As a Pakistani, I can vouch for the fact that the words ‘Pakistani’ and ‘Salad’ do not go hand in hand. Pakistanis eat meat and (over)cooked vegetables. Salad is always something on the side – if it makes an appearance at all. It is usually either just lettuce leaves or sliced cucumber to be eaten alongside the ‘real’ food, or a medley of ‘hard’ vegetables (ie. radishes, cucumbers) dressed with vinegar or lemon.
I love these Pakistani hard vegetable salads and think they deserve pride of place on a plate. They are a blessing for a cook because they can be prepared and dressed well in advance without getting soggy the way lettuce-based salads do.
My Pakistani Salad usually consists of radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, and anything else I can find in my fridge. I recommend throwing in some raw red onion or scallions/spring onions to add some bite. My dressing usually consists of plenty of olive oil, lemon and fresh coriander leaves.
PAKISTANI SALAD WITH LEMON DRESSING
6 Tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Handful of fresh coriander leaves (around 3 Tbsp), roughly chopped
Generous pinch of salt and black pepper
1 medium cucumber, quartered and sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 carrot, quartered and sliced into 1-inch pieces
2 medium tomatoes (or 8 cherry tomatoes), cut into 2-inch pieces
1 bell pepper (any color), cut into 2-inch pieces
8 radishes, quartered
Half a raw red onion (or 2 scallions/spring onions), thinly sliced
- Combine all the Dressing ingredients in a small jar or bowl and mix well.
- Cut all the Salad ingredients and toss them together in a salad bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until the vegetables are evenly coated.
- Refrigerate and serve.