A Forgotten Favorite - Simple Radish Salad with Lime and Ginger Dressing

There are certain veggies and recipes that I love, but have stooped making it (or buying), because the other members of the family are not so fond of it. 

Has it ever happened to you?

The moment I saw Soma's Radish and Mint Salad, I had this certain urge to rush to a grocery store to buy these reddish-purplish cuties. They brought back memories; memories close to my heart.

Back in India, Radish (Mooli in Hindi and Mulo in Bengali) is mostly white, long and slender. In Kolkata (née Cacutta) during the winter months we used to get red skinned radishes called "Ranga Mulo" for few weeks only. They were also oblong and more flavorful than their white counterparts. Though it had the characteristic pungency of the white radishes, they also had a sweet undertone. 

Though, the cute round ones that we find here is the US, looks different from their slender white Indian cousins, they taste exactly the same. Crisp and pungent.

Radish is definitely not my most favorite vegetable on the planet, but its something I like. I have always enjoyed radish in its raw state rather than its cooked form. Though most people shy ways from this vegetable because of its strong flavor, pungency and spiciness, they are the exact reason for my fondness.

I can munch any veggies (eatable in its raw form), with a squirt of lemon juice and a sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper and rock salt. Frankly, that's my favorite and mostly used salad dressing.

The lemon juice mellows the pungency of the radish and the ginger enhances its spiciness. The zing from the rock salt just livens everything up. The more it sits, the more cohesive are the flavors. Just like a pickle. But don't let it sit for long. You don't want to loose the crispiness of the radishes. 30 mins to an hour should be good enough. 

See the liquid at the bottom of the salad. Tangy, salty; its the essence of the salad. Never throw it away. It the best part of the salad. Slurp it, smack your lips... That's how you should have it. 

From being a side to a simple meal of roti-sabzi or dal chawal to topping your wraps and taco to more elegant grilled fish and meat, this salad is truly versatile and perfect for the upcoming summer months.

Recipe Snapshot:  Simple Radish Salad with Lime and Ginger Dressing

Serves: 2 serving
(1 serving = 1/2 cup)

What I used:
Small Red Radish- 1 bunch (which is usually a little over 1/2 lb)

Coriander leaves/ Cilantro - 1/2 cup, finely chopped

Fresh Ginger - 1/4 tsp, finely minced

Green Chili - 1, chopped (optional)

Juice of half a Lime/Lemon - more or less depends on personal taste

Sugar - a small pinch

Rock salt - 1/4 tsp, or to taste
(coarse sea salt or Himalayan pink salt can be used)

Freshly cracked black pepper

What I did:
1. Wash the radishes thoroughly. Pat dry. Slice as thinly as possible.

2. Chop the coriander leaves/ cilantro very finely. 

3. Finely mince a tiny piece of fresh ginger. I like getting tiny bits of ginger, while chomping down my salad. If you are not a fan, grate the ginger and add around 1/4 tsp of its juice.

4. In a  medium sized bowl, combine the the radish slices, the cilantro and the green chili(if using)

5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon/lime juice, minced ginger (or its juice), rock salt (or coarse sea salt or Himalayan pink salt) an a teeny bit of sugar. 

6. Pour over the radish and toss well. 

7. Let it stand for 30 minutes to an hour before serving. I like to keep it covred at room temperature, but it can sure be refrigerated. 

My usual simple salad -  the one I grew up eating!

Diabetic Platter:
Here are some of the health benefits of Radishes:

1. Naturally cooling
Radishes are a naturally cooling food and their pungent flavor is highly regarded in eastern medicine for the ability to decrease excess heat in the body that can build up during the warmer months.

2. Sooth sore throats
Their pungent flavor and natural spice can help eliminate excess mucus in the body and can be especially helpful when fighting a cold. Radishes can help clear the sinuses and soothe soar throats too.

3. Aids digestion
Radishes are a natural cleansing agent for the digestive system, helping to break down and eliminate stagnant food and toxins built up over time.

4. Prevents viral infections
Because of their high vitamin C content and natural cleansing effects, regular consumption of radishes can help prevent viral infections.

5. Eliminates toxins
In Eastern and Ayurvedic healing practices radishes are said to have effective toxin-purging effects, helping break down and eliminate toxins and cancer-causing free radicals in the body.

6. Protects against cancer
As a member of the cruciferous vegetable family (same family as broccoli and cabbage) radishes contain phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals that are cancer protecting.

7. Relieves indigestion
Radishes have a calming effect on the digestive system and can help relieve bloating and indigestion.

8. Low in calories, high in nutrients
With a very low calorie count, less than 20 calories in an entire cup, radishes are a great way to add nutrients, fiber and tons of flavor to your meals without compromising your health.

9. Keeps you hydrated

With a high water content and lots of vitamin C as well as phosphorus and zinc, radishes are a nourishing food for the tissues and can help keep your body hydrated and your skin looking fresh and healthy all summer long!


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