Dec 2, 2014

Peanut and Potato Salad

It is the season of peanut harvest in and around Bangalore. There is an interesting story around peanut harvest in our city.
Legend has it that a bull would roam over the fields every full moon night destroying the peanut crops. Flustered farmers offered their first harvest at the Bull temple and the roaming of the bull ceased!Local farmers offer their first crop to Nandi, the bull devotee of Lord Shiva at the Bull temple in Bangalore to this day. The temple vicinity wears a festive look during these two days. A village fair unfolds in the middle of the city. This annual fair is known as ‘Kadalekai Parishe’.
I love the earthy aroma of freshly dug up peanuts here. Call me biased, but the aroma and incredible, sweet, nutty flavours of peanuts that I buy from this fair every year beats all other. I cook the peanuts in their shells in salted water. All of us then gather around the steaming hot bowl of boiled peanuts, shell them and gobble them before some one else grabs it! Warm bonding  during chilly evenings over hot boiled peanuts!
Mostly I have no peanuts left over to include in any dish. However, I managed to make this peanut-potato salad from some that survived the onslaught. Even if the salad was made up from simple, readily available ingredients, it was bowl-scraping, finger-licking, slurp-worthy good. Ok, I’ll stop now.
I am documenting this recipe as much for myself as for sharing with all of you. Fresh seasonal ingredients. A good mix of crunch, soft, and crisp textures. A tongue tickling interplay of flavours. No fried ingredients. Healthy carbs and protein with a giant dose of fibre and vitamins. Do you need any more reasons? Just try it once. I am sure you’ll be hooked.
Peanut Potato salad served with baguette
  • Does NOT contain gluten, lactose, corn, soya, eggs.
  • Suitable for lactose or gluten intolerant people
  • Contains peanuts.
  • NOT SUITABLE for people with nut allergy.
Preparation time – 30 minutes + 30 minutes optional chilling time, Cooking Time – 30 minutes, Serves – 3-4.
You Need
Cookware - Pressure Cooker with 2 containers that fit into it, Metal/Glass Bowl, Colander/Salad spinner, Knife, Chopping Board
  1. 2 cups peanuts in their shells
  2. 2 medium potatoes, chopped with skin into quarters. 
  3. 3 heaped cups Iceberg/Romaine Lettuce
  4. 1 big Tomato
  5. 2 tsp salt
  6. 2-3 cups fresh water
  7. a big bowl of ice water
For Salad Dressing
  1. 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. 1/2 a red onion
  3. 8-9 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil (EVOO)
  4. 2 generous pinches crushed black pepper
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
To Assemble
  1. Dunk the peanuts in shells into a huge bowl of water. Let it sit for a few minutes. Rub the shells vigorously with both hands to loosen the dirt on them. Drain the water and repeat with 2 more changes of water. You can omit this step if using shelled peanuts. Just rinse peanuts once in water is enough.
  2. Now place in a container, pour enough water to cover all the peanuts,  scatter 2 tsp salt over it. Place the rinsed and chopped potatoes also in another container. Place both containers in pressure cooker and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
  3. Rinse the lettuce first under tap water, then place in ice water.
  4. Peel and dice/slice the red onion. Place in a bowl, add 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar to it and let steep.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining vinegar, EVOO, salt and crushed pepper into an emulsion.
  6. Shell the peanuts and peel the potatoes. You can dice the potatoes into smaller size if you wish. Chop the tomato finely. Place all these together in a bowl.
  7. Drain the lettuce, use a salad spinner if you have one. Else just drain in a colander and shake it well. Tear up the large leaves into bite size ones by hand. Add to the other vegetables.
  8. Combine the onion and dressing from step 4 and 5. Drizzle over the salad vegetables. Mix well.
Combine the dressing with salad ingredients
The salad tastes best if allowed to chill for half an hour before serving. But, if you are in a hurry, just dig in and enjoy! We coupled it with 2 slices of warm toasted baguette for an after school snack.
A complete meal -warm toast and chilled salad


Anonymous said...

I love peanuts...and now my mouth is watering looking at the dish you have presented...will Surely prepare and taste it soon :-) ...interesting story indeed!

Rajani said...

I always wait to hear your thoughts on my recipes, and you never disappoint!

kitchen queen said...

delicious combo salad.

Spandana said...

Coming from a peanut farming family I can truly sense the earthy aroma of freshly dug peanuts. And the family having boiled peanuts got me nostalgic. And as always your presentation of the recipe is simply superb.

Rajani said...

Kitchen queen - thank you. :-)
Spandana - I was thinking so much about you when I wrote this post. Do ask your folks to lug some fresh peanuts for you and enjoy with them!
Truly the aroma of freshly dug up peanuts is unbeatable, right?