Have you see the Bingo mad angles ad? There’s this boardroom meeting going on where the corporate guys are looking at the projected image of a potato chip. They keep flipping the image, and because the chip is shaped like an equilateral triangle, it looks the same each time it is flipped. They wile away their time discussing which angle works best. The ad always brings a smile to my face because you gotta admit a lot of boardroom meetings are like that. The reason why I remembered this ad now is because of the food pyramid. While reading up about a balanced diet, I came across this term, “food pyramid”. Initially the food groups were depicted horizontally in this food pyramid. Then they changed that and started depicting the food groups vertically.
Now apparently they are doing away with the food pyramid and are explaining about a well-balanced diet using an image of a plate. The plate is divided in sections, one for each food group. You can google up “food pyramid” and “MyPlate” to find out more about what I’m saying. I don’t know how many of our moms knew about the food pyramid when they were raising us. And yet “finish your vegetables or else…” was a common household dialog, almost as common as the “Beta maine tumhare liye gajar ka halwa banaya hai” dialog in a typical Bollywood movie. 🙂 Whether you are following the food pyramid, the plate, or your mom’s advice (or should I say threat) there’s no dispute that your diet should include a variety of vegetables, cooked as well as raw. And what better form than salads to eat raw vegetables.
At home, lunch is usually a sabzi-roti, curds, and salad affair. Salad is mostly cucumber, tomato, or carrot salad. Occasionally, we make beetroot salad. These are the salads Devansh likes. I like radish and cabbage salads too but Devansh isn’t too crazy about them “yet” so we don’t make them that much. To come back to cucumber salad—the main ingredient of this salad, cucumber— helps us hydrate our body and get rid of toxins because it is 95% water. Well, some websites say it is 96% water. But either ways that is a lot of water content, making it an ideal food for summer. It provides us several health benefits as it is a good source of vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It is not considered one of the superfoods for nothing.
The other three main ingredients— powdered peanuts, grated coconut, and coriander—not only enhance this salad’s taste but pack quite a nutritional punch. Peanuts contain vitamins, antioxidants, and several nutrients. Coconut is a good source of vitamin and mineral content, and is high in dietary fiber and manganese. I am not going to wax eloquent about coriander again; I’ve already praised it too much in the Curd Rice post. 🙂 You can start giving your toddler this salad after s/he has started to chew properly. You can make carrot salad using the same recipe. Just use grated carrots instead of cucumber and add some lemon juice in it. Do give this salad a try; it really is a simple and easy recipe.
Cucumber Salad (Kachumber) Recipe
- 1 cucumber
- 1 tbsp powdered peanuts
- 1 tbsp grated coconut
- 1 tsp chopped coriander
- 1 small piece of green chili optional
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt to taste
- Peel the cucumber, and then chop it finely. I use the ones with light green almost white skins because those are easily available here. The ones with dark green skins are healthier but since we peel the skins, I'm "guessing" that both types of cucumbers will be equally healthy.
- Add powdered peanuts, grated coconut, sugar, and salt to the chopped cucumber and mix properly. (I roast the peanuts for about a minute or so before I powder them. I make this powder in bulk so I can use it in a jiffy whenever I need it.)
- Add chopped coriander and a piece of green chili, and mix it properly with the salad. (You can leave out the chili if your toddler is not used to spicy food.)
- Remove the piece of chili before serving it to your toddler.