Vinayak’s friend K is in town. He took her sightseeing and I took her shopping! We met at Dilli Haat, and spent a couple of hours there. K saw, appreciated and bought. I talked, bargained and walked away. It was fun. I needed to pee and she needed tea so we went to Khan Market – one of my favorite (but expensive) places in Delhi.
After a quick and chatty kahwa, we started walking around Khan Market. My eyes darted to the various vegetable and meat shops around me and my hand reached uncontrollably for my phone.
“Do you need anything from Khan?”
“Hmmm.. What about salad stuff? Maybe some lettuce or broccoli? Or something to make a soup?” she said. And thus, the famed Flavours ( a restaurant in Defence Colony) Salad idea was born.
So I dragged K along (who was only too happy to look at meat and veggie shops) and we bought some mixed lettuce, basil, rocket, smoked chicken, some Parmesan, French bread, and balsamic vinegar – we decided to make Bruschetta on the way too!
Forty minutes later, I reached B10 (the Dehlvi abode) too frozen to argue with the auto driver for the horrendous fair that he had just charged me. After a warming cup of green tea, and Fa’s incredibly warm room. We (himani aunty and me) got down to work.
Since Z (the cook) was still around, I got him to wash and drain the leaves (the lettuce, the rocket and the basil). Once he was gone, Himani aunty took charge of the camera, Sakina aunty (her mum and F’s grandmother) sat on a stool in the kitchen and I got down to work.
These pictures are the work of an incredibly moody camera—which clicked only after its battery was warmed- so you can imagine what a task that was!
First we put the bruschetta together.
Z had already diced 6 tomatoes.
The basil was chopped roughly and then the garlic was minced.
We added that to the tomatoes.
We mixed it all together and added some minced olives, some olive oil, a little bit of parmesan, salt, pepper and about a teaspoon of left over pesto sauce.
The bread was sliced and kept aside – to be pan toasted just before dinner.
Then we got down to the salad. There is a history to this salad. It’s quite a lovely mix of flavours – and the Dehlvi’s have eaten this for years. It’s probably the salad that got F onto eating some salad, and it’s the ONLY salad that Farooq eats. The last few times though, the quality of the salad has varied (little parmesan, even less sundried tomatoes). Making this salad at home is SUPER easy, and also you’re never stingy! Its got: smoked chicken breasts, some mixed lettuce, rocket, sundried tomatoes, parmesan and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing.
Sakina aunty and I shredded the lettuce
And Himani aunty sliced the smoked chicken ( which was lovely!) and right at the end sliced her finger (ouch!) :(
We put the lettuce and the smoked chicken into a pateela.
And added a fair amount of slivered parmesan.
Some sundried tomatoes.
Made some dressing—this is the Simplest part! A little bit of olive oil, and some balsamic vinegar. Poured that into the salad, tossed it and that was done.
Just before we ate - Himani aunty toasted the bread on the pan with a little dash of olive oil, and we put the chopped tomato mix on top.
It was a very satisfying dinner, we even had a post dinner skirmish for the leftover tiramisu!
DISCLAIMER: THE PROOF READER IS CURRENTLY NOW PI-ING IN PONDICHERRY AND WILL BE THERE UNTIL FEBRUARY. I APOLOGIZE FOR ANY PROOFING ERRORS. HIS PRESENCE WAS SORELY MISSED.