Traveling is a passion and the thing that I most look forward to when I travel is too roam the local markets and discover the hidden treasures. Buy souvenirs for friends and bring back memories from the travels which last beyond the journey. So as a habit before I travel I definitely scour the internet to understand which are the definite buys from the country I plan to visit.
While I was doing research for the trip before turkey, I discovered that the country is well known for its spices and particularly for a kind of red pepper unique to the country. Red pepper which is flaky in texture; intense red or orange in color and is also known as pul biber. It’s a pepper which without burning your palate gives a unique color and flavor to the food. It has a unique aroma, with a touch of saltiness (as salt is used while drying) and raisin like flavor. It can be used in place of red pepper or paprika.
So the mandatory trip to Grand bazaar was made (in my case multiple times), made easier by the fact that we were living right next to it. Nothing you might have read or heard about it really prepares you for the sight that this bazaar is! Even if you are a person who generally dislikes crowded places, which I must confess I am, cannot help but enjoy the spirit of this centuries old bazaar. I was mesmerized, hooked and enjoyed myself thoroughly bargaining with the shopkeepers.
So coming back to home I was desperately looking for ways to incorporate this exotic spice that I had brought back. I just didn’t want to substitute it into any other recipe for red pepper. Easier choice would have been to try and make a kebab of sort like the locals, but I am recently trying to eat healthy and was looking for such an option.
I finally found the Moroccan carrot & beet grated salad from simplyrecipes.com ( Moroccan Grated Carrot and Beet Salad )as the perfect platform to try out this exotic spice. I just simply substituted the paprika in the recipe with the pul biber. I have never had a more flavorful salad and also a very tasty way to incorporate beets into my diet. Please find the recipe below:
Moroccan grated carrot & beet Salad
- Two cups carrots(grated)
- 1 cup beet(grated)
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ teaspoon pul biber(or paprika)
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- Salt to taste
- Pinch of cayenne
- 2tbsps lemon juice
- 2tsps honey
- 2 tbsps mint leaves (optional)
Wash the grated beets gently under water to remove the excess color. Remove the excess water and mix with the carrots & raisins. In a small bowl mix together the balance ingredients to prepare your dressing and mix gently with the carrot & beet mixture. Rest the mixture for an hour to let the dressing blend in well. Blend in the mint leaves last before serving, however I choose to skip it, it’s up to you to use it or not. Serve chilled.