Chicken Dubai HomeCooked Salad

Freedom Salad and 3 months in Dubai

May 18, 2015

Freedom is such a relative word. For me, it has always come from something positive – acceptance, independence, standing on my own feet, finding my way around a new place, having friends who are as good as – if not better than – family to lean on, from letting go and from realisation.

I completed three months in Dubai yesterday. Having landed on February 16, I had no idea of what I was going to do here, how things would be three months thereon, whether I would be happy and least of all how I would grow as a person. But, I learned a lot. Of course, you can now come to me if you want to know how to get a house, internet, electricity, and a family visa in the UAE. But, more importantly, I learned that not everyone is opportunistic; there are some really genuine people out there – who will support you, advise you, be with you no matter what. That while it is a big bad world out there, there are some really nice things that you encounter on your way. That when you go out and get a grasp of things that seemed more intimidating than they actually are, you are letting yourself grow with each experience. And – an old lesson – that you need to push on no matter what.

Last week was a pretty low one for me. After all, pressing the restart button on life is no small feat. We had just moved into our new place – a really pretty studio with the tiniest kitchen possible – that had eaten into a huge chunk of our finances, and suddenly commuting to work was getting difficult, not to mention the 45 degree heat of Dubai and the work load. And then, after it all got over, the weekend brought with it a much needed break. Slowly, I unwound; it’s surprising how doing nothing very constructive does so much for the soul.

Friday went in cooking – vada pav and Mumbai-style sandwiches for friends – and a simple pasta with salami strips and parsley for dinner. Saturday went in bidding adieu to Ishaaq as he returned to India. And then, suddenly and not so shockingly, I found myself alone, with nothing to do! And, as I sat there watching Castle back-to-back, with the light outside dimming, the huge windows slowly going dark, all I could feel was freedom. Freedom from worry, the future, the need to constantly have things under control. Slowly, I just let go. I gave up on stressing about what had not yet become.

And, like all my other emotions, I had to make something to let it all go. With some shallow fried chicken on the counter I could only think of a Mediterranean salad of sorts with different layers of textures and flavours – fresh, appetising, interesting, exciting, healthy. I walked to the grocery store and took my time through the aisles picking up stuff I knew I’d use soon and walked back home to make my ‘Freedom Salad’. Juicy shreds of roast/fried chicken are tossed with celery and pungent onions. Chickpeas slow sautéed in a little oil with smoked paprika add another dimension of flavour along with the fresh, crispy lettuce and toasted pine nuts. The dressing is made of yoghurt, red grape vinegar, honey, garlic, salt and pepper and olive oil. Toss it all together and you have a one-bowl meal.

Print Recipe
Freedom Salad - Roasted Chickpeas in a Yoghurt Dressing
A protein-rich salad with chickpeas and chicken...
Course salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Dressing
Course salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Dressing
Instructions
  1. Shred the chicken and tear the lettuce.
  2. Now, toss the cooked chickpeas in the oil in a pan with some smoked paprika till a little crispy and coloured.
  3. Slice the celery and onions. And, toast the pine nuts.
  4. Layer the salad bowl with the heavier ingredients first chicken, chickpeas, onions, celery, lettuce, pine nuts.
  5. For the dressing, mix together the vinegar, garlic, EVOO and honey and mix well to emulsify. Then add the yoghurt, salt and pepper.
  6. Pour the dressing into the salad bowl and toss lightly till the veggies and meat are coated well. Serve cold.
Share this Recipe

You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  • itsPotluck June 8, 2015 at 07:07

    Hello there ShantiYou have a great blog with some great recipes and awesome photography. I am reaching out to you from http://www.itspotluck.com a social platform for Indian/Desi food lovers. It is a community of hundreds of food bloggers with thousands of recipes and counting. You might find some fellow bloggers from India and abroad as well on our platform.The current services are just a beginning and we will be adding additional functionalities that will truly make this a global platform for Indian food.We hope you like what we are presenting and would join our growing community of Indian food lovers. Don’t wait – join today. Our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/its.Potluck is frequently updated with food related news and exciting recipes so stay connected via facebook as well.If you face any challenges in registering please contact us at comments@itspotluck.comThank you and looking forward to having you as part of itsPotluck community.Please ignore this email if you are already a member.itsPotluck http://www.itspotluck.com

  • Leave a Reply