Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Colourful peppers and sprouts salad

Few days ago, my husband and myself were contemplating on having something very light as salad or soup for dinner one night a week. The plan was to keep our dinner options light but healthy. Tried putting it in action and found it works well too. I had kept with me a salad list from Fresh Station Bahrain whose salads and mocktails are extremely indulging while still on the healthy side. The list is just their standard menu, but the tamil chef there will whip anything you fancy. Between me and my daughter, we've had their salad and one fresh juice and would feel full. So I wondered if I recreated something like that would both of us love it too.
Having thought of it, I had to put it into action and this was one of those salads I came up with -Peppers and sprouts salad in a sambal dressing.

The Malaysian Sambal is an extremely versatile sauce cum accompaniment and can be used as a dressing for all kinds of salads. Fragrant, tangy and tasty, it can add extra flavour to any dish. The sambal is popular as a condiment in Malaysia. There can be quite a few variations in the preparation of sambal. I just have used here a basic one that I got from my friend.
Recipe for sambal:
· 10 shallots peeled and chopped
· 6 fresh chillies,prefeably the red spicy variety, deseed and slit
· 5 cloves garlic peeled and sliced
· 1 stalk lemongrass small stalk sliced (or juice of 2 lemons)
· 1 marble size tamarind (soak in a cup of warm water and strain)
· 10 dried chilies (soak in hot water for 5 minutes)
· 2 tsp turmeric powder
· 3 tablespoon sugar (optional)
· salt to taste
1. Blend chillies, garlic, tamarind extract, shallots, red chillies and turmeric powder in a blender to a smooth paste. If you are using lemon grass, blend that with these too.
2. Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a pan. When the oil is moderately hot, saute the paste until the raw taste subsides and is fragrant. This should take about 12 minutes on very low heat. Stir the paste constantly so that it does not stick to the pan.
3. Add the salt and the sugar.
4. Let the paste cook for sometime while stirring occasionally. When the oil floats on top of the paste, the sambal is ready. Add the juice of lemon and mix well.
5. You can divide this in small portions, freeze and use until about two months. Spoon in as much as sambal you will require on to any salad, or boiled eggs or even if you eat meat, this can be a dressing.

Now coming to the salad,I used different colour bell peppers,carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes alongwith few legumes that I kept to sprout.
I used whole moong, black chick peas, cow peas and fenugreek seeds. Soak a fistfull of each separately and allow them to sprout.
Cut the vegetables. Deseed the peppers and keep ready.
Once the sprouts are ready, transfer all of them in a microwave safe bowl. Add few teaspoons of water and with a lid on cook for 5 minutes on 100% power until they are just boiled enough.
In another bowl, add 2 teaspoons olive oil and toss the bellpeppers. Boil them in the microwave for 2 minutes on 60% power.
In your salad bowl, fill the vegetables and sprouts with as much sambal dressing you would desire. Toss them well to blend in the dressing.
Add the cut tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers. Serve with other starters or some healthy soup.
I did not require salt or pepper as the sambal takes care of the salt and spice.

I would love to send this to the August session of No Croutons Required being hosted by Jacqueline,

and to

MLLA 14 th serving initated and being hosted this month by Susan.


  1. Refreshing and very colourful salad!

  2. Indeed a colour ful and its pleasant looking salad!!

  3. Waiting to try this since long...its so healthy and yummy to eat...very colorful

  4. Thank you girls :) the sprouts add crunch and extra nutrition.I liked the sprouted fenugreek's texture and slight bitter taste.

  5. Yum. Yum. Yum. I love fenugreek and can imagine the spark it adds to this already great recipe.

    Thanks, Lata, for your contribution to MLLA.


Welcome and thank you for taking time to drop by.
I appreciate your valuable comments and tips.
I sincerely hope to improve with them.
Hope we shall interact often.
Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.