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Jolie Cooks with Madhu Column: “First Annual Indian Salad Fest”

Posted on August 24, 2021 at 11:35 AM by Madhu Gadia

August 24, 2021

Jolie Cooks with Madhu Column: 
“First Annual Indian Salad Fest” 



The idea for this event bubbled up after Madhu suggested I try her Chickpea Salad recipe in The Indian Vegan Kitchen. My friend Barb in Green Lake, Wisconsin, had just invited me for a visit, and my mind jumped to the many salads we’ve eaten together over the decades since we became friends in our 9th grade homeroom.  Why not add a few more salads to our menu and celebrate?  She agreed, and her friend Judy joined us to try these 4 recipes.  Each of us made one, and we teamed up on the last.

  1. Chickpea Salad (Kabuli Chana Salad); The Indian Vegan Kitchen, page 190.

  2. Beet-Kohlrabi Salad (Chukunder-Ganth Gobhi Salad), The Indian Vegan Kitchen, page 190. 

  3. Cabbage-Peanut Salad (Bund Gobhi-Mungfali Salad), The Indian Vegan Kitchen, page 189. 

  4. Stir-Fried Salad (Phul Gobhi Salad), New Indian Home Cooking, page 206.

Chatting and laughing, measuring and chopping, we had a blast (now you know we graduated in the 60s) making these 4 easy recipes.  Barb had already set the table, so we sat down and savored each salad.  

A round-up of our comments:

Chickpea Salad: “All the ingredients go together well. Delicious.” “I like the taste and the color combination.” “Surprisingly light for a chickpea salad.” 

Beet-Kohlrabi Salad:  “Interesting combo!”  “I really liked it.” “I’m surprised we all liked it so much. Surprisingly good.”

Cabbage-Peanut Salad: “Very complex flavors, lots of levels of flavors.” “I like cabbage slaw, but I like this better than cabbage slaw.” “Loved it! Wanted to eat all of it myself. Would double the nuts.”

Stir-Fried Salad:  “Love the crunch of the veggies.” “Very light. All flavors come through.”

Best of Show:  2 voted for the Cabbage/Peanut and 1 for the Beet/Kohlrabi. 

All in all, this was the best salad event ever, and without mayo! We agreed that we have to start planning for the Second Annual Indian Salad Fest.  May our salad days continue.

Madhu’s Comments

Jolie, this column is a pleasant and exciting surprise, because salads, as we know them today, are not part of a traditional Indian cuisine. That’s not to say that raw vegetables are not commonplace. A few pieces of cucumber, tomato, onion, and radish often grace a meal as a relish — enjoying a slice between bites for crunch, freshness, as well as a palate cleanser. These days, salads have become very popular among Indians, as they eat more healthfully. 

Jolie, as you and your salad connoisseur friends, discovered that Indian salads are very different. Most salads are flavored by marinating in lemon juice or vinegar, or they are flash cooked to maintain crunch. Salad dressings are rarely used. 

For more about salads, check out my blog Flavorful Indian Salads – without Salad Dressings - the blog also includes two salad recipes

The best validation was that you and your friends have a "Second Annual Salad Fest" - can't wait to hear what you make. 

You will find, an array of salads that are spiced for flavor and use a minimum or no oil, in both The Indian Vegan Kitchen and New Indian Home Cooking


Disclaimer: "Jolie Cooks with Madhu" is an independent column. The views expressed are Jolie Zimmers's personal cooking experiences and do not represent any product or company. They are not paid or reimbursed by any third party for their viewpoints. 


Thanks for drawing attention to these recipes. They all sound very tasty!
JoAnne Wagner | 8/25/21 at 7:16 PM
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