What could be a better start to the evening than a comforting and wholesome fig and corn salad garnished with fresh basil leaves. My sister has a farm close to chandigarh and I had to visit her today for some work. She insisted that I pick some figs to take back home. I really must thank her, because the figs were beautifully ripe, succulent and juicy, and immensely inviting in their deep purple colour. Along with these I also plucked some fresh basil leaves and the idea to make a tasty salad had already popped in my head. The result was just as I expected- worthy of sharing the recipe! God bless my sister.
The dictionary defines a salad as something that is served cold. But over a period of time the concept of a salad seems to have evolved and we can have salads that can be devoured warm as well as cold. This particular salad tastes great when it is warm! Besides being tasty and super quick to make its very healthy and packed with nutrition. Its a delicious salad to perk up your summer evening. So, here goes the recipe!
Warm Fig and Corn Salad with Basil (Serves 4)
1 large onion chopped into small pieces
3 or 4 cloves of garlic chopped
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 and 1/2 cup of juicy corn kernels
1 large carrot peeled and cut into small pieces
5 figs, halved or quartered ( or more if you like)
About ten to fifteen basil leaves
Fresh coriander leaves
2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
salt and black pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a pan, but don’t let it overheat. add the garlic
and saute for half a minute. Now add the chopped onion and continue to stir fry till they become translucent and just begin to caramelize. Add carrots and corn kernels (The corn kernels can be pre- cooked in a microwave with 2 tsp water on high for about 1 minute). Stir fry for about 1 minute more. Transfer the veggies to the serving plate. Now place the halved figs flat side down in the same pan. Add a few more drops of olive oil. cook for 1 minute and turn the sides and cook for 30 seconds more. Transfer to serving plate. Drizzle some honey over the figs. Garnish with fresh basil and balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!
I am a physicist and the reaction which I most often get from people I meet for the first time is that of awe. “How come you studied Physics? That is one subject I really used to fear while in school. It is so confusing!” is the general reaction. And seriously, I try to look like my humblest best and not like a cat who licked the cream, because such statements do make me feel important and intelligent. But let me tell you a secret. I too dreaded one subject when I was in school- History.
Physics was at least a logical study leading to some conclusion and attempted to unravel the mysterious laws of nature. History is also a subject based on facts and figures and perhaps some logical or illogical thinking of the rulers and kings of the past. The worst were our teachers who took our exams; expecting us to write whole essays covering the life and conquests of these kings, generation after generation! One of our teachers just looked at the length of the answer. The longer the write up , more the marks you get. No wonder some of the brave ones in our class wrote movie stories in between the answer, filling pages after pages. The first two paragraphs and the last paragraph were only relevant to the question, the middle part of the answer was a cleverly hidden movie story. Also don’t forget all those dates associated with various wars that had to be mugged up. Please historians, don’t take offence, but I was really very relieved when I passed out of school and joined college where I had to study History no longer.
Time has passed. Now I love and enjoy travelling. I enjoy visiting different places steeped in History. It gives so much character to the place and I wish to explore more. History seems so much like fun and not a burdensome job of learning endless lists of dates. My perception towards the subject has now changed. I salute all those great leaders, kings, spiritual leaders and soldiers who have greatly contributed in making all the beautiful palaces, forts, minars,museums, gardens and various world heritage sites throughout the world. Many of these are also part of the seven wonders of the world. History is no longer my land of confusion.
I’m not really a great animal lover but I do have a healthy respect for all living beings and believe in a live and let live policy. I must confess that I am rather scared of dogs, although I have conquered this fear to some extent now as compared to when I was much younger. What I really love and enjoy is bird watching. I also think I am fortunate enough to be living in a beautiful place like Chandigarh (India) which is clean and green. The green cover is conductive and encourages the habitat of various bird species in the region. You can easily spot the brown and grey hornbills, parrots, woodpecker, hoopoe, eagles and cuckoo birds.There is a host of other birds like the sweet and swift hummingbird and so many more that I have yet to identify. Pigeons and mynahs love living close to residential areas and are not scared of humans. A lovey dovey pigeon couple has made a nest near our split air conditioner box (see picture) and the mynah is in the process of making her nest on the neem tree in my yard! The other day there was a full on fight between the parrots who are already nesting on the neem tree and this mynah and her mate. It really had to be seen to be believed. It simply amazes me! My daughter jokes that I’m on the way to becoming an expert on birds and their behaviour. Bird watching sure is therapeutic for me and I love clicking their pictures. Yes, bird watching is rewarding – it makes you pause and ponder and
appreciate the beautiful artistry of nature. It helps me to unwind and relax.
The pictures clicked in this post are with the help of my Iphone, which is ‘oh! so convenient’ as compared to a conventional camera. Phoneography is becoming a way of life in today’s times. My husband and I love clicking pictures of birds we spot around our home and on our morning walks in the beautiful gardens of Chandigarh. I would love to add that I really don’t care for a menagerie with animals or birds captive; I
would rather have them free and in their natural habitat.