As I type this up, I’m looking to my right at a box of Salad Samurai books, unopened, on the kitchen floor. My single copy is no longer just that! This is really happening folks.
Book release dates are fickle creatures: in this instance, Salad Sam was originally slated for sometime in early June. Then a bunch of printing issues happened, the on sale date shifted all the way to July 1st, and then hurray it’s back to mid-June. Maybe the 16th? Either way, the world will get some salad and not soon enough for the warming spring weather.
But until then, here’s a loooooong overdue recipe from the book I presented at a chill cooking event with Isa in Sydney, Australia back in March. This is for the 19 attendees who lingered through the heat of that early fall evening waiting for a taste crunchy, tangy potato salad inspired by everybody’s favorite savory Indian pastries. Tender potatoes and chickpeas are bathed in a bright curry vinaigrette, lots of fresh herbs, and instead of a crust (salad after all), I toss in a handful of toasted papadum, a common find in Indian markets and a crunchy fun in a salad.
- 2 pounds Russet potatoes
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas (half of a 14 ounce can)
- 1 red onion, peeled and finely diced
- 1 ½ cups lightly packed cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- ½ cup lightly packed mint, roughly chopped
- ⅔ cup roasted, unsalted cashews, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons mild flavored vegetable oil such as grapeseed
- 6 curry leaves, roughly chopped (leave out if you can’t find them)
- 4 teaspoons mild or hot curry powder
- ⅓ cup lime juice
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups gently crushed toasted papadam chips
- ½ cup toasted, unsweetened coconut shreds (see East West Corn Salad, page XX, for tips on toasting coconut)
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- Either thoroughly scrub potatoes to remove any exterior dirt and carve out the eyes, or completely peel the potatoes. Dice into 1-inch cubes, transfer to a large pot and cover with 3 inches of water. Over high heat bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for about 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork. About 2 minutes just before the potatoes seem done, stir in the peas and cook until bright green but firm. Drain and set aside the potatoes and peas to cool.
- Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry leaves and fry for about 1 minute until crisp and turn off the heat. Stir in the curry powder to gently cook the spices in the oil and set aside to cool for 1 minute. Whisk in the remaining dressing ingredients.
- Transfer potatoes and peas to a large serving bowl and add the chickpeas, onion, cilantro, mint, and cashews. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Heap on the crushed papadum and coconut, and dust the top of the salad with garam masala. Serve away!