If you’re looking for healthy sides to brighten up that bland old chicken breast, you have to try some of these incredible Indian salad recipes.
Not only are they vibrant and fresh, but they’re loaded with fantastic spices and flavors.
If I’m being honest, I don’t love big bowls of lettuce, and I’m almost always hungry an hour later.
So, when I tell you that these salads will both fill you up and make you smile, you know they’re good!
They still contain plenty of nutrients and even some greens, but they focus more on fresh veggies to give you a boost of goodness.
Cucumber salad might not sound like a lively dish, but when you toss it with chili pepper, pepper flakes, chopped peanuts, coconut oil, lime juice, sugar, and salt, it’s a winner.
Plus, this cucumber salad is actually served warm.
You’ll cook down some mustard seeds with cumin and a little coconut oil before pouring it over the cucumber.
It’ll sizzle, the flavors will marry, and this will be the best darn cucumber salad you ever had.
There’s no denying that beetroot is the top dog of colorful veggies. From that intense pink to a sunny yellow, these will brighten up any table.
The only caveat is that beets have a distinctly earthy flavor, which I know some people just don’t enjoy.
Still, I highly recommend giving this dish a try! Yes, it’s earthy, but it’s also garlic-y, full of ginger and cumin, and even a little citrus-y, thanks to the lemon.
I happen to think that juicy tomatoes and crunchy red onions are a match made in heaven.
Not only are they both colorful, but their flavors and textures will make any dish a million times better.
In this salad, they’re simply tossed together with a generous helping of citrusy mint dressing for something fresh and super fast.
If you’re looking for some high-protein, gluten-free alternatives to pasta or rice, lentils are the best choice.
They give any dish the same texture as rice, but they have a bean-like quality too, which is firm yet buttery.
If you’re unfamiliar with cooking lentils, check out this post for the easiest way to make them without them turning mushy.
Mung beans are another terrific and under-used member of the legume family.
They’re green and look a little bit like peas, though they taste more like potatoes to most people.
This recipe calls for sprouted mung beans, which means they have even more Vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus, and antioxidants than their unsprouted cousins.
You can sprout these beans yourself simply by adding them to a bowl of water.
Fruit custard is essentially an elevated fruit salad.
Instead of just chopped-up fruits in a bowl, this recipe calls for a creamy and dreamy custard to be poured over the top.
The easiest way to make the custard is with custard powder, but you can also use your favorite vanilla pudding.
This would be even better if you opted for tropical fruits, such as mango and pineapple, and made the custard using coconut milk.
Being an avocado toast/guacamole lover, I knew I’d love this dish before I took the first bite.
It’s creamy but still full of texture, thanks to the avocado chunks, tomatoes, and onions.
It’s also the perfect blend of citrus-y and warm, which you’ll get from the simple lemon and smoked paprika dressing.
Chickpeas are super high in protein and will make any salad that much more filling.
Use canned chickpeas to make your prep super fast, and if you want a touch of sweet color, try adding some canned corn to the mix, too.
The beauty of this salad is that you can just as easily use raw veggies as cooked.
So, if you have leftovers, feel free to throw them into a bowl with a quick lemon and oil dressing.
If you use raw veggies, just be sure to wash and dry them before dicing them relatively small.
You’ll want them small enough so that you’re not working too hard with each mouthful.
I’ve had variations of this salad all over the world.
The Swedes (and Scandinavians in general) like to add pickled veggies to the table for something refreshing with their meats.
In Thailand, they serve a small plate that has a touch of sweetness alongside satay chicken.
And, of course, they’re perfect to go on top of a taco!
If you like sweet and savory food, this mango salad will knock your socks off.
The trick is to cut the mango and cucumber into matchsticks, so you get the perfect blend in each bite.
The peppery red onion will enhance the sweet fruit, and it’s all made that bit tastier by a dressing made with green chili olive oil.
I usually buy matchsticks carrots for lazy days when I just want a quick coleslaw. But there’s always a bunch leftover.
This is the perfect recipe to use those carrots up and brighten up your lunch/dinner.
For such a simple salad, there are quite a few ingredients. But all you’ll have to do is throw everything in a bowl and toss it together.
If it’s too hot for curry but you’re still getting the craving, try out this fantastic butter chicken salad!
Instead of serving a big bowl of creamy sauce with rice and naan, this dish is much lighter.
Use just enough butter chicken sauce to coat the chicken, and then pour it over a bed of lentils, lettuce, and tomatoes.
Paneer is an Indian cheese made from curdled milk. It’s a lot like cottage cheese in flavor, but it’s more firm, like tofu.
Also, it doesn’t melt in the same way cheddar would, which means you can grill it and serve it in chunks over a salad.
Tandoori chicken starts with a marinade of Greek yogurt, lime juice, ginger, garlic, and a few key spices.
This dish is best with boneless chicken thighs cooked on a grill.
Once it’s piping hot and slightly charred, serve it over a bed of lettuce, fresh cucumber, and red onions slices, and plenty of chopped peanuts for added crunch.
This recipe is more like a traditional salad, only it uses spinach for a darker finish and boost of nutrients.
Still, it’s just as filling! This salad is loaded with lentils, cauliflower, radishes, and pistachios.
Also, the shallot, ginger, and seed dressing is impressive and adds a pleasant warmth.
Mooli lachha is a grated radish salad that should be eaten raw.
Since the radish has a slightly bitter taste, it’s best when you mix it with green chilies, salt, lemon juice, and chopped coriander.
It’s also nice with some fresh ginger.
Much like the tandoori chicken recipe from above, this is a wonderful option for when you want tikka flavors but don’t want a heavy curry.
Instead of a plate of lettuce and cucumber, this recipe calls for spinach, spring onion, carrot, cucumber, and chickpeas, so you’ll get plenty of flavors and textures.
There’s also a mango chutney and yogurt dressing to give it a fruity finish.
I adore samosas, but I know they’re not the healthiest.
Sure, they’re full of potatoes and peas, but they’re also usually deep-fried in oil, making them more of a once in a while treat.
This salad, on the other hand, you could eat guilt-free every day.
Full of spiced and roasted potatoes and chickpeas, shredded cabbage, carrots, peas, red onion, and a zesty dressing, you’ll want it for lunch and dinner!
Just look at the color of this salad! I’ll take a whole bowl, please!
Instead of a creamy dressing, you’ll make a spiced coconut “sambal,” which involves shredded coconut, mustard and cumin seeds, shallots, garlic, green chilis, turmeric, and curry leaves.
Once this is cooked, you’ll toss the carrot and cabbage into the mix, and the residual heat will warm and wilt the veggies.
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