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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Split Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing

Anything served cold is now a salad, ok?
Ah I feel better now that I let that out...a salad doesn't always need to be leaves and vinegarette.  It can be noodles, veggies, eggs, and yes, beans.  When I say beans, I mean beans, lentils, and split peas.  Here is a mix of all three..split chickpeas.  In hindi, they are called Channa Daal.  Daal is usually lentils, although any split pea or split bean are included in the term.  Since I'm in a major fusion mood these days, I'm going to fuse some Indian beans with some Lebanese dressing, and some Asian style toppings.
I like it because I'm reaching a part of my path where I'm less looking at recipes and more listening to my inner desires, which break all boundaries.
I'm starting to feel like maybe Europe was the right choice for me...even if every once in a while, I would rather this country have borders.
Serves 4 ish
1 cup dry channa daal/split gram (chickpeas), rinsed well and soaked a few hours in cold water
1 small carrot, julienned
1/4 cucumber, julienned
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 large handful mung bean sprouts
1 whole bell pepper (I used yellow) halved and seeded and oiled with some EVOO
2 steamed or hard boiled eggs, halved (optional)
1 avocado, cubed
1 handful chopped scallions
1 handful chopped basil
1 handful chopped cilantro
1 handful chopped feta (optional)
4 romaine or large batavia leaves
3 Tbsp tahini
juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp EVOO
2 Tbsp water
1 large garlic clove, grated
sprinkle fleur de sel
lots of fresh cracked black pepper
1.  Place the soaked channa dal in a pot and cover with 2-3 inches water above level.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, skimming the surface of foam every once in a while.  The daal should be bite tender but not mushy.  Drain and rinse well with cold water.  You want them to cool completely.
2.  During this time, roast the oiled bells skin side up at 210°C for about 25 minutes.
3.  When the channa dal is done, roast a small handful of it for about 10 minutes.
4.  Make the dressing.  Stir all the ingredients together until well incorporated.  Set aside.
5.  Assemble.  This is the best part, really.
First, place the large romaine or batavia leaf in the serving plate and add a few tablespoons of channa daal.
Then add the veggies and herbs, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, bean sprouts, basil, cilantro, and scallions
Then add the half egg, some avocado, and roasted bell
Then add the feta and sprinkle some toasted channa daal onto the mix... this will give it some crunchy texture
Then add a few tablespoons of dressing and mix it all around until it climaxes into this incredible salad of equal parts of joy.
I'm really digging this unmade bed analogy and the montage part of dinner...

it's the only way to live in the moment..
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