Curry Chicken, Blueberry and Cashew Nut Salad
I am not a salad person. Not even in the summer months. In actual fact when it gets really hot I crave a curry or a traditional South African stew with lamb chops and cabbage...hmmm. Okay you guessed it, it is, supposedly, summer in South Africa. I say supposedly because in Cape Town we have 2 seasons only: rainy or windy. If it's not raining we have hurricane strength winds. Okay, I exaggerate, but not by much.
But even I have to admit, for the purpose of a lunchbox, nothing beats a salad. But you have to pack it right or you get these terrible soggy leaves and everything is soggy. I tend to go for the lazy approach and prepare my salad in the lunchbox (so no washing up afterwards and no wasting any of the sauce!). For the curry sauce I use the following: 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon full fat plain yoghurt, 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar, ½ a teaspoon curry powder and ½ a teaspoon turmeric powder.
I just mix everything up the night before so it has time to sit but the other option is to microwave it for a few seconds to "cook" the sauce a bit. If all else fails use Ina Paarman's Creamy Curry sauce that is ready to pour as a substitute.
I then add about ½ a cup to ¾ cup shredded and cooked chicken directly into the sauce. Then I add ½ a cup of fresh blueberries (for sweetness) and ½ a cup of raw, unsalted cashew nuts (for crunch). I don't add cucumber or any other veggies as they tend to go a bit soggy too. If you do want to add some veggies I suggest to add it the next morning on top of the chicken mixture.
You are more than welcome to add some finely chopped red onions or green peppers or any other salad veggies you like but this combination with just salad leaves is perfect for me. Plus this allows me to prepare everything the night before up to this point, put it in the fridge and just add the fresh leaves the next morning.
I add 1 cup of fresh rocket leaves as the peppery taste goes so well with the curry chicken. I just place it on top of the mixture and don't mix it in for 2 reasons: firstly it doesn't really touch the saucy chicken so it will stay fresh and crisp until lunch time and secondly, I just grab a plate and turn the whole thing over and have a beautiful salad of green leaves on the bottom and my curry chicken mixture on top.
The quantities used are just an estimate. Salads are really hard to get wrong. Use what you have in the fridge and in the amounts you feel like.