03 Aug Eggplant salad / Brinjal vegan curd salad
Eggplant Salad? Is it possible to create a salad with something as insignificant as eggplant / brinjal? Isn’t it a mushy vegetable? Will it gel with other salad ingredients? Will it not ruin the taste of the salad? I understand. These are the common questions that might pop up in your head as soon as you heard the name “Eggplant Salad”.
North America and Australia know it as Eggplant but British English uses Aubergine and Asia and Africa call it Brinjal. Although often considered a vegetable, it is a berry by botanical definition.
Talk about salad, our minds are tuned to grated carrots and cucumber tossed with lime juice and pepper powder. No. Salad need not be so boring. There do exist different types of salads and salad dressings. In fact, salad and salad dressings are a staple in the culinary community. Many restaurants serve infinite varieties of salads and dressings.
This Eggplant salad is a “tossed salad”. A tossed salad is one that uses lots of green leafy vegetables and garnishes like onions, tomatoes and pineapple chunks. Here I have used the mixed greens that I could lay my hands on in a supermarket.
I have written a lot about benefits of salad, what goes into a salad and how to make it interesting etc, in my previous posts Simply Salad and Rainbow salad. Hence not going to repeat them here. In Simply Salad, I have posted the infinite combinations of vegetables, greens, nuts, dressings that go to make a great salad. While these are some basic guidelines to follow, types of salads and salad dressings are largely left up to imagination.
When you let your imagination take over and add a stimulating dressing, even an as insipid vegetable as brinjal can turn into an exciting salad. The dressing that I’m talking about is Cashew Curd dressing. The creamy, sweet, tangy Cashew yogurt / curd makes this salad as stirring as possible. Cashew yogurt being inherently sweet in nature, adding some spices help to increase its palate.
When you add more raw vegetables and greens to the sautéed brinjal and dress it with spiced cashew curd, you end up having an interesting, healthy and delicious salad. Try it for sure.
Eggplant salad / Brinjal cashew curd salad
- 1 cup eggplant / brinjal cut into rounds or cubes or long
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp oil
- ¼ cup spring onion whites
- ½ cup onion cut into long strips
- 2 cups packed mixed greens (Rocket leaves, lettuce, any green leafy vegetables, coriander, mint)
- ½ cup pineapple cubes
- 3 green chillies cut into strips (less spicy variety)
- 6 cherry tomatoes halved
- For Dressing:
- ½ cup thick cashew curd
- 2 pods garlic
- ¼ tsp mustard seeds / mustard paste
- ¼ tsp white pepper / black pepper
- 2 tsp lime juice
- salt to taste
- Mix brinjal, salt, ginger garlic paste and oil.
- Sauté in a pan till brinjals become soft. Keep it aside.
- Pulse the garlic, white pepper, mustard with lime juice coarsely in a blender without adding water.
- Add to the cashew curd and add salt.
- In a bowl, add brinjals, spring onion whites, onions, chillies, greens, cut tomatoes and pineapple pieces and mix well. Adjust salt level if need be.
- Just before serving, add the cashew curd dressing. Serve chilled.
- Remember to dry the leafy greens well before tossing into the salad. Dressing does not stick to wet greens.
- Always break the leafy greens with hands and avoid using a knife to chop them.
- Remember to add the dressing just before serving, else the salad will become soggy.
- The chillies I have used are less spicy and crunchy ones. Hence adjust the chilli level as per the variety you use.
- You can cut the brinjals into any shape as desired.
- Non vegans can use dairy curd in place of cashew curd