This is another shamelessly stolen dish from Meera Sodha’s Fresh India. She says she always ate this when she arrived from the heat of the Indian plains to the cooling hill station of Darjeeling. I made this to go with a summer BBQ lunch of spicy spatchcock chicken.
Serves 6 as a side
1 medium bulb of fennel
1 medium red onion
3 mixed peppers (red yellow and orange – no green)
handful of fresh coriander
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nigella seeds
2 handfuls of fresh mint leaves
1 green cilli, finely sliced, keep seeds
100 ml greek yoghurt or almond milk yoghurt if you are vegan or non-dairy like me
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar (to taste)
Remove the tough outer fennel leaves, and cut off the fronds, saving for later. Dice the fennel, peppers, cucumber (deseeded but not peeled) and onion, the smaller the better, and place in a serving bowl. Finally chop the coriander and add to the bowl with the salt and nigella seeds.
Next make the dressing. Chop the mint and green chilli as finely as you can and put in a small bowl. Add the yoghurt, lemon juice and sugar, mix together and taste. There should be a good balance of salt/sweet/heat/lemon, so adjust to make it perfect. Umami, as they say.
Dress the salad just before serving and mix. Garnish with the fennel fronds and extra nigella seeds.