Do you know what ‘kachumber’ is? It’s a sort of daily salad that accompanies Indian meals. Finely chopped tomatoes, cucumber, onions and dressed with something tangy (usually lemon juice), some chillies and salt and pepper. Simple, uncomplicated, but not something that you can make a meal of. But this benign ‘kachumber’ has become the bane of my existence these days. With the first hint of summer (we have no Spring in Mumbai), I can only survive on salads for lunch. Which to most people around me, equals nothing! “Ghaas-poos for lunch?” they ask me. So I’m going to prove a point with this recipe for Bacon Brussel Sprouts Salad – it’s meaty and soooo filling!
Oh hello, Brussel sprouts! They are to cabbage what ‘Mini Me’ is to Dr. Evil. You can find them easily at Nature’s Basket, Foodhall, or just ask your local ‘sabziwala’, you’ll be surprised at the things they can swing. If you’re passing through Bandra in Mumbai, give Manohar a shout (022- 26400268), he usually stocks them. These ones had the ends going slightly bad, so I snipped them off before shredding the tiny Brussel sprouts on a mandoline. You could easily use a knife instead, but a mandoline just makes it quicker.
You could very easily make this without the bacon, and probably don’t need to swap in any other ingredient in its place. Brussel sprouts, parmesan and lightly toasted walnuts have solid earthy flavours; while the dressing adds hints of tanginess. Alternatively, you could amp up the bacon too, but then be sure to adjust the amount of salt you add as seasoning – parmesan and bacon are naturally salty. I’ve devoured this salad for lunch and used leftovers to make sandwiches – so much for people fretting about salads not being “filling”! Peace out, good old ‘kachumber’, I still love you with daal and rice!
Recipe inspired by Shutterbean