Blogs » Health » Smart Salads by Chef Kaviraj Khialani

Smart Salads by Chef Kaviraj Khialani


    Tossing up a healthy bowl of goodness!

    By: Dr. Kaviraj Khialani- Celebrity Master Chef


    It’s that time of the year when people want to usually indulge in a lot of salads since it gives us complete nutrition and also the freshness of the ingredients and indulgent flavors really entice our palates.

    To some of us salads are a part of daily life and they perfectly blend into their systems and routines come what may & for many of us salads just happen once in a while or when we actually feel the urge to bite into. We also need to remember that these are trying times with the pandemic around us and we need to keep our immunity levels strong and heads up on being very careful what is going into our plates & salads are one of the effective ways to flush in the dietary requirements to keep us strong and protected against any antigens.

    A lot of people these days are following various kinds of diets and each one has its own exotic choice to the regulars and to using leftovers too. Some get carried away while a few of them want to start it for a first time experience. In these times of work from home concepts it becomes a little challenging at times to manage work, the chores at home and above all weight management and we often keep indulging in the not so healthy options and calorie gaining foods.

    Seafood, meat, chicken, fish, assorted fresh vegetables, tofu, paneer etc to find their way into the bowl and get tossed into some unbelievable concoctions. I also personally enjoy mix-n-match combos with salads since it is easy to play around the colors and flavors.

    Using lentils, pulses, grains, superfoods too is a good idea once in a while. Now we are also heading towards the farm to plate concept which offers us the fresh and healthy produce tossed in choice of dressings served warm or cold, use fresh fruits in the form of dressing as well for instance using raw papaya puree, a ripe chickoo paste, custard apple pulp too works well.

    I often come across a number of queries regards to how to go about making a good salad? and my simple reply would be pick- match- toss - taste and serve as warm or chilled option. There are no trade secrets as such to make salads. Once are aware of our basic ingrients around us, then it gets easy to get going on a culinary extravaganza!

    Some of the most popular health benefits of salads:

    • Adds fiber into our diet, packed with healthy nutrients.

    • Salads make a good add on to a meal table in its freshest form dressed up in the choicest dressings.

    • They also help us detoxify and regulate blood pressure and help lower blood pressure.

    • Salads are good fillers and bulk providers during meal timings and a nice bowl full of them keeps us full and helps curb hunger pangs.

    • Salad leaves, assorted lettuce like iceberg, cos and romaine are high in water content. Also kale and the green varietals etc are good source of iron.

    Suggested Ingredients This Season for Salads:

    Leaves: assorted lettuce from iceberg, Lollorosso, cos, chicory, romaine, endive etc. also use baby spinach leaves if available or else simply steam the regular spinach leaves and use we also have options of white and purple cabbage as well to add to the salad bowls. Not to forget fresh herbs like basil, parsley, coriander, mint, chives, spring onions etc in salads.

    Fresh Vegetables: green cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, assorted bell peppers, mushrooms, Babycorn, sweet corn, sweet potato, lotus stem, pumpkin, broccoli etc.

    Fresh Fruits: watermelon, papaya, figs, oranges, pears, apples, grapes, mango as it is in season now, bananas, chickoo etc.

    Legumes, Grains & Pulses: boiled kidney beans, chickpeas, black eyed beans, variety of rice from brown rice to unpolished varieties, black rice is getting popular as well these days. I also recommend using variety of sprouts for salads from the basic green moong sprouts to the others.

    Seeds/Nuts and Oils: flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, char magaz, hemp seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, roasted almonds, sliced cashews, soaked raisins and apricots, walnuts and berries too! Olive oil is the most popularly used one do try flavoured versions too with herbs in it, also avocado oil is popular with salads, also to add to the variety is tender coconut- the malai part from the inside of a fresh coconut shell is great to add to salads.

    Here are some easy, healthy, nutritious & wholesome salad recipes for our readers to try!

    Recipe- 1] Nutty Tossed Veggie Pasta Salad


    For the base of the salad:

    Assorted lettuce leaves- 1 cup

    For the body of the salad:

    Boiled fusilli pasta- 2 cups

    Boiled sweet corn- ½ cup

    Diced green capsicum- ½ no

    Cherry tomatoes – 4 to 5 cut into halves.

    Red radish/white radish/cucumbers- ½ cubed.

    Assorted fresh herbs- 2-3 tbsp.

    Sliced green grapes- ½ cup

    For the dressing of the salad:

    Olive oil- 2 tbsp.

    Lime juice- 2 tbsp.

    Mustard paste-1 tsp

    Salt and crushed black pepper- to taste

    Roasted crushed cumin powder- ½ tsp

    Honey- 1 tsp.

    For the garnish of the salad:

    Roasted crushed peanuts/assorted nuts- 2 tbsp.

    Fresh herbs- as desired

    Micro greens- for garnish.


