And so the uphill climb of Vegan MoFo has finally begun for me. Last week went super smoothly because most of my Dessert posts had been in various stages of blog readiness before time. But this week I'm not as prepared as I was. That means I need to think up and make something each day from scratch and then share it here with you all and also on my Veganosaurus Page on Facebook.
It'll be a challenge and probably a good one at that. Besides, I signed up for Vegan MoFo being fully aware of what it would mean for my daily life. Thankfully, my crisper is full of fresh veggies and greens so I have no lack of inspiration. Now all we need to do is wait till Friday to see if my sanity is preserved until the end of the week. :oP
Until then, here for your pleasure is today's recipe in this week's ongoing theme on my blog - Soups and Salads.
In today's Salad, I've featured one of my favourite fruits in the world, the West Indian Gooseberry, known as Nalli Kai in my language, Kannada. These super tart local fruits (not to be confused with the regular Indian Gooseberry/Amla/Bettada Nalli Kai) are usually sold on street-side carts outside schools, tossed with salt and chilli powder. However, the tastiest ones are always found on old trees in people's backyards.
Last week, when we were at someone's place, my sister spied a Nalli Kai tree in their garden with big, ripe, irresistible fruits that made us drool uncontrollably. Our hosts were really nice and asked one of their staff to climb onto the roof and pluck some Nalli Kais for us. And this kind soul hand picked and filled a big bag with the fattest, juiciest fruits which we brought back home.
Most of the loot was handed over to my mom so she could make her delicious Nalli Kai Uppinkai (pickle) for all of us. But a portion was kept aside to be enjoyed straight, dipped in salt. Chew on each sour fruit and then spit out the seed, such a relaxing way to spend time. :)
I also concocted a Nalli Kai Salad as a MoFo special. I just tossed a bunch of random things together - spiced peanuts, veggies from my crisper, herbs from my kitchen garden... and there is was, this gorgeous salad!
This is a very flexible recipes, the variety and quantity of ingredients can be adjusted to suit your taste buds. Just remember that Nalli Kais are very rich in vitamin C, so iron heavy greens and herbs make a very good combination with them.
I've used Congress Kadlekai from Veena Stores in Malleshwaram. If you want to make some of your own, here's a nice recipe by Deesha of Vegetable Platter. But you could also just use peanuts which have been roasted plain or with salt. In that case, a pinch of turmeric and some spice, like red chilly powder or green chilly paste would make a good addition.
Nalli Kai Salad
Nalli Kai - seeds removed and roughly chopped
Tulsi (Indian Holy Basil)
Toss everything together in an airtight box.
Chill in the fridge for a few hours (can also be left to marinade overnight).
Serve over lettuce leaves.
What kind of super sour berries do you get in your part of the world and do you like them?