>Nomad’s Salad …Chicken liver, Feta and a dream


I was home today with a bad back.

I lay in bed and read Anthony Bourdain’s ‘A Cook’s Tour’. My mind begun to wonder to the fridge and to some of its contents – chicken liver, Feta which I bought from Sante yesterday, Sundried tomato pesto from Olio – soon steamy images begun to conjure themselves in my mind as I whipped up some rice, microwave mooshuri daal and Eelish fry for a convalescent lunch.

I stepped out in the evening. First to Candies. There was the usual 8 PM ’25 pc off’ rush. Teeming multitudes. The counter seemed miles away. I caught Ashish of the cash counter’s eye and soon walked off with a smile and baguette. Then went down to Pali Naka and picked some red roses for the Missus and for the house. Back to the chirpy bhaji wali at Pali Market. Basil. Sweet corn. Smiled when she took back the apparently stale ones I picked and gave me a fresh set. Popped into Sante’s. Said hi to Milanda. Discussed my plans to make a salad with chicken liver and feta. She voiced her concern about two sharp tastes in the same dish. We talked a bit more and then I took the alley home after picking some litchis for Kainaz. I know that this sounded like Julia Child in drag. Remember when she goes skipping down the French markets in the film? But still, the little walk made me happy and left me with a pleasant buzz.

I know that I have written about Sante’s before but the place is growing on me. And not just because of the great cheeses and meats. Picked up an amazing red hot Edam this time. A couple of visits back I noticed a lovely lady there telling someone about different cooking creams and how they should be added to the end of a tomato based sauce and not at the beginning. I was enthralled. And intrigued. I bumped into her yesterday too. She turned out to be Mrs Milanda Jagtiani, the Director of Sante. We got talking and I begun to trip on her love for, and knowledge of, food. The sort of person I can spend hours talking with. I learnt that the best way to judge the quality of meat in a shop is through the pinkness and freshness of its cooked meats viz. the hams. Apparently ‘cured’ meats – Chorrizo, Serrano, Bacon – taste fine even after their sell by dates. I wanted to buy their Melba toasts. She insisted that I try them first as they were home made and thicker according to her. They were heavenly and went well with the chicken pesto pate that K & I made later last night. I asked her about cous and cous as an option for office lunches. She suggested that I add vegetables to it and was even willing to come with me to the vegetable shop when I professed my veggie challenged state. I was impressed to learn that they make the dips and desserts fresh at her house close by. The chocolate brownie cheesecakes and chocolate éclairs (thanks Menaka for introducing us to these) at Sante are to die for. And as Milanda and I agreed, brownie cheesecakes are intense and you don’t really need large portions of these unlike what you tend to get elsewhere. I sampled a French Feta before leaving. Loved it as it was nice and creamy and different from the one I picked at KL recently. Milanda pointed out the crumbly feta that I bought at KL was the original  one. The French feta was faux according to her and customised to our urban palates. I picked it up in any case and feasted on the Feta with Melba Toas latert.  I am not surprised that  I went back to say hello today.

And here’s how my afternoon dreams took the shape of the Nomad’s Salad. A Karmakar original. ‘Nomad’, because I used feta, pesto, basil and olive oil favoured by those in the arid lands of the Mediterranean. Plus it is a tribute to Bandra. Home to all. From all over. A place where you get everything at your arms reach. As Milanda and I agreed, we are really blessed to be in Bandra.

 Here’s the recipe:

  • 250 g chicken liver, chopped into pieces and sautéed in olive oil, salt and pepper
  • 250 g baby corn put in  water and boiled in the micro for 7 minutes
  • Put together in a salad bowl with around 10 basil leaves, a tablespoon of sun-dried tomato pesto, half a finely chopped tomato, a handful of Feta cubes. The mix is lightly tossed/ stirred/ folded
  • We had this with baguettes and Mamma’s sautéed potatoes

It tasted amazing. Light, ethereal, slightly sweet, backed by the resounding solidity of the chicken liver. The sweetness of the  sweet corn and sun-dried tomato pesto coupled with the minty freshness of basil counter balanced the sharpness of feta and liver to fuse into homogeneous bliss. A Karmakar Original. Very easy to make and guaranteed to impress your dinner mates. Feta is supposed to be a low cholesterol cheese.



Filed under Bandra Bites, Food musings, Lazy cooking, People, Recipes, Salads

18 responses to “>Nomad’s Salad …Chicken liver, Feta and a dream

  1. >Looks yummy. Sounds yummy. And I can almost feel the taste – yummy!!! :o)

  2. >I like feta too, especially in salads. And the pictures are absolutely breath-taking. Seems like the food is right there before my eyes.Hey, you should try making Gyros sometime!!

  3. >@Sasha… luckily it wasn't a hot dish so could take time clicking it. though was a bit alarmed to see K nibbling on the bread, liver, cheese, corn each time I would look away@Scarlett: I like feta and this one I love. It is the French Feta equivalent of Indian Chinese.What are Gyros?

  4. >Gyros (pronounced hee-ros), are the Greek version of shwarmas, except they contain tzatziki sauce instead of tartar sauce. They're yummy!

  5. >Ah reminds me of the Turkish Doner kebabs

  6. >Looks divine, especially in the glow of your lovely lamp! Tell me how the liver and feta taste together… I love them both but have always had them separately.

  7. >@C: You were right. 'Without flash' is better. Though Banu uses my 'studio' to dump washed dishes, junk … but ce est la vieChicken liver and feta went pretty well together combined with corn, sundried pesto dip and basil … individual tastes didn't outshout each other.Come over and check for yourself :)Btw finished the last of the beef with rice last afternoon. Encore

  8. S

    >Wow!!!No offence to the wonderful salad ou put together (it sounds really nice!!!) but what has me sold are the blue walls in your kitchen!Looks totally cool…

  9. >@S This time, unlike in the zucchini affair, I'll unequivocally say 'wow' too.Walls were inspired by Candies. Initially planned for hall. Then we saw our red wall plans in the bedroom turn sour. Repaint. Rethink. And then the litchen idea came up.Ironically we used the most expensive colour in the kitchen. Symbolic in retrospect

  10. >the salad does sound yummy as well as look it too…though am not into chicken liver at all….I am almost tempted to give it a try…

  11. >@Pinku…trust me on this one

  12. >I am a little queasy about chicken liver, but the Nomad Salad does look yummy! Do you get Arugula there? Goes very well with crumbled Feta.Hope the bad back is not bothering you anymore.

  13. Dew

    >Sounds really nice n healthy… 🙂

  14. >Looks Yummy!! The pictures are lovely! Feels like I have a 3d Monitor right now! yummmmmmmmmmmmy!

  15. >@Pree: back is perfectly Ok, the chicken liver blended in with the other stuff. Try it once :)@Dew, Nishant, Amit … thanks

  16. >The milanda that you speak of is my mother :). And I read your blog all the way here in san Diego, wishing I was walking the streets of bandra with you. Thanks for putting a smile on my face!K

  17. >Hey K,Great to hear from you. We were at sante yesterday. Milinda wasn't there. Didn't feel the same. The hummus wasn't there either. Do say hi to her from me and tell her that we are missing her.CheersKalyan

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