Before I get to the recipe for the potato salad I must tell you that I have seen the cover of the new Cook to Jhoom! book and it is gorgeous! Colourful and striking yet tasteful and modern. Definitely inspired by the glitz and glamour of contemporary Bollywood. We will release it in the coming days and I’m looking forward to hearing what you think!
I love salads and I especially love salads that include a range of tastes like salty, sharp, sweet and tangy, and a balance of soft, creamy and crunchy textures. For the cookbook and for this blog I have very happily had to hone my creative instincts in coming up with a number of salads that emobdy all the aforementioned qualities, that also incorporate or are inspired by Indian flavours, and, importantly, are healthy for you. If you douse a salad in an oily vinaigrette or heavy mayonnaise/cream/cheese based dressing, as far as fat content and health benefits are concerned, you might as well be eating a cheese burger. There are 2 very flavourful couscous and lentil salads in the Cook to Jhoom! book and I posted a scrumptious butternut squash salad with a tahini dressing on the blog a few weeks ago.
I have had my mind on a potato salad for a while now. I don’t care for the more common mayonnaise based potato salad because I don’t care for mayonnaise – it always tastes far too eggy for me. Since childhood, I have had an aversion to anything that tastes eggy – so all forms of cooked eggs, quiches, meringues, and anything with raw egg in it like a mousse, mayonnaise or tiramisu is a no-no for me. I cannot keep it down and lord knows I have tried because eggs make for a nutritious, tasty and quick meal that I would love to be able to enjoy. If the taste is completely disguised, like in a cake, then I’m fine. I have the same aversion to anything that tastes fishy/seafoody – but that’s for another time, when I blog my mustard fish recipe. And no, it’s not ‘all in the mind’. My brother, sister and I were all brought up on the same diet and they don’t have this idiosyncrasy.
Back to the potato salad. They do make some very nice vegan mayonnaise now, but it’s also very high in fat so not a healthy option. The German style potato salads with a vinaigrette style dressing are much nicer. However, I imagined a creamy curry spiced dressing for a potato salad and so I came up with something very nice indeed yesterday. Greek Yogurt is a really good substitute for mayonnaise when you want creaminess with considerably less fat and fruit is a good way to add natural sweetness and cut down on added sugars. I have used honey in the dressing, and even though it is a more natural sweetener, it is still full of sugar and calories so I use less of it than I used to. I planned to have the left overs with some cold chicken tikka (very yummy) for lunch today but my parents beat me to it. All gone!
Potato and Pear Salad with a Curry Honey Mustard Dressing
Serves 6 as a side
Active time: 20 minutes+ time to let the potatoes cool
700g baby new potatoes, washed well and left whole
2 medium pears (120g each), quartered, cored and diced
2-3 spring onions, sliced into 1cm pieces
30g (about 2 tablespoons) pumpkin seeds (nuts like pecans/walnuts/pistachios are also fine)
3 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander (you can also add in some dill and mint)
1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika, as a garnish (sumac would also work)
For the dressing
150g Greek Yogurt or coconut yogurt for vegans
45g or 1 1/2 tablespoons light mayonnaise/vegan mayonnaise
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons (14g) honey or maple syrup for vegans
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons regular or madras curry powder (buy a good brand)
2 garlic cloves, minced
Sea salt to taste
Cover the potatoes with water (should be at least an inch higher than the potatoes), add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. When it starts to boil, reduce to a medium simmer, partially covered. This should take 12-15 minutes; a knife should pierce the potatoes easily.
While the potatoes are cooking, make the dressing by blending all the ingredients. Have a taste and adjust the salt/sweet/tangy balance to your liking. Remember there are pears to add more natural sweetness to the salad.
Prepare the other salad ingredients as suggested. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and wash under cool water for a minute to help them cool down. Dry them well and then slice in half and allow them another 15-20 minutes to cool.
Finally, mix everything together. Sprinkle the paprika on as a garnish. Let it sit for a few minutes to let the flavours come together and then enjoy! If you prefer it colder, place it in the fridge for a little while. This keeps well in the fridge for a few days.
Per serving: 186 calories, Carbs 32g, Protein 4g, Fat 4g, Saturated Fat 1g, Fibre 1g.