I went away this summer and I think the highlight of visiting the many countries I touched was visiting their local grocery stores. I obviously couldn’t come back with perishables but I did manage to bring back these absolutely stunning pink beans. Well the beans themselves were not pink but their shell was. I was lazy getting their picture but I looked online and they look a lot like what are called cranberry beans. They look awfully like what we Indians have been making rajma from. Say rajma to any Indian in India and abroad and you will see their faces light up! I think the only thing I can compare it to is chili but without meat. It used to and still is my favorite thing. Ma used to make every Sunday as we grew up and I remember making myself sick with it. Eyes being bigger than my tummy etc.. :) I intend to post it on the blog one of these days. My moms recipe because no one and I mean no one made it like she did.
So you can imagine my excitement when I saw these. And these were fresh beans. Never before seen by my eyes! I had to have them even though I knew they might go bad by the time I got back. And on some minor research work on the net and it turns out these beans are the fresh version of my childhood favorite dried chitri beans or rosecoco beans. I loved the idea of using them in a salad since I didn’t buy enough to make rajma with.
So this salad is so pretty isn’t it? And it is so fresh and sooo healthy too. I love garbanzo beans or channa and the cranberry beans or rajma beans as I call them are just delicious with a lovely nutty taste. This salad is just perfect for lunch and very filling. So if you are looking to be healthy and get some important nutrition inside of you, this is a wonderful salad. And super super easy to make.
You can replace the cranberry beans with red kidney beans if you like or just add them on.
This post has two versions of this salad. One without some Indian ingredients and one with. Both are delicious. both have the same basic ingredients. So you get to pick which one you’re going to make!
I’ve also never used tahini paste before. I saw it at my grocery store and decided to use it for this salad. I’m Indian and just cannot not use a spice we use in our kitchen almost everyday! I adapted the recipe for the dressing from one of my favorite bloggers here. I’ve used ingredients from a famous Indian dish, the bhelpuri. You could say this is a modern day Rakhee’s twist on the bhelpuri. The ingredients for bhelpuri are easily available at any Indian store.
for the salad
1 cup cooked wild rice
120 grams garbanzo beans (from a can, drained)
120 grams cranberry beans (cooked – I cooked them in a pressure cooker and gave one whistle. They turned out perfect)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
3 green chilies (add more or add less according to how hot you like it)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
handful of blackberries
1/2 cup deep fried sev
1/2 cup puffed rice
1/4 cup papdi
handful of roasted peanuts
for the tahini dressing
6 tbsps tahini (white)
juice from half a lemon
juice of half an orange
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsps olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp hot sauce
water to thin out the dressing
Combine all ingredients for the salad, except the blackberries, the bhelpuri ingredients and the chopped cilantro. Refrigerate for around 30 minutes.
Whisk all ingredients for the dressing together. Add water only if needed to thin out the dressing and one tablespoon at a time.
Spoon out in individual bowls and top with blackberries and the chopped cilantro. Sprinkle the dressing generously.
note: You can totally leave out the bhelpuri ingredients if you want to. The salad will still be gorgeously delicious! If you do use them add them only before serving otherwise they will become soggy.