As the frosty air, dense fogs and chilly winds engulf every region in the Indian subcontinent, you crave for some crunchy snacks to bite into, alongside delectable spicy dips, to satisfy your wintertime hunger pangs. Moreover, with the lethal coronavirus disease still at large, you prefer those nibbles and gravies to not only be crispy and flavourful but also packed with fresh ingredients, valuable nutrients and myriad wellness incentives, chiefly to boost immunity. While the list of healthy versions of fried desi snacking options like pakora, samosa, bonda, bajji, vada, is endless, the factor that truly elevates the taste of these foods is the side dishes – chutney, achar (pickle) and raita.
Hmmm, you are probably bored eating these same old bites and sauces from Indian kitchens and yearn for something unique and different. Well, then go ahead and put on your sombreros for we just read your minds and thus, bring you some tempting global fare all the way from Mexico. Granted, these enticing relishes will perfectly pair with your low-fat, whole wheat tacos (“tortillas” or flatbreads filled with cooked legumes and rice) and oil-free baked nachos (“tortilla chips” or corn chips topped with cheese). Or better still, try some fusion experiments by munching on protein-rich paneer kebabs and green veggie cutlets with these yummy spreads. So this time around, take a cue from Mexican cuisine and rustle up some novel cold climate snack-time accompaniments, with these mouth-watering, zesty recipes of salsa and guacamole. Prepared from wholesome vegetables, nourishing herbs and beneficial spices, these delicacies are truly appetizing, nutritious and will remarkably augment your overall wellbeing.
5 medium tomatoes, diced
1 small onion, cut into tiny bits
2 medium-length spring onions, chopped
1 small jalapeno, deseeded and sliced
1 thin green chilli, seeds removed and cut into pieces
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
A bunch of coriander leaves
3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt, as required
1 tsp black pepper powder
½ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp red chilli powder
In a pan, cook the onions in a little water for 3 minutes on medium flame, then switch off the stove.
Transfer the tomatoes, onions, spring onions, jalapeno, green chilli, garlic, coriander leaves, along with lemon juice, salt and all the spices to a mixer.
Blend on high for 1 minute, pause and repeat two more times.
Pour the piquant salsa into a bowl, garnish with coriander leaves and relish it as a side for nachos at room temperature, or refrigerate for 30 minutes then dunk chips into it and enjoy chilled.
This classic salsa stays fresh for up to one week when stored in the fridge.
Tomatoes abound in lycopene compounds for glowing skin and onions contain quercetin, a powerful anti-inflammatory flavonoid that eases joint pain in arthritis. Copious amounts of vitamin C in spring onions augments immune functions, while jalapenos and green chillis are blessed with capsaicin, an alkaloid that prevents cancer. Garlic is infused with allicin, which is prized for its ability to control blood pressure, treat hypertension and coriander leaves are imbued with vitamin A for enhanced eyesight.
3 big ripe avocados
1 medium onion, chopped
A fistful of mint leaves
2 cloves of garlic, finely cut
1 tbsp lemon juice
A pinch of rock salt
Cut the avocados along the centre, remove the large seed i.e. stone and carve out the buttery flesh into a vessel.
Mash it nicely, adding the lemon juice, to obtain a homogenous paste.
Blend the onions, mint leaves, garlic in a juicer and combine the mixture with the avocados.
Adjust for taste by sprinkling needed amounts of rock salt and savour this smooth guacamole, by topping off on some crumbly loaded tacos or submerging fries in it and nibbling on them.