No words can describe how annoyed I am of the sticky Indian summer heat… It’s just too hot! So, please don’t be surprised that the summer months are slowing down Masala Herb once again, but of course I am aching to cook properly soon! Anyway, today I am sharing one of the few dishes that I am actually preparing these days (because it’s just impossible to cook anything in this heat).
I mean seriously, we have been living on undressed raw fruits and veggies, mostly from the garden and untouched, just the way nature gifts it’s gems. Frequently I am also longing for diary products such as milk, yogurt and cheese. Acting as cooling agents, milk products make a great addition to veggies and also fruits.
The northern parts of the Indian subcontinent are maybe a bit more famous for their cooling milk based summer treats such as Lassies, Kulfi and Faloodas. These are healthy classics which have survived time again and we obviously love them. However, even during summer time I get those crazy cheese cravings which I can’t stop. The problem is that eating cheese during the Indian summer period causes digestion problems and it also heats up the body, which is rather a torturing experience in the heat. Basically this means: No Mc & Cheese!
But cheese types such as Mozzarella and Paneer have been accepted by my stomach without a grumble and if you can remember, I shared a Couscous Paneer Salad with Lemon Dressing and everybody’s favorite a Caprese Salad a few weeks ago. These salads have noticeably a Mediterranean touch and remind you of acceptable and great warm days. Another such salad that will satisfy your cravings includes the greek salad with feta cheese.
Feta is a white firm grainy cheese which has been produced from sheep and goat milk for many aeons in Greece, Turkey and also the Balkans. White cheese that has been made from cows milk can not be called Feta and in fact similar cow milk white cheese variations are also common under different names in the Mediterranean area. Feta cheese might sound exotic to some of us, but it has attracted lots of attention in Europe and that’s mostly due to the introduction of the Greek Salad.
So what better way then to follow the foot steps of the past to introduce Feta cheese to my readers in India (and of course the rest of the world too but today it’s more about India). I am aware of the fact that Feta Cheese is not always available all over India, in fact it’s still very rare. Although I did notice a surge in homemade products and organic feta cheese from local (foreignes) small businesses in Goa, but to cater India you need more then a few packets of cheese…
I salute the ones who have been able to produce cheese in this wet tropical climate and we are all glad that they have motivated this country to try and indulge new food products. Some of the noticeable cheese heroes in Goa are ‘Swiss Happy Cow Cheese’ and ‘Baba Cheese’. So, keep an eye on those products because they might just pop up in your nearest grocery store if they maintain the current product quality.
No doubt, Feta cheese produced locally always has a priority compared to imported cheese but of course it depends again where it originated and if it is highly branded. Some in Goa have been importing feta cheese from smaller farmers in Greece and those are usually known to be reliably tasty. On the other hand I and others have come across branded feta cheese, and mostly globally well known brands, which are not necessarily bad but most of those do lack the “freshness” and organic h0memade points which would turn me into a regular customer and fan of the product.
Feta Cheese is definitely available in the Indian metros and one can also buy it online, but to find artisan feta cheese might still be a trouble in cities such as Delhi and Bangalore. Have you, in your Indian city, come across homemade/organic quality feta cheese made in India? If yes, which has been your favorite? Please share your exciting food finds with us in a comment.
In the meantime I am sharing my take on the all famous Greek salad. Feel free to cut the veggies the way you want or just follow my way.
Useful info and topic related link tip! —> How to Make Feta Cheese (And WhyYou Shouldn’t) via NoshOn.it
- 5 medium sized Tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- 2 small onions
- 1 small capsicum
- 200 grams firm Feta cheese
- about 10 olives (kalamata olives preferred if possible)
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- ½ Tablespoon Vinegar
- pinch Salt
- pinch Pepper
- dried Oregano as garnish
- Wash all your veggies. Cut your tomatoes into dice, peel the cucumber if needed and half the cucumber and cut into thin slice.
- Peel the onions and cut into thin rings and also cut the capsicum into rings.
- Cut your Feta into cubes and add all the ingredients including the olives into a salad bowl.
- For the dressing mix the olive oil vinegar, salt and pepper well.
- Cover your salad with the dressing and garnish with dried oregano.
- Best enjoyed cooled