Friday, August 6, 2010

Sweet And Simple "No Cook" Carrot Salad For A Hot Summer Lunch.

    When I named my website The Colors of Indian Cooking I was thinking about the colors of the many, many spices used in this cuisine, from the gold of turmeric, the deep crimson of kashmiri chili, the sable browns of cumin and coriander and the vivid yellow-orange of saffron. As it turns out, the colors that have been turning up have been the colors of Indian vegetables. These vegetables aren't necessarily Indian, but since they're used in Indian recipes, just roll with me here.
  It all started with the blue beans I found at the farmers market. Once I started with that, I was out to discover what else might be out there. That's when I discovered carrots didn't just come in orange.
       Yellow carrots! There they are sitting next to my gorgeous purple cauliflower which is a whole other story. I had to have them! All of them!
     I couldn't wait to cook them and decided that I needed to invite others over to share the colorful veggie wealth. I planned a Summer Sunday Indian Brunch.
   One of the best things about Summer in Sonoma is the entertaining.  A lot of the time it can involve indoor picnics in the Summer as it can get too hot to be outdoors on some days. This Summer however has been unusually cool. We had a longer, cooler wetter winter and this Summer has been pretty mild if not downright cold some days. This last Sunday however was perfect, sunny and warm with a gentle breeze. Exactly right for dining on the deck overlooking the neighbors' vineyard.
   I gathered a bunch of brightly colored vegetables and a bunch of bright friends and decided to see what would happen when I put them all together. I settled on a menu of about 4 dishes. One of the first invloved my lovely yellow carrots.
  I was a little scared using them as I was afraid they'd revert back to orange the same way my blue beans turned green the minute they were cooked. The I remembered. these carrots weren't going to be cooked. This was an easy to fix, fast, raw salad, a twist on the Indian cabbage salad that I make all the time. This is what to do:
   In a food processor, shred about 1 lb of peeled carrots (yellow if you can get them!)

When the carrots are shredded place them in a bowl and set them aside. Add in 2 and 1/4 cups of chopped fresh tomato. I used red tomatoes, because that's what I had, but if you've got green or purple  that would be so cool!    
  Now for the fun. Add in:
  1/2 cup of peanut powder
  1 tsp of salt
  1 tsp of sugar
  1 and 1/2 Tbs of fresh lemon juice
And finally I blended in 2/3 of a cup of Tropical Traditions' amazing shredded coconut. Ever since they sent me a sample to try in my Indian cooking I have been having a ball with it. I put in in nearly everything I can.
  Give these ingredients a mix and then set it all aside.

 Now for "The Dressing".
In a small pan heat 2 tbs of vegetable oil. I used more Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil since they've sent me some of that too and since there was coconut in the salad, I wanted even more coconut flavor in the "dressing".
 *A little note about that "dressing." It's not really dressing; it's more of what Indian cuisine calls a Chaunk, a mixture of spices and seasonings bound in a hot oil and then added to food before serving.
  So back to the hot oil. When it's heated toss in:
  1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
When the mustard seeds start to pop, add in:
  1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
  1/4 tsp of turmeric
  1 Tbs of fresh green chili seeded and chopped finely.
Once the other things are added give them a stir or two and then take them off the heat. You're done.
  Pour the oil and spices over the carrots and tomatoes and all the rest of it.
    Scatter 3 Tbs of chopped fresh cilantro leaves over the salad give it all a mix, and chill it for a bit.
    After a couple of hours in the fridge you're good to go.
  Here's how it all looked on the table.

     More to come, including A Tale of Two Cauliflower, The Price Is Right! Plus a Giveaway! Of delicious Tropical Traditions Shredded Coconut! Keep reading for more!


  1. Oh this looks amazing!! I actually saw yellow carrots at our Farmer's Market last week. We are still experiencing our cold summer here in San Diego as well... very gray today with a chilly breeze.

  2. wonderful colors of the purple cauliflower n the yellow carrots.

    we get purple , red and orange carrots here in different seasons and they all have different taste....

    the salad looks yummy , i think it is called koshimbir ....i make it without the coconut , but this coconut products should be yummy.

