Cranberry Crunch Chaat Salad
When we can't go out, we need more festivities at home. Welcome to a festival on your plate. This is an Indian-chaat-inspired salad that will add some pizazz to your December mood and serve as a healthy respite to all those holiday treats coming your way.
“Chaats” are a category of savory snacks that are popular Indian street food. The first time I had chaat (it was probably the panipuri variety), I instantly fell in love with the combination of crunchy dough, tangy chutneys, boiled potatoes, and onions, which are all often core components of chaat. It was a perfect combination of sweet, salt, and spice, all in one bite. This salad is not a traditional chaat and definitely lacks the fried dough part, but I call it chaat-inspired because it has many of the same flavors and textures, except in a much lighter and healthier form!
1 tbs of oil
1 tsp of coriander seeds
1 tsp of black mustard seeds
1 tsp of cumin seeds
0.5 tsp red chille pepper
1 tsp of ginger paste (from the tube is fine)
1.5 cups of fresh cranberries
0.5 tsp of salt
1.5 tsp of sugar
12 ounces of kale + 2 tbs of olive oil
1 cup of frozen corn
1 small onion (red onion is nice here)
1 15-ounce can of diced potatoes
0.25 cup of plain yogurt
1. Prepare the cranberry chutney:
Add the oil to a medium pot over medium heat. After 1 minute, add the coriander, mustard, and cumin seeds. Once one or two mustard seeds start popping, toss in the red pepper, ginger, cranberries, salt, sugar, and 2/3 cup of water. Stir and cover. Cook for 5 minutes or until the cranberries burst. (If the chutney starts to dry out, add a bit more water, a tablespoon at a time. The finished product should have a chunky, jam-like texture.)
While the cranberry chutney cooks, move to step 2 and prep the other salad components.
2. Prep the salad components:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Wash the kale leaves and remove the stems and hard bits. Cut or tear the kale into smallish (2 inch) pieces. Spread the kale out into a single layer across 2 baking sheets and toss with 2 tbs of olive oil and sprinkle on some salt. (About 1/2 a teaspoon of salt ought to do it, but it's up to you!)
On another tray, spread out 1 cup of frozen (defrosted) corn and the diced potatoes (drained). Toss with 1 tbs of oil and sprinkle on a little salt.
Bake the kale, corn, and potatoes until the kale chips are crisp, turning the leaves and tossing the corn and potatoes halfway through. You'll probably need to bake everything for about 15-25 minutes, depending on your oven. There's some leeway here, but you'll need to watch the kale. You'll want the kale crispy and slightly brown on the edges, but not burnt or blackened. I like my potatoes and corn to also be a little crispy, so I leave everything in the oven as long as possible, without burning the veggies.
3. Assemble the "chaat" salad:
Mince the onion.
In a small bowl, whisk up the yogurt.
Then, plate up your chat-salad! I like to have everyone do this on their own plate -- that way people can personalize the proportions of the ingredients to their liking!
Make a bed of kale chips as your salad base, then spoon on a good amount of potatoes, corn, and onion. Dollop on the chutney -- this chutney is strong, so reserve some on the side to add as you like. Drizzle on the yogurt and the add olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.