Mediterranean herbs aren’t exactly common in Indian kitchens but these power packed additions can lead to some delicious, easy and offbeat dishes. Some trademark Mediterranean spices are zatar, baharat and berry based sumac, which can be easily incorporated in roasts, grills or even in a very refreshing salad. Sharp cheeses such as feta and yogurt and hung curd are used frequently used in the Mediterranean cuisine too. And then there are veggies and additions such as pine nuts, tomatoes, olive oil, aubergines...start playing around with these ingredients and you will be surprised with an innovative dish like this salad.
This Mediterranean themed salad could be the beginning of your culinary adventures. It’s light and refreshing and it works well in parties and wins over vegetarians and non-vegetarians too.
Here’s the recipe:
- 100 g packaged curd
- 2 medium sliced brinjals
- 1 zucchini
- 100 g baby corn
- 5 table spoons olive oil/ vegetable oil & table extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon each of zatar, baharat, zatar pita, lemon powder (you get these in stores such as Godrej Natures Basket, Food Hall) Salt
- 1 finely chopped tomato
- ½ a finely chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 6,7 mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts (or walnuts)
- 1 finely chopped chilli
Prep: Hung curd – pour curd over a sieve or a fine cloth and put a vessel below this. Keep this in the fridge. The water from the curd will drain out. You will get your hung curd in about 6 hours. Add sumac, zatarpita, baharat (all Med spices) Mediterranean lemon powder to the hung curd and gently stir the spices in. Add fresh mint leaves to this. If you do not have these spices then try adding chilli flakes and crushed pepper.
- Slice Aubergines (baigan) into thin slices. Smear salt on these. Put them into a pan of hot oil to deep fry. Take them out in a few seconds. They will get fried. You will need to add quite a bit of oil but can do many rounds of frying in the remaining oil
- Place the fried aubergine slices in a shallow bowl
- Fry some zucchini strips and then place these on the aubergines
- Sauté some finely chopped tomato, onion, garlic and hot red or green chillies and place this over the zucchini
- Fry some baby corn split into half longitudinally and place them on the onion tomato mix
- Fry some more aubergines and place theses on top of the split baby corn. The idea is to go for layers. Let it cool.
- Layer the hung curd mix on top of the aubergine. Gently part the aubergines on top to leave small gaps through which the curd can seep in. Add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over this
- Put the dish in the fridge
- The dish will be ready in an hour
Before serving add some mint leaves and toasted pine nuts on top. This will give a nice crunchy break to the texture of crisp yet squishy vegetables, fresh mint, heat of chillies and soothing curd. The magic lies in the layers of different textures and tastes in the dish.
Article and photos by – Kalyan Karmakar
Kalyan Karmakar will travel to any lengths for a good meal starting with his own kitchen. He is a consumer insights and social media specialist. He documents his food and travel stories in his blog www.finelychopped.net He considers it his life’s mission to give men the confidence to cook so that they don’t have to depend on anyone else to eat well. He lives in Mumbai.
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Four Seasons Recommends
As this dish has richness due to the hung curd and nut,it will be best paired with Four Seasons Rosé as its balance will complement the flavours. Four Seasons Bush is blend of Shiraz and Zinfandel grapes that will imparts the flavours of raspberry and lavender to the dish.