    1. Prepare all the ingredients for the salad.

    2. In a mixing bowl combine together the dressing and the body.

    3. Toss well, arrange the base on a serving plate.

    4. Serve the salad, garnish appropriately.

    * for non-veg options – Try using boiled eggs, chicken sausages, boiled chicken/ prawns/fish cubes.


    Recipe -2] Tex-Mex Sprout and Cabbage salad


    For the base of the salad:

    Assorted lettuce leaves- 1 cup

    For the body of the salad:

    Beansprouts- 2 cups.

    White cabbage- 1 cup shredded

    Purple cabbage- 1 cup shredded

    Cubes of cucumber- ½ cup

    For the dressing of the salad:

    Olive oil- 2 tbsp.

    Tomato sauce- 1 tbsp.

    Chili sauce- 1 tsp

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Mango pickle with its masala- 1 tsp.

    Chili flakes- 1 tsp

    Mixed herbs-1/2 tsp

    For the garnish of the salad:

    Cherry tomatoes- 3 to 4 slices

    Black/green olives- 3 to 4 sliced

    Fresh parsley- 2 sprigs.

    Jalapenos/olives- 2 to 3 sliced


    1. Arrange all ingredients for the salad.

    2. In a mixing bowl combine together the dressing ingredients, mix well add in the body of the salad.

    3. Toss well, check for seasonings, adjust to taste.

    4. Arrange the base on a serving plate, portion the salad for serving, garnish and serve immediately.

    * for non-veg options: Try the same salad with roast chicken slices, sliced seekh kababs, grilled fish, saute shrimps, shreds of salami etc.


    Recipe-3] Chicken Vermicelli Toss Salad


    For the base of the salad:

    Blanched spinach leaves- 1 cup, tossed in little olive oil and chopped garlic with salt and pepper.

    For the body of the salad:

    Boiled rice vermicelli- 2 cups

    Boiled chicken- 1 cup shredded

    Assorted capsicums- ½ cup shredded

    Diced tomatoes-1/2 cup

    Shredded double fried egg- 2 nos.

    For the dressing of the salad:

    Water- 1 cup

    Peanut butter- 2- 3 tbsp.

    Soy sauce- 1 tbsp.

    Red chili sauce-1 tsp

    Crushed black pepper- ½ tsp

    Chili flakes-1 tsp

    Fresh basil- 3 to 4 sprigs

    For the garnish of the salad:

    Sliced spring onion greens- 2-3 tbsp.

    Roasted crushed peanuts- ¼ cup

    Fresh parsley/coriander leaves- 2 tbsp.

    Gherkins- 2 tbsp. chopped/sliced.


    1. Prepare all the ingredients for the salad.

    2. Blanch and saute the spinach and keep aside.

    3. In a saucepan, mix together all ingredients for the dressing, add water if it gets too thick, mix well.

    4. Cook the dressing for 2 to 3 mins, remove keep warm.

    5. In a mixing bowl, combine together the body and dressing ingredients.

    6. Arrange spinach on a serving plate, portion the salad on top, garnish and serve it warm.

    * for veg options: Use grilled tofu, mushrooms-saute first, blanched baby corn, boiled sweet potatoes, assorted zucchini cubes- blanched.

    On a concluding note:

    Tossing up salads is one of the easiest things to do when it comes to cooking, the no- gas options work the best to stay away from the heat in summers. Make a list of ingredients “to toss today” on your notepad and get them organised in your kitchen a day prior to avoid last minute chaos, it is always a good idea to play with colors and textures so walk your way ahead positively and do indulge into them and be salad smart!

    Brief About the Writer:

    Dr. Kaviraj Khialani- celebrity master chef, is a Mumbai based food & health- lifestyle and hospitality consultant. He is a renowned academician, author and winner of numerous national and global awards for his excellence in the field of culinary arts. He is specialised in over 33 international cuisines and has been featured on several food shows on colors television & star plus.





































  • Hoteliersweb .
    Hoteliers Web announced their top 25 Housekeepers from South East Asia, Middle East and Africa in a virtual live event on 15th November 2020. The virtual event and this power list is one of hotel industry's first, and at hoteliers web we believe it's a great beginning. There are a lot of fraterni...
  • Hoteliersweb .
    Prabhat Shukla is the President of Asian Housekeepers Association & President of Qatar Housekeepers Association. He believes that taking care of his people is the key to his success. He is an innovator, motivator, and visionary with a history of securing, building, and retaining key talen...
  • Hoteliersweb .
    Tatjana Ahmed is the Functional Specialist Housekeeping for Hyatt Hotels and also is the Chair Lady for the UAE Professional Housekeepers Group since 2011. A passionate Housekeeping Professional with more than 30 years of experience in 5 Star Hotel Management. Her extensive experience and passion h...
  • Hoteliersweb .
    Meenu Tognatta is an Advisor and Life Member for Professional Housekeepers Association and also a member of International Housekeepers Forum in India With over 38 years of experience in the Hospitality Industry Covering journey of becoming a Divisional Corporate Housekeeper of ITC Hotels. She has...
View All