Till sometime back, salad conjured up images of a pile of limp greens in a bland creamy dressing, but having discovered thai salads, I have had to completely revised my concept. The thais love their salads, like we love our chaats, and with steamed rice , it often becomes a lovely, light meal.
The most well known of these is Som Tum, or raw papaya salad, which is made with shredded green papaya tossed with a spicy dressing. This is how it goes
One small coarsely shredded green papaya ( around 1.5 cups)
7 to 8 cherry tomatoes, or one medium, firm tomato, quartered
a handful of long beans (around 1/4th cup), snapped into manageable bits
1 to 2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh green/red chilli
Lime juice, salt, sugar to taste ( I used the juice of one lime & 1 tsp sugar)
a few splashes of light soy sauce (optional)
1/4th cup roasted peanuts, coarsely crushed or chopped
For those who would like to make it the traditional way, these videos explain it . Pound the garlic and chili with a little salt in a mortar and pestle, if you have one.
Else,smash the garlic and chili and finely chop them. Toss in the long beans and pound a bit more, or smash those too. The tomatoes also need to be pounded (only lightly )to extract the juice. You could also, slice them and mix. Add the shredded papaya and the seasonings, sprinkle the peanuts and you're good to go. It does taste a lot better than it may look!
Off this goes to It's a vegan world-Thai, hosted by Priya at Akshaypaatram, an event created by Vaishali