  3. another delicious and relatively easy dish to put together! Have you used your purple cauliflower yet? We had one at work -- I was a bit disappointed that it turned "electric" blue when cooked. Blue food is a tough one for me...(I consider blueberries to be purple, btw)! theresa

  4. Pretty pretty. I could have come to lunch last week but back in the boonies now.

  5. @Island Vittles,
    the purple cauliflower is coming next..I'm really enjoying all these colorful vegetables.

  6. @janis,
    next time you;re coming out we have to get together somewhere

  7. @sanjeeta,
    yes, that's the name for it. I make this salad a few different ways with different shredded vegetables. The coconut from Tropical Traditions is great. I am going to be giving away some.

  8. @Liv Life,
    it was freezing at our farmers' market today and I was talking with some of the farmers who were telling me that the weather has really been different this year. One said to me that "If you grow it, you know it"

  9. Now this is intriguing, I have never heard of peanut powder Kathy! Is that something you make or buy?

    Always love learning about ingredients!

    Bon appetit!

  10. Light, perfect and so pretty.. just the way food should be in summer! :) And of course, tasty too!

  11. Hi Kathy - I just love looking at the table with the stem ware and the bottle of wine.... a perfect meal for today! megan

  12. The colors are fantastic Kathy, and looks like it would be a perfect addition to a summer meal...or maybe even the meal:)

  13. This sounds really nice. I like the idea of combining carrot (sweet) and spice... Now if you could only send some of that cool weather our way--it's been a brutal summer on the East Coast.

  14. simply delicious and crunchy! Best friends for summer- SALADS! Love your colors- indeed vibrant and alive!

  15. What a gorgeous salad... I'm especially intrigued by the peanut powder, because that sounds like it would propel this salad into a whole new level of deliciousness.
    I might have to try it with the dark purple (yes, PURPLE!) carrots I found at the market this weekend. :)

  16. That looks and sounds absolutely wonderful. I love carrot salads and the combination of spices you have in there would be so good. Thanks for sharing.

  17. What lovely colours!! Enough of the cold, I must have summer soon!

  18. This looks delicious! I love that it's simple and "no cook"!

  19. That is one amazing salad. And also those flavors yummy. Peanut powder brilliant.

  20. This was really good and much better than expected. Used freshly dug up baby carrots. The only modification I did was to soak the raisins in the pineapple juice. Served with "Cheddar Bacon Hamburgers," "Old Fashioned Onion Rings," "Belles Hamburger Buns," and "Mom's Coleslaw."

  21. Very good flavor - sweetness of carrots, honey & apple. Got limp pretty fast though.

  22. @Sarah,
    that sounds great...wonderful summer menu there!
    sorry your salad got too limp, but my recipe didn't have any apples or honey in it and just a bit of oil.

  23. I was a bit disappointed that it turned "electric" blue when cooked. Blue food is a tough one for me...(I consider blueberries to be purple, btw)!

  24. Delish!!! I used agave nectar, and it was fabulous!

  25. Rich in colour and texture, and boldly flavoured with fresh blackberries and feta cheese, this salad is gorgeous.

  26. Loved the crunchiness and the toasted almonds. I also added dried cranberries and thought they were delicious. Really healthy eating really quickly!

  27. This is a very good salad... It had a good tangy taste. I would encourage you not to take a short cut on the refridgerator time. The only change I will make on this recipie is to cut the carots into thinner slices My family loved it! I served this great salad while all the kids were home for the holidays.

  28. I made a huge batch of this carrot salad for a luncheon at my school. I substituted pina colada yogurt for the pinapple yogurt (a little extra zing!)and omitted the sugar and salt (it was plenty sweet with the yogurt & pinapple). It was awesome...the teachers loved it!

  29. I wish my little daughter try it I have book marked it for her thanks for it

  30. I have also bookmarked it, and will definitely try soon...

  31. Thank you for another fantastic posting. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing?

  32. Good blog! I really love how it's easy on my eyes and the information are well written. I am wondering how I can be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which ought to do the trick! Have a nice day!

  33. Lovely website! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more.

  34. I think I am in love of this Indian food, and with grace of time definitely want to try it:)

  35. This is a helpful recipe for those who are very health conscious...
    carrots should be included in your list of healthy food products



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