During Navaratri, I get invited to several homes to see Kolu and for Haldi-Kumkum. One of the side effects of this is the number of betel leaves and fruits that accumulate at home. I normally give away the betel leaves to my maid. Last year I made Paan Shots with some of them. Yesterday I tried this adapted this and tried it with Betel leaves.
Bai Cha Plu is a wild pepper leaf found in Thailand and Vitenam. It is also sometimes called Wild Betel Leaf.
What did I like about this salad?
- First there was the multiple levels of crunch; from the betel leaf itself, from the peanuts, and from the carrot. Fun while munching. 🙂
- Then there was the dressing which incorporated such a medley of flavours; tamarind, lime, palm sugar, and soy. The explosion of myriad tastes in the mouth was fun.
- Then there was the spice from the Thai Red Chillies and from the betel leaf itself.
All in all a memorable experience. I am going to experiment with using the wonderful dressing on other salads. I quite fell in love with it.
Time: 10 Minutes
- Betel Leaves – 16-20
- Mint Leaves – A Handful
- Shredded Carrot – 1/4 Cup
- Roasted Peanuts – 1/4 Cup
- Thai Red Chillies – 2 (These are very hot so watch out)
- Palm Sugar – 1 tbsp
- Tamarind Extract – 3/4 tsp
- Lime Juice – 1 tbsp
- Light Soy Sauce – 1 tsp
Method to Make the Dressing
- Mix together the palm sugar, tamarind extract, lime juice, and soy sauce.
- Mix well till the sugar dissolves.
Method to Make the Betel Leaf Salad
- Cut the betel leaves into 1/2″ pieces.
- Lightly crush the roasted peanuts.
- Lightly bruise the mint leaves.
- Chop the Thai Red Chillies into fine pieces.
- Mix together the betel leaves, mint leaves, shredded carrot, peanuts and red chillies.
- Drizzle the dressing over it.