5 Delicious Desi Salads

Recent research suggests we need more than just 5-a-day to be healthy. So how can we eat more fruit and veg in our daily diet? DESIblitz showcases five tasty salad recipes, Desi style, for you to try at home.

Desi Salads

Salad has often been promoted as a healthy meal choice.

We have long been advised by diet experts to eat fruit and vegetables daily for a healthy lifestyle – to get our ‘five a day’.

However, a new study is suggesting people eating up to seven daily servings can cut the risk of death by 42 per cent.

Salad has often been promoted as a healthy meal choice – but why?

  • Salad is an easy way of eating lots of fruit and veg in a single dish
  • It is inexpensive, simple to make and there are endless varieties to try
  • Fruit and veg, especially raw, are high in fibre, which can help lower cholesterol and help lose or maintain weight
  • Salad is high in antioxidants, which is good for your heart and fights cancer
  • It can help cut calories if you make salad part of a meal

Why not add a little kick to those leafy greens with some South Asian flavours? Need some inspiration? Here are five colourful Desi Salads to get you started.

Indian-spiced Roasted Potato and Chickpea Salad

Indian-spiced Roasted Potato and Chickpea SaladIngredients:

  • 900g white/sweet potatoes (peeled, diced)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 250g chickpeas
  • 6 sliced red onions
  • 75g chopped fresh coriander


  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


  1. Pre-heat oven to 220°C.
  2. Mix potatoes, oil, salt and pepper. Spread the potato onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast in oven for 30 minutes or until fork-tender and golden. Cool for 5 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, whisk vinegar, mustard, garlic, ginger, cumin, salt, coriander, red chilli powder and turmeric. Then gradually whisk in oil.
  4. Mix half of the vinaigrette with the potatoes. Stir in chickpeas, onions and coriander. Let cool. Mix in remaining vinaigrette just before serving.

Warm Halloumi Quinoa Salad

Warm Halloumi Quinoa SaladIngredients:

  • 2 small red beetroot
  • 2 baby aubergine
  • 2 bulbs fennel, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of cumin seeds
  • 225g halloumi cheese, sliced
  • 500 ml Quinoa (prepared from 132 g dry)
  • 115g baby rocket leaves
  • 2 oranges, peeled and sliced

Spiced Almonds:

  • 75g whole almonds
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper

Orange Vinaigrette:

  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • 60 ml olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  2. Wrap each beet and aubergine in foil pouches. Drizzle with oil and cumin seeds. Cut fennel in half through core end and slice into wedges.
  3. In bowl, mix fennel with 1 tbsp of oil and salt; bake with beet pouch, aubergine on foil-lined baking sheet for 30-45 minutes, turning fennel at halfway point, until fennel is caramelised and beets/aubergines are tender. Let beets/aubergines sit for 15 minutes; peel and slice into wedges.
  4. Whisk mustard, orange zest, juice, vinegar, garlic, honey, pepper and salt. Whisk in oil.
  5. Combine almonds, honey, chilli powder, salt and cayenne. Bake nuts in 180°C oven on a baking sheet for 15 minutes, until glazed. Cool; break into pieces.
  6. Preheat grill pan to high. Brush halloumi with oil. Cook for about 1 minute per side, until golden brown.
  7. Mix cooked quinoa with fennel, rocket and vinaigrette in a bowl. Divide salad among 4 plates; top with cheese, orange slices and scatter with roasted beets/aubergine. Garnish with Spiced Almonds.

Paprika Chicken/Bean Salad with Tangy Lemon Yoghurt Dressing

Ingredients:Paprika Chicken/Bean Salad with Tangy Lemon Yoghurt Dressing

  • 3 small carrots peeled and cut in 2-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch radishes, topped and halved
  • 3 tomatoes diced
  • 1 small cucumber diced
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp each of paprika, coriander, cumin, turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp fresh green chilli (minced)
  • ½ tsp each of fresh ginger and garlic (minced)
  • 2 bay leaves, 2 cardamom pods, 2 peppercorns
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or 750g mixed beans
  • 200g lettuce
  • 60g pomegranate seeds

Tangy Lemon Yoghurt Dressing:

  • 75 ml Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp crème fraiche
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of salt and pepper


  1. Mix carrots, radishes, tomatoes, cucumber with 2 tsp oil, 1/4 tsp salt.
  2. Whisk yoghurt, crème fraiche, lemon juice, zest, honey, paprika, salt and pepper.
  3. Combine salt, paprika, turmeric, cumin, coriander, chilli, ginger and garlic. Rub mixture all over chicken OR mix with beans. For the chicken, heat oil in large non-stick pan, heat oil, sizzle bay leaves/cardamom/peppercorn, add chicken, cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
  4. Toss lettuce with dressing. Top with roasted carrots, radishes, cucumber, tomatoes and pomegranate seeds. Arrange mixed beans/sliced chicken on top.

Thai Fish (or Black Beans) and Mango Salad

Thai Fish (or Black Beans) and Mango SaladIngredients:

  • 60ml olive oil
  • 60ml thinly sliced white onion
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 4 tsp fish or soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 firm semi-ripe mango, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 200g cooked crabmeat, white fish or black beans
  • 125g each of red pepper and red onion (cut into thin strips)
  • 2 to 6 Thai bird’s eye peppers, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp each of chopped fresh mint and coriander
  • 3 tbsp coarsely ground roasted peanuts
  • Fresh mint and coriander sprigs
  • Fresh red chilli slices


  1. Heat oil over medium heat; sauté onion until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.
  2. Whisk lime juice, fish sauce and ginger. Mix in mango, fish or black beans, red pepper, onion and Thai peppers. Toss in chopped mint and coriander.
  3. Serve topped with fried onions, peanuts, red chilli, mint and coriander.

Tropical Fruit Salad

Tropical Fruit SaladIngredients:

  • 2 ripe mangoes
  • Half pineapple
  • 1 can lychees
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Handful of mint leaves


  1. Peel and cut mangoes and pineapple into chunks.
  2. Add lychees and its juice.
  3. Stir in lime juice and salt.
  4. Cut mint leaves into fine strips and scatter over fruit.

With so many delicious tasting salad options to try, you can very easily incorporate fruit and vegetables into your diet, and maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

Reshma is keen to explore Desi culture through her writing, whether it’s Bollywood, literature, fashion, food, British Asian music or social issues affecting the community. To quote Buddha, ‘What we think we become’ is her motto.