How to make salata hara (spicy Arabian salsa)

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Salata hara, or ‘hot salad’, is perhaps the most common condiment served with local food in the Persian Gulf.

Salata hara accompanies chicken, lamb, fish, and rice dishes to wash them down with a saucy kick.

It is very similar to Mexican fresh salsa, though the Arabian-style salata hara is made with green birds eye chili (or local, less spicy versions of a green chili) as opposed to jalapeno peppers. Salata hara also contains a few different spices.

But it’s just as easy to whip up as a Mexican salsa, provided you have a blender and some fresh vegetables on hand (you could very easily make this without a blender – slicing and dicing the vegetables – it will just take a little longer).

20140509-012146.jpgIngredients:
7-10 medium size tomatoes
6-10 green birds eye chili peppers
1 large onion
1 bunch fresh cilantro (also known as coriander)
1 bunch fresh mint leaves
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1 lime

20140509-012153.jpgStep 1: Chop up the tomatoes, onion and about a cup each of the mint and cilantro leaves.  You could just put them in a blender, but the final consistency will be more even if you break things up first. Peel the garlic cloves and leave them whole.

20140509-012137.jpgStep 2: Cut the chili peppers. For an extra spicy blend, leave the seeds and membrane (the hottest part of the pepper). If you prefer it just a little less hot, remove the seeds and some of the membrane. Warning: consider using gloves and protective eyewear while cutting these peppers. Depending on the pepper, serranos can burn.

20140509-012130.jpgStep 3: Blend the mint and cilantro first on low.

20140509-012208.jpgStep 4: Add the other ingredients – including the cumin, salt and juice from a squeezed lime – to the food processor and blend on low.

And you’re done. Simple as that. You may need to add more salt to taste. Enjoy!

 

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