I write this post with such a heavy heart. Even as I write, I am in disbelief that we lost Pappa, my dearest father, last week. As I grapple with my emotions, I know that my brother and I will always miss him. I remember my kind, loving, extremely witty, sports loving father, who was truly a gifted athlete himself. In his college days, he was the captain for Bombay University’s cricket team three years in a row! When I was growing up, I remember his many badminton tournament victories. In his later years, he went for his early morning walks, loved playing tennis, and going swimming. No matter which sport he picked, he was a natural at it!
I think that it was during his cricket days that he had his first taste of Russian salad and he took an instant liking to it. It quickly became one of his favorite dishes. I made my version of Russian salad for Pappa, when I visited him last December. Pappa was always very encouraging, supportive and proud of all of us. He had never cooked in his life but was so proud of my blog! I was so touched when I overheard him telling my cousin about the number of views my blog had got ….I know….it is like saying my kid got an A+ in preschool……but that is my father’s love and a treasured and precious memory for me.
Pappa was also a talented writer and orator. I hope to combine his love of writing, my Aai’s (mom’s) passion for cooking and my education in architecture in this blog………….all with their blessings, of course <3
For the Russian salad-
Instead of the ‘traditional’ dressing, I skipped the fresh cream and added a touch of the Russian salad dressing. I know that historically the salad has nothing to do with the dressing , but I liked the twang it gave the dressing:) That is why I called it ‘my version’ My mother used to make fresh homemade mayonnaise, which was simply awesome, but, again, I used store-bought. So my version is the lazy woman’s version.
- ½ cup good quality mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Russian salad dressing. I used Ken’s brand
- few turns of freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 1/8 teaspoon red chili powder
For the salad-
I added a pinch of salt to the boiling water when cooking the vegetables.
- 1 medium potato, boiled, peeled and cut into cubes. About 1 cup cubes.
- ½ cup chopped green beans, blanched
- ½ cup diced carrots, blanched
- ½ cup petite green peas, blanched
- ½ cup pineapple chunks. I used Dole brand
- ½ cup cooked and sliced beets. I used Del Monte canned beets
- ½ cup diced apple cubes. I used a Gala apple
- 2 eggs boiled, shelled and cut into 4s
- lettuce leaves to serve
To make the Russian salad-
- Combine and whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing.
- Fold in the potato cubes, green beans and peas, carrots, pineapple, beets and apple.
- Serve on the lettuce leaves, topped with the eggs.