Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Korean Style Cucumber Salad

It feels great to get hold of the computer from N and write a post! She is busy baking for a Thanksgiving feast at a friend's place and so, I thought I should seize (literally!) this opportunity to redeem myself.

First of all, let me address my love for sports. Don't think that I don't check all those Facebook status messages where N tries to portray this sad picture where she has to watch sports with me to save our marriage and the plethora of sympathy that she garners as a result of that : P

All I have to say is that I'd love to be a sportsman. But once you choose to get into sciences, it is rather hard to do so. So I live my dreams vicariously through them. Like millions of us who hail from a country that didn't particularly encourage sports as a full-time career when I was growing up. I am not sure how much things have changed now. But yes, growing up, I'd rather salute to the waving Indian flags when Sachin raised his bat after scoring a fifty or a hundred than when a patriotic song was played on the TV or radio. I'd rather scream to defend Ganguly's decision to field first than when a bunch of politicians screwed up or debated over an issue. I'd rather demonstrate my boiling rage on Ponting or Waqar Younis or Shoaib Akhtar by booing them vehemently than over potholes on the streets or at a protest to oppose something :)

Being in the US, I'm naturally into college and professional sports big time. I am an AVID Yankees fan, a BIG Kobe Bryant fan, apart from a couple of college football and a few other NFL, NBA and MLB teams. But I was a cricket fanatic before coming to the U.S. I am one still ;) I go to great lengths defending Sachin Tendulkar when someone blames him solely for any loss that we incur. I provide them with useful statistics to support my arguments ;) Unfortunately, N is neither a fan of statistics, nor logic :P

Speaking of N, she went on this salad diet sometime ago. It took a lot of convincing on her own part to get on this regimen. She ate salad for lunch and dinner and spent one whole month criticizing my food habits. She hates cucumber and doesn't eat much of the cukes lying around though is one of the first few things we pick up at the Farmer's Market. Its a classic N situation. She has a list and her eyes dart up and down the Market looking for people ( she can identify and wave a huge hi and give this huge 'OMG, I've missed you' smile), then quickly turn into this efficient shopper - all with equal ease and aplomb. It was one such day when she spotted these English cukes like every week and gave herself a lecture on how one should eat healthy food.

N: You know what? We should really eat healthy. All the chocolate cakes you bake are going to be the end of me.

A: But you hate cukes!

N: So what? If you try to eat, I'd also feel like eating! So its your fault.

A: Great! Pick it up.

N: Tonite is this salad that I saw at Susan's blog. Remember?

A: (I have no clue, to be honest) Oh ya, sure! I hope its only for you. I'm looking forward to some Lasagna.

N: (very disapproving, School Principal look) - Well, if that's what you want. I mean, look who is going to put on weight, who is going to be really sick when we get old. Fine. Be like that.

When N says "Fine. Be like that" that is exactly the opposite of what she means!! It means that she would LOVE to be in a situation where she'd get to eat all the lasagna but not put on a attometer of waistline. She will talk about it forever ;) and point out how unhealthy my lifestyle is. Which she did, very very promptly for the whole salad month. Just to give you a little context, I eat normal food. 3 Rotis with sabzi, Rasam Saadam, Lasagna occasionally, Pasta more often, dessert every night. Of course, to me, dessert could mean cubed apples with a drizzle of honey and some roasted almonds. However, for one whole month, N sat next to me with her salad bowl and would purposely eat the salad with a crunch, ooh-aah it and claim that she can feel good health in her bones. She'd shake her head as I cooked 'regular food' and said: "Sigh, you do realize you are getting older? We should take care of ourselves. Look at me? So responsible!"


So that cucumber night, she made this salad with a lot of enthusiasm and ate it with equal drama. However, late in the night, she casually mentioned: "I hate salads, but this one was pretty good. Makes me want to stay on. Does cucumber taste the same in India too?" (She never ate much cucumber before this!) Here is the recipe for her latest cucumber obsession!

So, dear fellow food bloggers, I'm glad that this salad won my wife over and she's continued to make this every now and then and eat it regularly now. And likes cucumber ONLY in this salad and doesn't call this salad: Ghaas-Phoos (Leaves)!


Soma said...

So you take your chance to do the sports talk..
Hahaaaahaha.. LOL.. I am just coming by from FB contemplating adding u;-) (Shh... N is going to kill me for this.)

