Grad School is usually one huge juggling act involving classes, research deadlines, unforgiving advisors, TA work and internet surfing. Add to this a lean, mean paycheck and it's no wonder that the average grad student pantry is like this:
Fortunately my two years in Grad School had very few Ramen days, thanks to my roommate. She was not only an awesome cook but also a dietician by proffesion so lets just say I floated around in a culinary heaven of the healthy type. Cooking together in the evenings after school was a de-stressing experience. She cooked while I did the dishes and regaled her with my nonsensical stories, latest gossip etc. and yes, that was my idea of cooking together three years ago. The weekends were the big cooking days devoted to the preparation of atleast two vegetables and two lentils which would last us till the Thursday of the coming week. Friday was the official pizza or soup with garlic bread day depending on the prevalent Friday night state of mind. So during the week, we just came home and made ourselves some roti, rice and a salad in the evenings - the cooking together part, remember. This salad was one of the many quick and easy salads that we would rustle up for dinner during the week and came from V's vast repertoire of Marathi recipes. V would usually make me grate the carrots with a grater but since I am lazy and don't live with V anymore I use the food processor now. V's method did produce a much more juicier end product, but the food processor does a might fine job too and in less time.
Carrots- 4, peeled
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece minced
Green Chillies - 3, deseeded and minced
Curry Leaves - 6 to 7, torn
Mustard Seeds - 1.5 tbsps
Asfoetida- a pinch
Vegetable Oil - 1 tbsps
Lemon Juice - 1/2 a lemon's worth
Salt - to taste
Sugar - to taste
Cilantro - 4 to 5 stalks, chopped fine
Peanuts - 3 tbsps, roasted and crushed
1. Chop the carrots into big chunks and process in food processor till minced, usually takes a few pulses. Take care not to mince them really fine, use the picture as a guide. Season with salt, sugar and lemon juice and set aside.
2. Heat the vegetable oil in your largish ladle and sigh fondly while doing so. What?? No largish ladle thingie...sigh!! Well, do what you can with a small pan but don't blame me if the results are not good enough.
3. Once the oil is sufficiently hot, add all the ingredients (except the garnish) quickly and cover. Then on second thoughts run for cover yourself. The mustard seeds are quite a riotous bunch. Once the curry leaves are crisp, pour this mixture onto the seasoned carrots and mix well.
4. Check for seasoning one last time and garnish with the cilantro and crushed peanuts before serving.