Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Raw Intelligence. A Dal and Mango Salad

   This time of year it's started to heat up here in Wine Country. From parties around the fire entertaining has moved outdoors, and when things move outdoors, one of the operative words is "Keep it Cool".  So when looking for cool summer salads, I'm sure one of the last things to come to mind would be dal. Lentils? Really? Yes, really. And raw lentils at that. It turns out that soaked, ground and spiced, raw yellow split peas make a simply great summer salad. Add in some fresh mango and coconut and there's a quick and easy winner for any warm weather buffet. How easy is this? Really easy, plus it's vegan, gluten free and for those friends who are into eating "raw" foods well it doesn't get any rawer than this, almost.

   Plus it can be made ahead and served chilled.  

Yellow Split Pea and Mango Salad

Here's What You Need:
1 cup of yellow split peas
1 peeled and grated green mango
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of sugar
3 or 4 Tbs of grated fresh coconut
2 Tbs of vegetable oil
1/2 tsp of brown mustard seeds
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1 Tbs of fresh green serrano chili seeded and chopped
1/4 tsp of turmeric
1/8 tsp of cayenne
2 Tbs of chopped fresh cilantro

Here's What To Do:

Soak the yellow split peas in a full pot of cold water so that they're covered for 6 to 8 hours.
They'll plump up as they soak.
Drain them.

Grind them in a food processor adding a tiny bit of water, just enough to turn them into a coarse paste.

Peel and grate the green mango. If you can't get a very green mango even a semi-ripe one will do.
Add it to the ground split peas.

Mix in the grated coconut, salt and sugar.

In a small skillet, heat 2 Tbs of vegetable oil.
When the oil is hot, toss in the mustard seeds.
Once the mustard seeds start to pop, add in the green chilies, cumin seeds and turmeric.
Stir things around well and then pour the whole thing over the ground lentil coconut and mango mixture.

Mix everything together well, add in the cayenne and sprinkle with a bit of chopped cilantro.
Check for seasoning.
Chill it well and serve it up.

   This raw, ground lentil salad is refreshing and unusual. Not too spicy, with the tart flavor of fresh green mango and the natural sweetness of coconut, it makes a great side dish with any grilled meat or fish. It's easy and cooling and even better the next day.

    Coming up next, a nice twist on traditional green beans. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori

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