Friday, December 28, 2007

Passage to Indian Carrot Salad

It’s 2:29pm, three days after Christmas. I’m nursing a glass of water at home in Brooklyn, watching Emeril on Food Network, and going over my TO DO list before I go to India.

I’m going to India. I have to keep typing this because I don’t quite believe it yet, even though the plane leaves in 52 hours and 29 minutes. I’m not packed (next on the TO DO list), but I think everything else has been accomplished. The rent is paid, my Visa is all set up, and I’ve had more shots in the last month than most firing squad victims. I am immune to EVERYTHING, up to and including polio, rabies, and that weird virus that made everyone zombies in 28 Days Later.

I’ll be overseas until January 8th, and returning to blogdom on the 10th. In the meantime, Rachel the Cheap Healthy Gourmet has graciously agreed to fill in during my absence. (Read: she’s tied up in the basement with nothing but gruel and a laptop.) While I’m gasping in wonder at the Taj Mahal and trying desperately to avoid an exciting intestinal malaise, you’ll be treated to seven straight days of really, really good recipes and writing. Besides being the best roommate ever, Rach is also the best home cook I know, so I promise y’all are in good hands.

In celebration of the trip (paid for in part by months of hardcore food budgeting), I attempted an Indian Carrot Salad from The Food of India cookbook last night. It turned out okay, but would have been better if I hadn't messed with the directions so excessively. To wit: I added too much lemon juice, made a mustard substitution that didn’t work, and heated the oil to near-bubbling, all of which turned the carrots a little bitter. Ultimately, though it wasn’t terrible (and I’ll finish the dish), I do suggest following the exact measurements and instructions for best results. Which, like – duh.

That aside, I hope everyone’s New Year is ever-so-lovely, and I’ll see y’all again in two weeks. Whee!

P.S. All spices were purchased bulk from my local ethnic market, which is why the prices are so low.

Indian Carrot Salad
Serves 3
Adapted from The Food of India.

½ tablespoon oil (I used vegetable oil – Kris)
1/8 teaspoon black mustard seeds (I used Dijon mustard. Bad idea. – Kris)
1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds
pinch of ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon caster (superfine granulated) sugar
¾ tablespoon lemon juice
9 oz (about 3 large) carrots, finely grated
A few coriander (cilantro) leaves (I left this out – Kris)

1) In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard and cumin seeds. Cover pan. Shake until seeds begin popping.

2) Uncover pan. Add turmeric, salt, and sugar. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and stir. Add carrot and mix thoroughly. "Cover and leave for 30 minutes." If you like top with coriander/cilantro when served.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price per Serving
57 calories, 2.5 g fat, $0.26

½ T oil: 62 calories, 7 g fat, $0.01
1/8 t black mustard seeds: negligible calories and fat, $0.02
1/8 t cumin seeds: negligible calories and fat, $0.05
pinch of ground turmeric: negligible calories and fat, $0.02
1/8 t salt: negligible calories and fat, $0.01
1/8 t caster (superfine granulated) sugar: 3 calories, 0 g fat, $0.01
¾ T lemon juice: 2 calories, 0 g fat, $0.20
9 oz (about 3 large) carrots, finely grated: 105 calories, 0.6 g fat, $0.45
TOTAL: 172 calories, 7.6 g fat, $0.77
PER SERVING (TOTAL/3): 57 calories, 2.5 g fat, $0.26

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VixenOnABudget said...

That virus from 28 Days Later was called Rage. Don't ask.

Have lots and lots of fun in India!

Betty Ann said...

I read your comment on The Simple Dollar on the book club Your Money or Your Life.. great comment on the Humvee..
Your Blog is terrific too..

Great price for the salad..

Have fun in India.

P.S. I grew up in Brooklyn; I'm on STaten Island and trying to live Frugal.