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Spicy Nepalese Onion Potato Salad

If you're feeling adventurous, amp up the chili in this Nepalese dish.
Spicy Nepalese Onion and Potato Salad
  • Yield 4-6 servings
  • Prep Time 5 to 10 minutes
  • Cook Time 35 to 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 lb. potatoes, one type only or a mixture of sweet, white, or new, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tbs. sesame seeds
  • Juice of 1 large lemon, plus extra to taste
  • 4 tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1 red or green chili, according to taste, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. nigella seeds or cumin, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 tsp. Szechuan peppercorns, ground (available at Asian markets)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • Large handful of cilantro, tough stalks removed, roughly chopped
  • Large handful of mint leaves, tough stalks removed, roughly chopped
  • Salt

Directions

STEP 1
Peel the cucumber and halve lengthwise; scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Cut into sticks about 1/2 inch wide and 2 inches long. Place into a colander, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt, and set aside for 30 minutes. (This will bring out the moisture and ensure the cucumber sticks offer a crunch to the salad.)
STEP 2
Soak the onion slices in cold water.
STEP 3
Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in plenty of boiling salted water until tender and just cooked but not falling apart, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool a little.
STEP 4
Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan until they start to pop and become golden brown. Remove from the heat and pour onto a plate to cool.
STEP 5
Rinse the cucumber slices and drain well, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Drain the onions and add them and the potatoes and lemon juice to the bowl.
STEP 6
To temper the chili and spices, first warm the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the chili and cook until it starts to brown. Add the remaining spices and cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Pour this oil-spice mixture over the salad, add the fresh herbs and sesame seeds, and mix together.
STEP 7
Taste and add more salt or lemon juice as necessary. Serve at room temperature.
STEP 8
Tip: This dish is great served with halved hard-boiled eggs and mango chutney or cucumber raita.

Recipes excerpted with permission from Around the World in 120 Salads by Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi © 2017 Kyle Books. No images may be used, in print or electronically, without written consent from the publisher.

Photography by: Helen Cathcart

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