Saturday, June 4, 2011

Curried Macaroni Salad

I was asked to make a macaroni salad for a barbecue tomorrow.  Of course I had to put my special stamp on it by adding my favorite spices.  My teenage niece helped me make the salad and was first a little puzzled with some of my unusual ingredients.  But once we had it all put together she became a fan of this spiced up and creamy macaroni salad. 

The vegetables 
  • 3 carrots grated
  • bunch of spring onions chopped (both green and white part)
  • 2-3 serrano chilies seeded and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper diced

      Note:  Boil 1lb of macaroni (elbows are fine) per package instructions in salted water.

      The Spices and Aromatics:
      1 tsp of cumin seed (slightly crushed) * see note 1
      1 tsp of mustard seed (slightly crushed) *see note 1
      1 tsp of red chili flakes (or to taste)
      1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
      1 Tbs of grated fresh ginger
      1 Tbs of grated fresh garlic
      2 tsp of curry powder * see note 2

      Note 1:  I put the seeds in a mortar and pestle and pounded it for a few seconds to break some of the seeds up.

      Note 2: I used an American version of curry powder by McCormick: 

      Heat a large pan or skillet on medium-high heat with 1 Tbs of olive oil.  Then add the crushed seeds and fry for 30-45 seconds or until they become fragrant.

      Next add your ground spices and fry for another 30 seconds.  Careful not to burn.

      Add your vegetables, grated ginger, garlic and some salt to season.  Fry well for a few minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. 

      Add your pre-cooked macaroni and 1 cup of frozen peas.  Toss well.  Allow macaroni too cool before adding dressing.

      To make the dressing:
      1/2 cup of mayonnaise(regular or reduced fat is fine)
      1/2 cup of yogurt (any fat level is fine)
      1 tsp of sugar
      1 Tbs of rice wine vinegar

      Mix well.

      Once the macaroni is cooled, add the dressing.  Mix well.  Taste for salt and seasoning.  Chill in fridge until ready to serve.

      Note: If you keep overnight and the macaroni looks dry, add a little more mayo before serving.

      Serves 8-10 people as a side dish.  Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro.  Enjoy. 

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