Because sometimes salads need a little sparkle…
I believe that culture is best experienced through taste – once you are able to truly submerge yourself in international cuisine, you are that much closer to grasping the essential nature of food and what it does for the soul. Although I’ve never been to the Middle East, spices such as cumin, turmeric, coriander, and cardamon immediately transport my mind to rich coconut curry dishes, flavor packed tikka masala, and the minty kick of tabbouleh salad.
You see, I can’t stand it when people claim that the sole purpose of food is to satisfy hunger. That’s the equivalent of saying that the sole purpose of sports is to keep the players in shape. Food is entertainment and culture; flavors are small pieces of a puzzle that come together to form a full experience that awakens every single one of the five senses – and that is exactly what this recipe did.
Here’s what you’ll need:
2 and 1/2 cups of shredded carrots
1 and 1/2 cups of chickpeas (drained)
1 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon of tahini paste
1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon of cumin
1/8 teaspoon of allspice
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1/4 cup of instant oatmeal, uncooked
1 tablespoon of flax seed
1 tablespoon of olive oil (for frying)
1/4 cup of plain nonfat yogurt
2 teaspoons of tahini
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Use a food processor to chop the carrots and onion together. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and then add the chickpeas, tahini paste, and spices. Tahini is a thick paste made of ground sesame seeds. It tastes a bit to me like hummus, but with a lighter texture. It’s added to many Middle Eastern dishes to provide a distinct addition of flavor. Tahini can be found in most grocery stores, but some of the smaller stores may not carry it. I would try shopping for it at a store with an international aisle or section. Use a potato masher to mash through all of the ingredients, making sure that none of the chickpeas are left whole. Cook the mixture in a saucepan over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.