suvir saran & an amazing masala slaw May 25, 2011

Before the blur of my BlogHer Food/Atlanta Food & Wine Festival weekend, I was invited to an intimate lunch with the National Peanut Board at Cook’s Warehouse here in Atlanta. They have several well-known chefs who have aligned themselves with the organization and, that day, I had the pleasure of meeting Suvir Saran. If you don’t know who Suvir is, you should. He’s owner of Devi in NYC, a cookbook author and an advocate for farmers and a plant-based diet (not to be confused with vegetarianism). He’s a little mouthy, straightforward and no-holds-barred. While I can see how his honest approach about food, childhood obesity and the importance of farming might make some people squirm a bit, I was touched and quite appreciative of the time I got to spend with Suvir.

Amongst all the conversation, there was food. Incredible Aloo Potato dumplings, his infamous Fried Chicken Masala (for those eating meat) and this slaw. A convergence of traditional cole slaw and Indian/Asian flavors which had my name all over it. Tangy, spicy, crunchy – and no oil or fat to speak of. I pretty much obsessed about this recipe until I couldn’t not make it anymore – I paired it with a curry rubbed seared ahi tuna which was a brilliant combo. While wrangling all the spices for this slaw was a tad time-consuming, trust me it’s worth it. Once you get the spices done, this slaw comes together in a flash. So much flavor and so good for you – this is sensational on its own and easy to serve with a variety of things at an upcoming cookout.

A quick side note: I’ve been following Suvir on Twitter since his appearance on Top Chef Masters. At the time of this writing, Suvir is home in India with his ailing father. My thoughts are with him and his family.

Masala Slaw – recipe by Suvir Saran from his book American Masala and the National Peanut Board website – serves 6 to 8 as a side dish

  • 1 3/4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 1/2 tsp citrus vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp chaat masala – I made a makeshift version with fennel seeds, cumin seeds, garam masala, ground ginger, cayenne & paprika
  • 1/4 tsp toasted cumin
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground peppercorns
  • 9 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno (seeded and veined for less heat), finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, halved, cored and finely sliced
  • 1 cup chopped roasted peanuts

– Whisk the ginger, lime juice, vinegar, sugar, chaat masala, toasted cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and ground peppercorns together in a large bowl. Add the scallions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro and mint leaves, and toss to combine. Add the cabbage and toss with your hands, making sure to coat in thoroughly with the other ingredients. Sprinkle with the peanuts and serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 hours, sprinkling with peanuts just before serving.



Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) May 25, 2011 11:05 am

The recipe looks wonderful! What an awesome opportunity to dine with Suvir at the luncheon. How fun!

I love Indian food, and one day, it’s on my life’s bucket list to make a pilgrimage to India! This recipe is a good start :)

sarah @ two tarts May 25, 2011 01:05 pm

Ooh, I love indian food too. I haven’t tried a dish with fresh (vs cooked) ingredients yet though. Looks good!

Shef from Shef's Kitchen May 25, 2011 03:05 pm

It really does look delicious! Wish I could have attended BlogHerFood. Found your website from the Plate to Pixel food photography book. This post caught my eye but now i’m on to finding one about lenses! Thanks!

kelly@melissas May 25, 2011 05:05 pm

That really sounds great. I can see how you got to “can’t not make it” fairly quickly! I’m halfway there already…

Kimberley May 26, 2011 03:05 am

Oh Em Gee. You know what one of my summer goals is? Creative cole slaws. Seriously.

Carrie May 26, 2011 09:05 am

It is amazing to me how wonderful and versatile peanuts can be. I need to learn more about Indian food. Thanks for the start :)

Dennis May 26, 2011 10:05 am

I dig fooling with cole slaw recipes in the spring and summer. This sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Elle May 26, 2011 01:05 pm

This so perfect and light, and great for cookouts, like you said. Looking forward to trying this one.

Sounds like you had a wonderful time meeting Suvir, too!

Kulsum at JourneyKitchen May 26, 2011 02:05 pm

Looks wonderful. I can’t wait to try this along with fried chicken.

Maris (In Good Taste) May 27, 2011 07:05 am

Delicious recipe for a different take on slaw. Have a great weekend!

Cheryl May 27, 2011 09:05 pm

I made it–It’s delicious. Now let’s see if my neighbor’s agree when I bring it the BBQ tomorrow–fingers crossed…but I have a hunch :) Thanks for the recipe.