I was extremely excited when I completed my masters and got a new job. It meant living independently, making my own decisions regarding every small matter and best of all, getting a pay check that I could just spend!
I adjusted to new surroundings pretty quickly and thoroughly enjoyed work and spending the lunch hour at the local restaurant every day. A few months down the line, however, there came a time when work got hectic, there wasn’t time to spend the lunch hour outside office and I was cramming myself with potato chips and soda each time I felt hungry. That didn’t feel healthy and I felt guilty about eating junk food and gaining weight, but I couldn’t bring myself to make the effort to cook lunch for myself every morning.
I remembered home cooked meals and my mom’s special salads very often. It struck me that I could eat salads for lunch and it would take very little effort, and would be a healthy and delicious choice. For this reason, I put together three salads that are easy to make, and are for those 20-somethings who are on the go. Throw them together every morning for a quick weekday lunch. Each of these salads serves one and is light, refreshing and ideal for summer. The recipes are flexible; feel free to add and subtract according to your taste.
Raw Papaya Salad
- 1 small raw papaya, peeled and grated
- A handful of peanuts, roughly crushed
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tsp vinegar
- ½ to 1 tsp of soya sauce
- ½ tsp brown sugar
- Chilli flakes and salt to taste.
Method: toss all the ingredients together. Serve with a baguette.
- 100 gms chickpeas, boiled
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 2 tbsp yoghurt
- 1 – 1 ½ tsp vinegar
- A dash of ketchup
- Salt and pepper to taste
Method: Toss all the ingredients together. Serve with a baguette.
Lentil and Cucumber Salad
(Adapted from Good Food India Magazine)
- 100 gms green gram
- 1 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
- ¼ cup grated coconut
- ½ green chilli, finely chopped
- 2 tsp lime juice or grated raw mango
- Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- Salt to taste
For the tempering:
- 1 tsp oil
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 2 dried red chilli, broken in half
- ¼ tsp asafetida
Wash and soak the green gram in water for an hour. Drain the water well. In a bowl, mix the gram, cucumber, coconut, green chilli, lime juice, coriander and salt.
In a small wok, heat the oil and put in the mustard. When the mustard pops, put in the asafetida and chilli. Turn off heat immediately. Mix the seasoning in the salad. Toss well and serve at room temperature.