Expedition to Goa
I went to Goa after a gap of six long years and was staying in Morjim, in the Northern part of Goa. North Goa is now famously associated with Russian tourists. I dunno much about Russia or what Russians do when they holiday, but was most excited to find this Russian owned bar called Bora Bora in Morjim. Most places in Goa are generally very touristy and none of them really offer any great sorta experience. My only agenda to go to a Russian owned space way beyond midnight was to check whether they served Russian Salad or not 😊😊
I’ve always wondered about history of the Russian Salad and whether it was an Indian invention like the Chicken Manchurian. But never really bothered to find out more about this dish. Being next to a Russian Bar rekindled fond memories of cubed Potato, boiled Eggs, Carrot, Beans and Green Peas mixed with mayo, demoulded like a dome. Till around 18-20 years ago, very single party menu or a hotel buffet had to have Russian Salad. It was unforgivable if it didn’t. The ande-wala mayonnaise (mayo made from egg yolk) did magic to this dish
History of the Russian Salad
‘Continental food’ was once a big draw in the main social circles of India. It was very cool to serve the likes of Chicken a la Kiev, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Cream of Tomato Soup and Cream of Chicken Soup and of course Russian Salad. So at Bora-Bora I asked for a Russian Salad and got something that they called Olivier Salad on their menu. I’ve seen this as part of Persian setups and it piqued my interest. After some digging, I was able to get to the history of the Russian Salad. It was earlier known as Salad Olivier named after it’s creator Chef Lucien Olivier of the famous French-style restaurant in Moscow called Hermitage. The dish was created sometime in the early 1860’s and had gourmet ingredients like caviar, capers, steamed game, crayfish tails and veal tongue in a Provençal salad dressing. The restaurant outlived the chef, who died in 1883 but closed down in 1917, when the Russian Revolution happened
A new chapter in the history of the Russian Salad started post the Russian Revolution. Potato and Peas replaced the fancy ingredients along with some veggies and fresh meat by sausage/boiled meat. It was all mixed up mayonnaise. I suspect this version became more popular as it had a more accessible recipe and spread to many parts of the world and the Russian Salad we know today is probably the Soviet version of the dish. At least that’s the version I’ve seen in India
Viva la revolución!!