Today I ended up making a Salad. Yes, you read it right I have made a Salad to carry to work for lunch for the next 2-3 days. Now if you know me, I am not a person who thinks salad is a complete meal. The Punjabi in me throws a tantrum at the thought of having just a Salad for a meal. At the risk of sounding ungrateful, it makes me really unhappy.
However, with my Indian pop up just around the corner, I have been doing a lot of recipe testing. Which means I have been eating more than what I should be eating, lots of different types of bread, curries cooked in Ghee and it is non stop. Every spare minute at home is spent cooking and then eating everything I am cooking. Because let’s face it one cannot waste food, whether I am churning out disasters or I am making some delicious dishes, everything is landing up in my tummy.
And as my tummy grumbles and groans, my waist size is expanding. Trousers that were slightly loose are now hard to wriggle in. The dresses don’t zip up that easily and I just generally feel chubby. I never use the weighing scales but when dressing up for work suddenly becomes a tearful exercise a girl needs to take stock of the situation and do something about it.
I am not a fan of dieting; it makes me more grumpy then I usually am. So I decided that for lunch I will try and have a wholesome salad. One that I may not fall in love with but one that I can make my peace with and bear to eat it without breaking down into tears. And because Dal is something I carry to work almost every day, it had to be a Dal Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Beets and Coriander pesto.
2 cups red lentils in their skin (chilkewaali masoor Dal)
1 large Sweet Potato
Salt to taste
2 cups fresh Coriander
3 cloves of Garlic
½ cup Pine nuts or Walnuts, lightly toasted in a pan without Oil and cooled
Juice of 1 Lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste
Some walnuts to Garnish
For the Salad
Soak the lentils for a few hours before adding them to a pressure cooker with salt and water and letting them cook for 7 – 8 whistles. Once done drain the water
Poke the beetroots with a knife and then put them in an aluminum foil. Roast for an hour at 180 degrees C in a preheated oven. Let the beets cool down before you peel the skin and chop into bite-sized chunks
Peel the Sweet Potatoes and dice them before sprinkling some Olive Oil & Salt and roasting for 30 minutes for180 degrees C in a preheated oven
For the Pesto
Add all the ingredients in a grinder and blitz till nice and chunky. Check for seasoning. The pesto stays in the fridge for up to a week and can be used for sandwiches, meat, and other things
Assembling the Salad
Put the dal on a large tray and place the vegetables on the top.
Drizzle the pesto generously over the Vegetables and Dal
Add some chopped Walnuts
Serve hot or cold