Anjan Mitra's 2011 Food Find: Summer Salad at Dosa
SFoodie is calling up food types around the city to ask them about their favorite discovery of the past year, whether it's new or ancient, an ingredient or a person. We'll be running their responses over the course of the next 10 days.
"I had to think about this for bit because my favorite dishes often depend on what I'm craving at the moment. I also like to try new things, so I try not to obsess about revisiting any one dish too often.That way I always like to keep myself open to new ingredients and possibilities. I've been on a health kick this year, and we've been trying to make things at Dosa as healthy as possible, wherever and whenever it makes sense!"
But what's his absolute favorite dish?
"It might seem like an odd choice but here's a dish we did over the summer that really excited me. It's called the Watermelon, Paneer & Mung Sprout Salad. It has mache, herbs, chiles, chopped onions, lime, fresh coconut, and a delicious spicy dressing. As with most Indian food, the ultimate goal is less about simplicity, though that is certainly appreciated, but more about balance.
"Of course, it's a seasonal dish, and the reason I think it's amazing is that it strikes a perfect balance through its complex flavors. There's a balance of warm paneer and the cold watermelon, the sweetness of the watermelon, and the spiciness of the fresh chiles and the dressing. There's an array of textures between the soft paneer, the juicy watermelon, and the crunchy mung sprouts. The mache and the fresh coconut add another layer of freshness and depth."
He adds, "I also like the fact that this combines different components that come from traditional Indian dishes such as the sprouted mung, which is a common snack and, of course, paneer, which is a very traditional, unaged Indian cheese. I love it when people discover the healthier aspects of our menu. However, not only is this dish healthy but it's absolutely delicious and singularly unique experience!"