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
– 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.