PADMA’S SPICY CUCUMBER POMEGRANATE SALAD
Padma, my stepmom, is the kindest woman I know. I don’t mean that in a flippant superlative that simply means, she’s really, really kind. She is LITERALLY the kindest woman I know. She and my mom were close friends. When I was a kid, I thought it was cool, but a little weird given the circumstances. Now that I’m getting to know her more as an adult, though, I totally get it.
Another thing about Padma, is that she is the best cook I know. I’ve been to my fair share of Indian restaurants, and none of them come close to her chicken curry- it has this aromatic element that I’ve never gotten anywhere other than her kitchen. And Christmas without her dosa and sambhar is…well, I’ve never experienced it and will go at very great lengths to keep it that way.
There is one thing that drives me nuts about Padma. And when I say drives me nuts, I mean, REALLY makes me go crazy.
I can’t replicate anything she cooks because every time I ask how much of curry or how much cardamom she puts in, she just says “I don’t know, Sarah. Just about this much.” Then she waves a cupped hand at me. What am I supposed to do with that?! So far, the only thing I’ve been able to make close to what she has made is this salad.
Many versions have mint or coriander or toasted cumin. “NOPE! Sarah- just the lime juice with salt and pepper.”
It seemed too simple, so I tried adding the coriander, then the mint, the toasted cumin, combos of each.
The woman was right. Keep it simple.
One note before you get into the recipe …SOAK THE RED ONIONS. Don’t skip that step unless all you want to taste (and smell like) is onion. Ok, on with the recipe…
The pomegranate arils and cucumber are both excellent sources of Vitamin K making this salad a great supporter of blood clotting and bone metabolism. Also, the red onion is packed with phytonutrients- quercetin and anthocyanins.
Healthy Tip- Be careful when you peel your onions- overpeeling can dramatically cut down the amount of phytonutrients you get. We are talking reducing the quercetin by 20% and anthocyanins by 75%! Take as little of the fleshy layers as you can.
I’m totally gonna try that Sarah 🙂
Let me know how it turns out!