Summer’s upon us here in Delhi. Well, almost. The days are getting warmer, it doesn’t feel comfortable anymore during the day without the ceiling fan on. Not at high speed, but at least just running. You know summer’s staring in your face when you start gulping a glass of water every hour, when watery fruits like grapes and oranges seem tempting, when you reach out for the yellows and greens and sky blues in your wardrobe instead of dark browns and navy blues, when you start preferring a cup of cool lime juice instead of your evening hot cuppa tea/coffee and when you’re out shopping in the streets of Delhi and you walk towards the vendor selling fruit chat instead of the one peddling hot samosas and kachoris (Indian street snacks).
Holi (an Indian festival of colours that signifies the onset of spring/summer in the northern parts of India) truly announces the entry of summer and as revelers spray coloured water over each other, the Sun takes cue and starts shining brighter! And that has how things have changed post Holi, last week.
Water tastes lovely, and the tongue (surprisingly!) craves cool, less spicy foods. Salads have made a big comeback on our lunch and dinner menu. Well, they were always a part of our everyday food, just that the kinds of salads we have these days are fresher, with hardly any sauces and with minimal spices, if at all. A mix of fruit and raw veggies seems to be my favourite salad accompaniment these days.
The other day I chopped guavas into long fat fingers and mixed them up with red and black carrots. It was a little strange but was a good medley of flavours. Then the other salad that has really caught my imagination and makes an appearance every few days is a combo of yellow capsicum, cucumber and green grapes. The colour combination is awesome and the crunchy textures of all the ingredients really complement one another. The addition of rock salt (black salt/kala namak) adds an interesting twist to the otherwise sweet and sour flavours in this dish. This salad is a perfect summer food. Enjoy the colours and flavours of this one on your dinner table.
Colourful Summer Salad
Green grapes – a handful
Yellow capsicum – 1 (medium)
Cucumber – 2 (medium)
Tomato – 2 (medium)
Rock salt – to taste (about ¼ tsp)
Dice tomatoes, yellow capsicum and cucumber
Halve green grapes or leave them as they are if you prefer
Mix all ingredients, including rock salt and serve