Fresh sweet carrots when combined with tangy lemon juice and sea salt, tossed in a mildly spiced oil makes for a visually appealing, ready in a jiffy, yet very high on the health quotient kind of meal addition!
Ingredients (makes 2 cups of salad):
- Grated carrots (2 cups)
- Lemon juice (1 tsp or per taste)
- Salt (to taste)
- Oil (1 tsp – more or less is also fine)
- Mustard seeds (1/3rd tsp)
- Asafetida (hing) powder (a pinch)
- Green chillies (finely cut or slit lengthwise – per taste)
- Curry leaves (optional)
- Heat oil, add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add hing, chillies and curry leaves. Saute quickly for 30 seconds till the chillies get to infuse their essence into the oil.
- Add grated carrots into the pan with oil. Toss on high heat for a few seconds. Don’t cook for too long – we want to retain the crunch in the carrots.
- Switch off flame. Add salt and lemon juice. Garnish with coriander leaves, if you want to.
You can eat this carrot salad as part of a main meal like lunch or even as a standalone snack when hunger pangs strike. Here, we have combined it with a healthful South Indian lunch that includes rice, keerai mollagootal, pachadi and rasam.
Sweet (carrot), sour (lemon juice), salty (salt), bitter (asafetida, curry leaves), pungent (green chilly), astringent (asafetida).
If made too spicy or sour, this recipe can easily become pitta aggravating. But if made mildly, this can be an excellent tridoshic addition to the meal, that will pack on the fiber and vitamins to your meal. Even though it is predominantly raw, the light sauteing action on the grated carrot along with the spices and oil, aids digestibility of the raw carrot, making it suitable for all doshas, even vatas (that are usually not recommended a large amount of salad).
If this carrot salad is made with too many chillies or too much lemon or salt, it can become rajasic. But if care is paid to making sure that all 6 tastes are well balanced, with no predominance of pungent, sour or salty tastes, this can be a sattvic recipe, if made using fresh ingredients.