Rice forms the main body of most Bhutanese meals, accompanied by one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Pork, beef and chicken are the meats most often eaten, while commonly eaten vegetables include cucumber, spinach, pumpkin (winter squash), turnip, radish, tomato, river weed, onion and green beans. I have added sprouted beans to this refreshing salad because we are not living high in the mountains and can have a bit more variety. Feel free to add whatever greens you like.
The Bhutanese serve soothing side dishes like this to temper their chilli-laden mains. They would use a local farmer’s cheese in this dish, but as it is only available in Bhutan, we’ll improvise with feta, which makes an acceptable substitute.
Put the cucumber in a food processor and give the machine four or five pulses, to chop the cucumber coarsely. Add the onion and give the machine another four or five pulses, to chop the onion finely.
(Alternatively, you could finely chop the cucumber and onion with a knife, but the blender makes it all nice and juicy.)
Combine in a bowl with the remaining ingredients, season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve.
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