Thursday, July 18, 2013

Beat the Heat Recipe Day 4 - Potato and Chickpea Salad

The week is almost over, and with it, the hot, sticky weather. In this kind of heat, 80 degree temperature forecasts for next week are a welcome sight! 

We've got another recipe for this week's "Beat the Heat" collection. Today, we recommend Potato and Chickpea Salad from The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles by Rinku Bhattacharya. Don't let prep time disenchant you. We promise, the two-hour wait will be forgotten the second fork meets mouth. This recipe, like others from this week, have simple ingredients that can be found just about anywhere--even in your garden! You can find tamarind paste at Indian markets and specialty stores.

Image courtesy of Rinku Bhattacharya
This simple recipe is symbolic of childhood and carefree times to a lot of Bengalis.

Prep Time: 2 hours (mostly to chill the salad)
Yield: 6 servings

4 russet potatoes, boiled and peeled
1 tablespoon tamarind paste

Juice of 2 limes

1 teaspoon black salt
3⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 red onion, very finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1 or 2 green chilies, finely chopped


Slice the potatoes and place in a mixing bowl. In a separate small bowl mix the tamarind paste, lime juice, black salt, and cayenne pepper powder. Gently add the spice mixture to the potatoes. Add the chickpeas, red onions, cilantro, and green chilies and mix in lightly but evenly.

Chill for 1 1⁄2 hours. Serve as a light meal or as a salad with any other dish.

Bengal, located in eastern India, is famous for its cuisine, including a unique five-spice blend called panchphoron. Bengali cooking balances fresh, local ingredients and delicate spices to produce an array of mostly vegetarian, fish, and shellfish dishes.  

  • A thorough introduction to Bengali culture and cooking
  • 180 easy-to-follow traditional and contemporary recipes
  • Sections on spice pastes, spice blends, and essential tool
  • Sidebars with family anecdotes and historical and cultural information
Rinku Bhattacharya was born in Kolkata, India and currently resides in Westchester, New York. She teaches cooking classes, maintains a popular food blog, Cooking in Westchester, and writes a weekly column, “Spices and Seasons,” for the Journal News website.

Recipes from earlier this week:
Day 3: Potato and Pomegranate Salad
Day 2: Peach Coconut Paletas
Day 1: Shrimp Salad on Mixed Green

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