Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mexican 4 bean salad

I love Mexican food – the flavours are always so fresh and tongue-tingling. And despite its similarity to Indian food, it is different enough that the tastebuds get a break! I’ve had some amazing Mexican food over the years, starting from the time restaurant Rodeo opened in CP in Delhi. They served authentic delights like Sopa de Queso – a truly wonderful cheese soup, perfect for misty winter nights in Delhi, as well as the usual suspects – burritos, tacos, enchiladas, churros and of course nachos with salsa, guacamole and sour cream. Could there be a better way to start an evening?

In the US, apart from a fab chili which I had with dad on a business trip to Seattle and recreated at home many times since, I’ve also had the most exquisite Mexican food in Minneapolis. Tomatilla salsa and all kinds of other fabulous dishes which I still remember with joy, though their names have faded off my aging mind long since.

We have Mexican or Mex-inspired dishes at home quite a bit. I love avocados so guacamole is typically rootling around in the fridge somewhere, ready to be smeared on a baguette or cracker as a snack or on toast for breakfast. Salsa is a staple at parties – it’s such a great dip with chips. And of course, since the kids love cheese, it’s an easy weekday dinner to do quesadillas and serve them up with salsa, guac, sour cream and a bit of Mex-inspired salad on the side for a really healthy, fresh and delicious meal.
4 bean salad
1 tin ( 400 gms) 4 beans – given my fondness for beans, I’ve been tripping ever since I discovered cans of beans at my local grocery – they have all sorts, from azuki and black beans to fava beans, cannellini, butter beans and the more usual borlotti and garbanzos. The 4 bean mix has garbanzos( chick peas), kidney beans, lima and butter beans
½ yellow capsicum, diced
½ red capsicum, diced
½ green capsicum, diced
1 onion, sliced fine
1 clove garlic, minced
1 handful coriander
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1.5 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste

Run the tinned beans through some water to get rid of the high sodium content. Add in the chopped vegetables, cumin seeds, cider vinegar and olive oil, lime juice and seasoning. Toss well. Top with finely chopped coriander – I use scissors to cut the coriander finely. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Add finely chopped chillies or chilli powder if you like. I also add in diced avocados occasionally.