Saturday, October 17, 2009

Diwali & Salsa

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Diwali or the festival of lights, transforms the entire nation overnight. Everyone is in high spirits weeks before the festival. The malls are brimming with activity as everybody is busy shopping for gifts. You can hear firecrackers go off in the evening and mostly people are in a good, festive mood. The art of gifting during diwali has also witnessed a major shift in the past few years. The traditional sweet boxes made way for dry fruits which in turn gave way to designer chocolates. These are now making way for other innovative gifts.
We decided to step away from tradition this time and decided to gift some homemade salsa alongwith diyas (lamps). Salsa, or simply sauce, is attributed to Mexico and it's very name implies Mexican food. However, it goes beyond. Records date salsa back to the Aztecs, Mayans and Incans. For more on Salsa and it's history, please visit this site.
There are various kinds of salsa with the most common one being a combination of tomato, onions and chillies. Variations without tomato, involving peaches, mangoes and cactus are common.The classic tomato salsa is also popularly known as Salsa Ranchero or Salsa Mexicana. Salsa Verde involves green tomatillos. Traditional salsas do not involve oil and rely on the fresh flavor of the vegetables. They are also a very healthy choice to include in your meals. My version below is not too classic,but does not deviate too much.

Happy Diwali 2009 !!!

Tomato Salsa


Tomatoes, ripe & firm - 10
Serrano Chiles, finely chopped- 3
Onion, finely chopped - 2
Cilantro, finely chopped - large bunch
Jalapeno Peppers, finely chopped - 2
Garlic, minced - 5 cloves
Juice of limes - 4 Tblsp
Olives, finely chopped - 6
Salt - To Taste
Sugar - 2 Tsp
Black Pepper-2 Tsp

1. Blanch the tomatoes by cutting a small cross in the bottom of each tomato. Put them in boiling water for 10 seconds and refresh under cold running water.The skins will begin to peel back from the crosses. Remove the skins completely.
2. Deseed the tomatoes and chop finely.
3. Combine with all other remaining ingredients.
4.Mix gently so that all ingredients are coated with the lime juice and the sugar and salt have dissolved.
5. Chill in the refrigerator before serving.


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