A healthy bean salad with an Indian twist is something that can bring you accolades in a party. This protein packed salad brings with it goodness of fresh and colorful veggies. Couscous adds to the fiber content of the salad while the minty yogurt gives it an Indian touch and that extra zing!, keeping the calories under count too. At times this can also serve a full meal on its own! The veggies for this salad are chosen such that you can make this salad ahead of time ( to lessen that last minute hush hush) and it will not turn soggy/watery or have that oniony smell. What more can you ask from a simple salad recipe!
For the Salad:
- 1 cup Kidney Beans (I used a mix of the dark and light variety)
- 1 cup finely cut veggies: red, green and yellow capsicum, boiled corn kernels, celery.
- 1/4 – 1/2 Cup couscous (as per your choice)
- Lemon juice – to taste
For the Dressing:
- 1 Cup yogurt (I used Greek style Yoghurt)
- 1 Cup fresh mint leaves
- Handful of fresh coriander leaves
- Chopped tomato – half
- Garlic cloves and ginger – to taste (optional)
- Chaat masala, salt, black salt, red chili powder, black pepper powder, green mango powder, anardana powder – To taste.
For Garnishing and serving:
- Fresh Coriander and mint leaves
- Lettuce leaves
- Some chopped capsicum, boiled corn etc.
- Wash and soak kidney beans overnight in sufficient water. Pressure cook or boil them till cooked. The beans should retain the shape and should be well cooked. Set aside for cooling.
- Wash and drain cous cous properly. Add enough warm water to soak it and leave aside for 10-15 minutes.
- Grind together mint leaves, coriander, and garlic, ginger, chopped tomato, all spices for the dressing. You can add green chilies if you like your salad hot.
- Mix the above with hung yoghurt. Make sure the yoghurt is thick as we do not want the salad to turn watery.
- In a big bowl, add the boiled beans (just press them little so that they open up a bit; this will help the dressing seep into the beans and impart them some flavor but make sure they still retain their shape). Now add cut vegetables and the minty yoghurt dressing and well.
- Fork through the cous cous so that the grains separate. Add this to the salad bowl and give it a good mix. Finally add some lemon juice and mix. Do a taste test and adjust salt if needed.
- For an eye catching presentation, serve a portion each on Lettuce leaves such that the leaf serves as a plate as well for individual serving! Sprinkle some cut veggies and mint and cilantro leaves!
Variations and tips:
- If you have mint chutney on your menu with some starter, this salad is a must! Just mix green chutney and yogurt, throw in some more spices and Voila! You have the dressing ready in a jiffy.
- Although capsicum and celery are enough to give a crunch, but still if you really do want to have onions, add them just before serving. It will look fresh as well as avoid that smell. Tomatoes are also grinded and not added directly as they tend to release water and the salad can’t be made ahead of time.
- This can be made with only coriander if mint is not at hand. But adding mint makes it unique and so very flavorful! Try using dried mint instead but you will lose on the flavor.
- Yogurt should not have extra water; else the salad will go runny.
- Instead of yogurt, you can make a simple cream/sour cream dressing as well but that adds to the calorie count too!
- You can use sprouted moong, moth instead of kidney beans but it tastes great with kidney beans; you will have to take my word for that.
- You can use dried herbs as well like oregano, parsley or herb mixture of your choice. Options are endless!
- Serve it as a starter with corn chips.
- It goes very well with Rice/Biryani or even bread or chapattis for that matter.
- Use it as a noteworthy addition to your next scrumptious party menu.