil
1T chopped fresh mint
Chaat Masala Dressing:
Chaat masala is a spice mix of about 13 different spices including black salt, dry mango, cumin, dry ginger and chili. It is a tangy mixture that is mostly used for finishing to liven up salads, appetizers and grilled fish and meat.
1⁄2 cup + 2T olive oil
1⁄4 cup lime juice
Pinch of salt
1⁄2 t chaat masala
Indian Spices in Everyday Cooking with Chef Shachi Mehra
- In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, honey, chaat masala and salt. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking continuously.
- To assemble salad: In a large bowl, add cooked, cooled quinoa, chickpeas, snap peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, serrano and herbs. Toss with dressing. Gently mix in the diced avocado.
- Garnish with cilantro sprigs and avocado slices.
This salad can easily be modified with the addition of fresh goat cheese or grilled shrimp.
** NOTE: To Cook Quinoa:
Rinse and drain 1 cup quinoa thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer. Combine 1 3⁄4 cups water, 1⁄4 t salt and quinoa in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork; you should be able see a thread on each grain. Spread on a baking sheet to cool. If cooking ahead of time, cooked quinoa can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge.