The concept of a salad in Indian cuisine is quite different from what it is generally understood to be in the West. A fresh salad in the West is usually one that has a green leafy base of lettuce or spinach to which a number of fresh veggies, fruits, nuts, meats, cheeses and dressings are added.
In India, a salad will rarely have a raw leaf within it, unless it is for a garnish. A typical salad consists of onions, tomatoes and cucumbers. Sometimes, radishes and carrots. And of course, green chillies. And a few slices of green lime that in and of itself is to serve as the dressing. In my house, I’m sometimes so lazy in that I will cut up only one lonesome red onion and slice it onto a plate, and voila, there’s a salad for you! And actually, this is not such an uncommon occurrence in many an Indian household. An onion and a few green chillis go far in creating just the crispy, crunchy and oh-so-hot flavor that will go with whatever your meal might be.
So, here’s to this lovely Pyaaz (onion) Salad today. Only beware to rinse your mouth well after your meal so you don’t carry onion-breath around the rest of the day!