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Spices and Seasons – Warm Sweet Potato and Pecan Salad

[1]I am actually at the time of the year, when I am begining to enjoy the Christmas music, all the tinsel and bells and even the Salvation Army buckets outside the grocery stores. It is December, and it is now countdown to a year that is slowly slipping by and of course, the begining of a new one that is on its way. Winter is here and I love savory foods this time of the year. Warm and savory that it!

So, here is a wonderful spice blend, called Chat masala. A chat, loosely translated is a spicy but normally cold salad. The essential ingredient that gives this characteristic North Indian salad its characteristic taste is this spice blend call chat masala. This is also a spice blend that is available, pre-made in Indian grocery stores and I tend to buy it pre-made mostly because it tends to include some spices such as powdered ginger and mint that I do not often have readily available, since I do not use it for other things and then once in a while I do make my own blend.


If you do feel adventurous, here is a from the scratch recipe [3]that you can try. This is the recipe that I do use.

The chat masala is a spicy, sweet and tangy blend that wakes up all your taste buds in a gentle and delightful way. Today, I used this for a quick fix recipe that uses sweet potatoes.  I have been coaxing myself to work a lot more with sweet poatoes, especially in lieu of potatoes. The color goes a long way for me in being persuaded.

In this recipe the flavors worked very well. I used the concept and flavors of a cold chat or Indian savory salad but made this a warm variation. We had some friends over today and they pronounced this recipe was worth a thumbs up. I am sharing it with you here to see what you have to say. The pecan added a nice dimension and if you want more texture and color I think that you can through in some pistachios into the mix as well. I tend to keep a lot of assorted nuts handy to add a nutritional boost to foods, along with of course texture and color.

This recipe make a wonderful side dish,  and of course a great addition to a holiday table.



Speaking of the holidays, I do hope that you will keep my cookbook [4]on your list of holiday gifts for the foodie in your life.

[5]Rinku Bhattacharya is a daytime financial professional, who spends the rest of her time immersed in food. Rinku is the author of the blog, Cooking in Westchester [6], where she shares her life experiences, original recipes that combine Indian spices with produce from her backyard and local farmers markets. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past six years, and has found her classes [7]a great way to teach and learn.

Her newly released cookbook the Bengali Five Spice Chronicles [8], highlights and offers many simple recipes from Eastern India. Rinku can be found on facebook [9], twitter [10]and pinterest [11]