I've been MIA. I know. But, to be fair, I've got a valid reason for it. Several infact. So let me actually list them out for you.
1. I came back to Delhi in February, only to learn in May that I wasn't going to back to Islamabad.
2. So, basically, since my husband got expelled from Pakistan rather abruptly, it meant we were moving cities again.
3. Which meant we had to repack, relocate and realign. That's something that's taken me a while to figure out.
4. This also meant that we moved to a new place and we had to get the kitchen remodelled. That took forever and it depressed me that I could not cook. But for the last 72 hours I've now got a working kitchen.
5. Also, I never brought my laptop with me, so it was a bit hard to blog from just about anywhere. But it's now unpacked and out.
Yup, that's right. This is the long and short of the last six months of my life. It's been hard, to say the least, but with plenty of support from my friends and family, I've, well, made it so far.
The good news though is that with a fully functional kitchen that's pretty spacious for an apartment, I have to say is giving me great vibes. Which means lots of cooking coming my way. (Yay!)
One of the problems of not having a functional kitchen is that you have to eat three meals a day at a restaurant or order in. And if one thing I've learnt, it's that you cannot, just CANNOT eat pizza all the time. Actually coming to think of it, we only ordered pizza once.
What we did order in a lot from was Speedy Chow. It was fast, effective and really really nice contrary to a few of the reviews on Zomato.
There was one thing that I ordered off the menu atleast 20 times in the last two months - the cold green bean salad in a coconut peanut dressing. I remember ordering it for the first time in May, and it was love at first bite. The just-right crunchy beans in a sweet-tangy-salty dressing with peanuts and crispy onions and garlic just totally hit the spot. I'd order it even if I wasn't hungry and was super happy to eat it the next day, where I thought it tasted even better.
Which is perhaps why, one of the first things I had to try replicate at home was this salad. In my head, it was pretty easy to make. Blanch the beans, make a dressing with peanut butter and coconut milk and toss in some of the condiments.
And I was right! It really was super easy to make. The only catch I realised was that the dressing was more like a marinade and that the salad really needed to sit for a minimum of four hours to soak in all the yummy flavours.
So here goes, the salad that got me through this summer:
Green Bean and Peanut Salad
250 grams green beans
2-3 tblsp creamy peanut butter
2 tblsps warm water
1/4 cup coconut milk
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic
1/8 tsp chilli flakes
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
Roasted and salted Peanuts
1. Remove the strings from the green beans and cut them into 1 inch pieces.
2. Boil water with salt and blanch the beans for 5-8 minutes. Drain. Wash with cold water.
3. In a separate bowl, add water to the creamy peanut butter and whisk till smooth. Add coconut milk and lemon juice, salt, sugar, chilli flakes and garlic. Whisk till completely emulsified. Taste for the balance and add more salt or sugar or lemon juice as you please.
4. Add the dressing to the beans and refrigerate it immediately.
5. Let it sit in the dressing for atleast four hours or preferably over night.
6. When you're ready to serve top with roasted and salted peanuts, fried onions and fried garlic.