Friday, September 6, 2013

VeganMoFo Recipe #2 : Rice flake salad

One of India's most loved street food items is Bhel! If you look closely at a menu of Indian street food, you will find it is anything but junk food! It consists of lots of healthy snacks and salads that one can enjoy for a few rupees.

One of my favourites is this Indian salad made with rice flakes.

The main salad consists of:
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped onions
Chopped cucumbers
Boiled and diced potatoes
Rice flakes (mum-raa)
Salted peanuts
Sprouted lentils
Boiled black peas

There are four main salad dressings you need:
1. Sweet red chutney made from tamarinds, dates and jaggery
- Boil some deseeded tamarinds and dates
- Make a paste using a food processor
- Sieve this paste into a bowl
- Add jaggery to the bowl and mix till it dissolves 
- Add cumin powder, red chilli powder, little turmeric and salt

2. Spicy green chutney made from mint, coriander and green chillies
- Wash a bouquet of coriander and mint thoroughly
- Remove the main stalks and discard them
- Chop off the leaves
- Put them in a mixer with chopped green chillies, salt, lemon juice and some pieces of ginger
- Add a little water and make a paste in the mixer

3. Garlic chutney made from garlic, red chillies and sesame seeds
- Take a mortar and a pestle
- Put cloves of garlic, red chilli powder, dollop of oil and a handful of sesame seeds in the mortar
- Use the pestle to crush and mix all the ingredients to make a thick paste
- Take small portions of the paste and mix with water to create a sauce and use as and when you are making the salad

You could make all the chutney's in the mortar and pestle for a more refreshing taste but this can be time consuming. Alternatively you can also make the garlic chutney by mixing all the ingredients in the mixer.

4. Lemon juice
- Take a lemon, wash it and roll it on a flat surface, apply pressure as you do this
- Chop it into half
- Deseed it carefully
- Squeeze it and collect the juice in a small glass bowl

For garnishing:
Finely chopped coriander
Bombay mix (available in packets at most Indian food stores)
Sev (available in packets at most Indian food stores)
- If not available in the market, make a dough of gram flour, salt, oil, red chilli powder and turmeric
- Get a sev-making machine which could resemble a noodle/ spaghetti making machine and use it to produce thin fine noodles and fry them in vegetable oil
- Strain all the oil and place them on tissue papers
- Crush them and use for garnishing

You can also make a dry salad by mixing a pinch of the following instead of the chutneys above. Squeeze in a lemon to your dry salad and top it with sev and chopped coriander.

Dry salad powders:
Chaat masala (or Jalani Jal Jeera)
Indian olive powder (amchur)
Black salt

Take a big bowl and toss all the ingredients and dressings in it as per your taste. I always try different combinations and rarely do I have the same-tasting bhel on my plate! That's the best part of this beautiful snack and makes 'cooking' it all the more fun!

Voila, your healthy Indian rice flake salad is ready to tingle your tastebuds! And yes, it's vegan!


  1. I love this dish and often have some when I visit Birmingham, I have yet to try it myself. I like that you have made it yourself, I need to one of these days.

  2. Thanks Shaheen! Do try it, it is one of my most favourite snacks!