Best part is you can find all the ingredients locally
Kachumber is my favourite salad and if diced to just the right size, and given enough lemon juice, salt and pepper, it can be the best accompaniment for any Pakistani food. The other salads I make at home prove a bit more of a challenge. I first tried buying bottled salad dressing because I couldn’t have been bothered to scour the internet for solutions. But their chemically taste made me feel guilty and the cost didn’t make sense.
Then a relative of mine in London suggested I try the lighter easier salad dressings from one of her favourite fusion restaurants: Wagamama.
Wagamama is a restaurant chain noodle house which makes the cheapest and most flavourful Japanese soups, noodles and meat dishes. Here is one of their recipes that I have tried and tested at home in Karachi because the ingredients are cheaply and easily available.
Tip: I mix them fresh each time and keep in a jar in the fridge for a day.
Cucumber salad dressing
This makes enough for a family sized dressing. If you are experimenting for the first time and don’t know if your family will like it, just try smaller quantities
225ml of rice vinegar (don’t use just any vinegar because it won’t taste the same)
If you are wondering how much 225ml is, just consider it the same as a small juice tetrapack box
125g sugar (use white sugar and this is about one cup)
2.5cm fresh ginger (adrak) peeled and sliced
1 garlic clove (lassan) also peeled and sliced
225g cucumber (kheera) grated
6 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced (these are the long green tailed ones)
2 small red chillies, with the seeds taken out, chopped
Bring to a boil the vinegar, water, sugar, ginger, garlic in a saucepan.
Add a little salt.
Let it cool.
Put the grated cucumber and spring onions in a bowl.
Scatter chilies over them.
Strain through a colander/channi mesh the cooled dressing. Throw away the ginger and garlic.
Stir the mixture well and keep in the fridge for up to a week.