This is one of those times where I tend not to keep exactly to the quantities stated in the recipe as I don’t want small bits of vegetable left over, nor half a can of chickpeas. This recipe is so delicious that you can never have too much. The recipe serves two good helpings. The slightly warm vegetables, the crunchy seeds and nuts combined with the peas and edamame and the spicy chutney really makes a salad you want to eat time and time again. And the wonderful thing about it, is that it is just so good for you.
I made the chutney early in the morning as per the recipe (no fresh curry leaves) and kept it in the fridge until required. I didn’t need to add any extra water and it thickened beautifully. It also smelled gorgeous whilst cooking and had me wishing dinner was a little bit closer.
My aubergine and sweet potato were quite large and I decided to use them all so I increased the amount of peas, edamame and spinach and used a whole can of chickpeas. I also used extra pomegranate seeds and pumpkin seeds. There was ample chutney for this mix.
For the spicy onion chutney:
A splash of olive oil
A few fresh curry leaves (leave them out if you cannot get fresh leaves)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 medium onion, finely sliced (160g)
1 heaped tablespoon madras paste (or powder)
A little honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
For the salad:
1 small aubergine (160g)
160g sweet potato
1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
80g baby spinach leaves
80g frozen peas
40g frozen edamame
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
½ x 400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Large handful chopped coriander
1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
To make the chutney, heat a little oil in a pan and add the curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds. When the seeds start to pop, add the onion, madras paste, a little honey, the vinegar and 50ml water. Cover and leave to cook over a low heat for about one hour, or until you have a nice thick chutney, stirring and splashing in a bit of water now and again to stop the onion and spices catching. Leave to cool.
Tip the pumpkin seeds into a dry frying pan set over a medium heat and stir for a minute or two, until they turn a shade darker and smell fragrant. Tip into a bowl to stop them cooking further.
Cut the aubergine and the sweet potato into bite-sized pieces and toss in some olive oil. Spread on a baking tray and roast for 30 to 40 minutes in a 200°C oven, or until soft.
Remove from the oven and mix with the spinach leaves so that they wilt a little. Pour hot water over the peas and edamame in a bowl to defrost them.
In a large bowl, mix together the chickpeas, the drained peas and edamame, the roasted vegetables, spinach and coriander. Carefully stir through the spicy onion chutney.
Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds and serve with a cucumber and banana raita.
Tip: the chutney can be made in advance and will store in the fridge for five days in an airtight container. It can also be used as an accompaniment to all kinds of vegetables and salads.
Mash a banana. Add a large chunk of cucumber which has been cut into very small matchsticks. Add 200ml to 300ml live yoghurt and stir well. Add a handful of chopped fresh mint and a sprinkle of cayenne. Chill well.
This spicy salad is inspired by the Indian street food chana chaat and comes from the book Thrive on Five by Nina and Jo Littler.