In a fit of culinary demonic possession, last night I made the most bangin' salad EVAR.

Behold, the curried couscous salad.  Do not be fooled by the crappy salad recipes online that feature raw onions (I don't hate onions, but I openly and blatantly hate the inclusion of too many raw onions in salads).  This salad is pure delicious lettuce and tomatoes with cucumber raita dressing and curried couscous.  Colorful and yum.

So, how do you make this flavor bomb??  First, let's make the raita dressing.  Raita is a yogurt condiment that goes with a lot of Indian food.  It helps cut the heat of some curries.  I LOOOOVE it.  I don't know how traditional it is to have cucumber in it, but I have been to restaurants that put cucumber in their raita.  And I went to a dinner party at the house of an Indian coworker and her raita had cucumber in it as well.  That's all the data I have on that.  I used Greek yogurt because it tends to be nice and thick and sour which maintains that good yogurt-y taste when it becomes a dressing.  Also, I think rice vinegar is not as harsh as white vinegar, so that's what I used (I'm partial to that taste), but I'm sure regular white vinegar would work as well.

Raita dressing

3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 tbl. rice vinegar

2 tbl. olive oil

½ cucumber, peeled, seeded and minced

 

Mix liquids until smooth and combined. 

Then add cucumber and stir well.

Then the CURRIED COUSCOUS.  MMMMMM.  I was worried about the curried couscous because I thought that i might come out too dry or tasting like curried cardboard, but I was really excited and pleasantly surprised when it came out like curried tummy lovin'.  Here's the breakdown:

Curried couscous

½ cup plain couscous (best to be purchased for cheaps at a local Indian or Middle Eastern food store)

½ tsp of the following spices:

            coriander

            garam masala

            tumeric

            cumin

            fenugreek

½ tsp powdered garlic

½ tsp powdered ginger

½ tsp powdered onion

½ tsp salt

1 tbl olive oil

2/3 cup boiling water

 

Mix spices with couscous until evenly spread. 

Pour in boiling water and let sit covered for 5 minutes. 

Fluff with fork and then cover again for another 5 minutes.

Then use some romaine lettuce (I used one head, enough for a huge salad or two medium salads.) chopped into ribbons.  One pint of cherry tomatoes, halved and lightly salted to sweat them out and make them taste crisp.  I coated the lettuce with raita dressing, then added the tomatoes, then topped with the nice warm couscous.  Mmmmm.

You know you want some.

I think this would be SO GOOD in the summer, when you're really craving that Indian food but the thought of eating something spicy and hot is on the bottom of your priorities.  This would give you that essential curry/Indian food taste without the heat.  Refreshing and yummy!

4 out of 4 PhD students (and one lab tech) agree, it is delicious.

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