20 January 2011

Green means hot

I am a very fortunate lady. Not only have I got a husband who very cleverly got us an expat stint in the centre of the world, but I also have Mary in our household. The title of "housemaid" does not fully describe her position or influence. Some days she is Maid, others Nanny, but my favorite is Chef. Mary is Tamil Sri Lankan, and so much of her food is in that vein, but she is also an exceptional study and has a remarkably good palate, so anything she finds lying in the bottom of a fridge drawer or at the back of a pantry can be added to other flavours to make something wonderful. The only underlying theme - chilli, and boy oh boy, she does like it hot!

The other week she made what she calls "herb relish". It has leafy herbs and onion and green chili, and is amazing next to her curried eggplant. It inspired me to make the sauce below - I love the fresh flavours, and imagined it without the rice, but with cucumber in it to cool that chili a little. So here we have my spicy green salad:


For the dressing:
  • fresh coriander - about 10 sprigs
  • fresh mint - about 7 sprigs - remove stems
  • fresh green chilli - seeds and all, as many as you like - I like 2
  • garlic cloves - peeled, ditto above
  • one lebanese cucumber (the little ones)
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar (or palm sugar if you have it)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • small tub of natural low fat yoghurt.

For the salad:
  • mesculin mix
  • green peas, cooked and cooled,
  • avocado - sliced

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and whiz to a thin paste
  2. dress with salad ingredients

Serve with Mogul Chicken, as a side dish to any curry, or with sashimi sliced salmon. The sauce is so delicious I can drink it straight out of the bowl. It would also make a great dipping sauce for prawns, or even just served with some rice and papadams and other condiments. Mary's recipe skips the cucumber and yoghurt, but adds onion that has been lightly fried before mixing, and it is thicker in texture. And of course she adds about 6 more chillies.


  1. You honestly had my mouth watering at this post. I'm always on the lookout for more salad dressing recipes and this one's healthy too. Bonus!

  2. This would make a great dressing for a cucumber salad too - a sort of spicy raita. Yum.


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