When I talk about potato salad I have to talk about Christmas as there is no other day I so closely connect with it. For my and many other families in Germany it is traditional to eat potato on Christmas Eve as it is considered a Christian fasting day and the food should be simple and vegetarian.
The christmas potato salad of my family was always made by my grandmother, but it was neither simple nor vegetarian. Apart from gherkins and onions it also had apples, chives, pickled herring, cabanossi and eggs. It was a wild mixture of flavours and extremely delicious.
I actually never wondered why my grandmother put all these crazy things in it and when this started. But after having made it through the war and afterwards many years of counting every penny, there must have been a sense of indulgence once the German economy grew. Ingredients were suddenly affordable and my grandma started to add them lavishly to our christmas salad and that’s how it became such an elaborate affair.
I haven’t eaten grandmas potato salad now for many years and it also seems a bit outdated in times like these (I would still enjoy though). But simple or lavish, potato salad will always be one of the best things I can think of and make me feel at home and comfortable. Here is my version for the year 2018.
There is an egg and apples, coriander, turmeric and a lot of sprouts, as sprouts and potatoes are simply meant to be together. It is a damn good potato salad and I had it for lunch now five days in a row! You should do that too, at least once.
You will have to start 1 – 2 days before with growing the sprouts. Don’t let that discourage you, it is hardly any work and feels a bit like growing your own vegetables. I’ll explain you how to do it.
Potato and Sprouts Salad
For 2 - 3 people as a main dish.
- A handful of whole mung dal and/or chickpeas (white or black are both fine)
- 500 gram potatoes
- 5 gherkins
- 1 onion
- 1 apple
- a small bunch coriander
- 2 handful sprouts
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 - 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon pickling liquid (from the gherkins)
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt (or more)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (or honey)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
Start 1 or 2 days ahead with soaking the dal/chickpeas in a sufficient amount of water for about 8 hours or overnight.
Strain off the water and wash them in fresh water. Take a clean cotton kitchen towel, dip it in water and wring it out. Layer a colander with the towel.
Add the drained dal/chickpeas into the colander and fold the corners of the towel over them. Keep the colander on a plate at a relatively warm place in your kitchen.
Sprouts need a humid and slightly warm environment to grow. Check from time to time if the towel is still moist. In Indian climate my sprouts are normally ready after 10 hours. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen it might take a bit longer. It doesn’t matter how long the sprouts are, the dal/chickpeas are eatable as soon as you have soaked them. Keep the sprouts in the fridge, they will keep growing at a very slow pace and keep fresh for about a week.
Boil the potatoes in generously salted water. Boil the eggs in another pot.
While eggs and potatoes are boiling cut the gherkins, onions and apple in small cubes (you could peel the apple, but I don’t). Clean and chop the coriander (leaves and stem, it’s all tasty).Add all the dressing ingredients in a glass jar. Close the lid and shake vigorously till it emulsifies.
When the eggs are ready, peel them and set aside.
Once the potatoes are boiled, drain the water and wait till they have just cooled enough to be peeled. Peel and cut in slices (or whatever shape you prefer). Layer with all other ingredients and add the dressing. You can now either eat it immediately or mix everything well and let it soak for a few hours.
Whenever you are ready to eat, cut the eggs in half and serve on top.