This salad transforms day-old chapatis into crunchy wisps combined with fresh spring produce, and a mouthwatering cilantro dressing.
Every time April rolls around, usually around Vaisakhi (they don’t call it a harvest festival for nothing), I remember what it’s like to eat fresh delicious produce. Fresh spinach, cilantro, vine grown tomatoes and cucumbers don’t even know much they’ve been missed.
I’ve long had a love-hate relationship with day-old (sometimes longer) chapatis. At the Lehail household, there always seem to be one or two chapatis leftover. They are perfect to snack on with pickled mango and red onions, but most often they are eaten begrudgingly with the latest dhal or saabji. Sadly, sometimes they go into the compost bin.
Thankfully, I’ve found that once chapatis are sliced into strips, doused with oil and spices. Then baked in a hot oven, they transform into crunchy wisps of deliciousness.
Bonus: the drier the chapatis, the crisper these baked heavenly wisps will come out. This little garnish makes this spring harvest salad more memorable and tasty to eat. They provide a nice, satisfying crunch along with the crisp fresh produce. Everyone will go crazy for them and they are hard to stop eating. If you cut the strips larger, you can have chips instead of strips.
Seriously, there’s no better way to take advantage of spring’s bounty than with this crunchy, flavour-forward salad.
Spring Harvest Chapati Salad
4 cups of fresh baby spinach
1 tomato, sliced into thin wedges
1/2 English cucumber, sliced thinly
Baked Chapati Strips
This salad is super easy to assemble. Arrange the veggies on a large platter or cutting board. Drizzle with cilantro dressing and top with the crunchy chapati strips.
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems included
handful of cilantro leaves (stems removed)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Place all the ingredients into a blender and whiz up. Store any unused dressing in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Baked Chapati Strips
6 (5- to 6-inch-diameter) chapatis, cut in half, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
Pink Himalayan Salt
Freshly ground pepper
Ground chilli powder
Ground Garam Masala
Ground Mango Powder
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut the chapatis in half, then cut them into crosswise into thin strips or wider for chips. Scatter the strips on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and spices (according to your taste). Toss with your hands to coat the strips. Bake for approximately 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp and golden. The timing will depend on your oven. You may want to move them around a bit, so they bake evenly.
Jessie Kaur Lehail is the author of Indian Influence, a blog that shares food stories, recipes, and photography. Reflecting a love for meshing global flavours and South Asian aesthetics, Jessie explores culture and identity through food. Find more food stories at indianinfluence.ca