Ghaas phooos is our term too, but my "A" has learned to love the ghaas phoos and non ghaas phooos salads after a decade. He used to snicker at them. I love cukes and this salad looks awesome.

Arch said...

Good Post A to get us on your side :) I have a pretty similar situation here, with the salads and 'normal food'...TH refuses to touch anything raw and salady..This salad does looks lovely...And totally with you on the Sachin patriotism !!

maxdavinci said...

dude, stupendofantabulistic post!

never knew that you could be so much fin, and it was hard to maintain a straight face in the mtg readin this!

you should write more often sirjee, and can't believe n doesnt like cucumbers.

cha, theres nothin more refreshin than cucumbers with a dash of salt n masala!

Cakelaw said...

Look at all that lovely fresh green! A beautiful looking salad.

Kitchen Flavours said...

Fianlly you got u r fair chance to talk about sports.....

Love that green and evergreen salad....

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

So healthy and fresh! Good for you! :)

Sachita said...

:) blogspace for internal fights might not be of big help. you know u still have to face your wife at the end of the day.

just bumped into your blog, was hoping to try this one http://reluctantchefs.blogspot.com/2008/06/easiest-eggless-cake-ever.html

it doesnt mention the amount of cocoa, pliss to help since i am a novice baker. also, do i need to use baking powder?

SJ said...

A! If I knew N hated cukes this much I would have made only cukes for her. Chae! next time!

Aparna said...

First I think I'm on N's side for a couple of things. I find it very difficult to share my husband's and daughter's enthusiasm over Sachin (or whoever else!) padded up like he's about to face a terrorist attack, hitting at a ball with a piece of wood!
Think I just might have set off something with this statement? I just don't like sports. :)

And I don't like salads (don't mind the pasta ones). My daughter tells me that salads are for "cows"! And N, I don't mean you're one. :) A (my daughter) says she's not one when I try to persuade her that salads are good for her! LOL
Your salad certainly looks ver colourful.

And A, maybe you need to get N to bake with her friends more often so we can see you here. ;D

A_and_N said...

@ Soma: Go for it! N always gives me a hard time for not being 'social'!

@ Arch: Thank you. And nice to see another Sachin fan :)

@ Max: Thanks! I will try to write more. But I'm just too lazy to drop that remote ;)

@ Cakelaw: Thanks :)

@ Kitchen Flavours: Well, it was bound to happen sometime :) Thanks!

@ Sachita: I wrote this post with N sitting right next to me ;)

As far as amount of cocoa is concerned, first of all, thanks for pointing that we forgot to mention it! Secondly, I think 1/3 cup should be sufficient. If you feel the batter is too dry, melt some chocolate chips with some more oil and throw them in ;)

@ Natashya: I'll pass on the message to N ;)

@ SJ: I'll make that chatti dish with cukes for her (instead of ridge gourd) :)

@ Aparna: You are on N's side???? I am surprised :P

As far as sports go, it depends on how you look at it. I'm alright if someone doesn't like sports :) But when you have a discussion, I need ppl to get the facts straight ;)

And N might not be a cow, but her name sure means one! I'm going to get killed for this one :)

And as far as baking goes, we do have a vision of opening up a bakery in India after we retire or something :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A unique salad! Very healthy and flavorful!



Maria said...

I love this salad.
To answer your question about the apple cake-yes it kind of stays "doughy" by the apples, nice and moist and very tasty:)

The Voracious Vegan said...

WOW! This looks incredibly refreshing and beautiful. This is something I need to make asap.

Anonymous said...

Great post..I loved the exchange between you and N!That said, awesome salad, I LOVE cukes, so refershing, and great remedy for the dark circles under my eyes (at least it feels that way lol). You guys have gone so healthy..you should let me come by and bake for you..hehe

As for DJ, do you know it's one of only like 5 times total a baseball player has won that award?

Hannah said...

You know what one of my favorite things ever is? Cucumber! I go through about a half-dozen of them every week! I may just have to try this as a way to shake up my cucumber routine. :)

Dhanggit said...

what a delicious combo!! orange and cranberry!! i scream, yummy!

Susan said...

Beautifully healthy greens and beans. I love the look of it. I'm sure that little touch of mint adds more than a frilly garnish.