Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Broccoli and Guacamole Salad

The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico who used to make guacamole as early as the 16th century ! At that time guacamole was known as ahuaca-mulli which translates roughly to avocado sauce or avocado mixture. 

Ingredients :

1/2 Kg Broccoli cut into medium sized florets.

Guacamole :
3 Avocados - must be fully ripened.
1 Medium Sized Onion chopped and soaked in water for 10-15 minutes ( clears that onion smell ! )
1-2 Green Chilies , minced fine . Remove seeds if you want the guacamole mild.
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Minced Garlic .
2-3 Tablespoon Lemon Juice .
1 Firm Ripe Tomato , pulp and seed removed , chopped like onion - small bits .
Salt to taste .
3-4 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro leaves with tender stems . Parsley is good too if handy .
Keep a bowl of chilled iced water ready .

In another bowl of boiling hot water to which 1 teaspoon sugar and salt has been added throw in the broccoli , wait 30 seconds , drain , run under cold tap water and then plunge into the iced water . Keep broccoli in the water to prevent further cooking . Sugar is added to keep green vegetables green when boiling .

Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl .Using a fork mash the avocados - the mashed mixture should be a lumpy mess not a smooth paste !

Add the rest of the ingredients - mix around once or twice with a fork . Taste and adjust flavours . I sometimes add a  tablespoon or two of thick yogurt to enhance flavours - and increase the volume if I am running short !
Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation from the air reaching it. Refrigerate until ready to use .
When ready to serve , drain the broccoli - dry on a towel and serve as shown in the photograph with the guacamole in the center .
Guacamole is commonly used as a dip too . In which case serve with nacho / tortilla chips .

Avocados are also called alligator pears because of their shape and color . There are about four hundred varieties of avocado are found throughout Mexico and South America ! 
Avocado is a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Adequate intake of potassium can help guard against circulatory diseases, like high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke. Researchers have also discovered that avocados are rich in beta-sitosterol, a natural substance shown to significantly lower blood cholesterol levels.

On the flip side It's true that avocados are high in fat -- one reason they've earned the nickname "butter pear." A medium-sized avocado contains 30 grams of fat, as much as a quarter-pound burger.

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