Ancho chile and cranberry salad with paneer cheese

Spicy cranberry salad with paneer cheese

This morning I opened my eyes and did what I usually do, I reached for my phone to see what is going on in the world. I was faced with images and stories of violence from what happened in Nice, France last night. I can’t imagine any God, no matter what religion that would approve of this pointless violence that will achieve nothing but grief and heartache.

It isn’t just Nice that is targeted, there are many tragedies that barley makes the news but they are no less horrific. Lets stop in our tracks, just for a couple of minutes and appreciate what we have, the security of a lovely home with, often, lovely food cooking in the kitchen and family and friends. Make sure we take care of it!


I have spent some time reading my favourite blogs, checking out my favourite foodie party, Fiesta Friday and when I saw a recipe for Cherry chipotle salad and read the list of ingredients I knew I had to do it. It is created by the very talented food blogger, Julie, Hostess at Heart. Have a look at her blog and just get inspired.


I was so keen on making Julie’s salad I didn’t have time to source the ingredients and used what I had at home so here is my version. Strange but true I can’t seem to find any chipotle chile so I used Ancho instead. Ancho chiles are milder than Chipotle so I added dried chilli flakes to boost the heat.


Ancho chile dressing 

preparation time 5 minutes 

cooking time 0 minutes

serves 4


  • 3 dried ancho chile, rough chopped and soaked
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp crushed chilli
  • chopped coriander/cilantro
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp oil

Soak the abodo chilli in hot water.


ancho chiles soaking


Chop the onion, the garlic and place in a blender with the other ingredients. Blend until smooth.


Ancho chile bulgur wheat and cranberry salad

preparation time 40 minutes (includes cooking of the bulgur wheat) 

cooking time 0 minutes 

serves 4


  • 3 dl or 1 1/2 cup of cracked bulgur wheat
  • 1 handful of dried cranberries
  • 1 handful of cherries
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • coriander/cilantro, chopped and according to taste
  • 1 small courgette/zucchini
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 ripe avocado, cubed
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • toasted pumpkin seeds with salt and pepper, set some aside for garnish
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • the ancho chile dressing

Start by cooking the bulgur wheat in lightly salted water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Whilst the bulgur wheat is cooking slice the celery and courgette. When the bulgur wheat has cooked for 10 minutes turn the heat off, add the celery and courgette and let stand for another 30 minutes.

Once the bulgur wheat is cooked place it in a bowl and mix in the ancho chile dressing. Make sure everything is mixed and add the other ingredients. Pit and cut the cherries in to quarters and add.


ancho chile, cranberry bulgur wheat salad


Last taste with sea salt and if you can let it stand for a few minutes so the flavours can mix.


ancho chile, cranberry and bulgur wheat salad


The courgette is an Italian kind and delicious raw as well so I used this as a base to add more texture and flavour.


I pan fried sliced paneer cheese with some salt and pepper, plated up and served as one of the best vegetarian meals I have made.


Spicy cranberry salad with paneer cheese


I didn’t follow Julie’s delicious sounding recipe but it was the base and an absolute inspiration and it was just as good as I thought it would be!

This was way too good to keep to myself and I am bringing a big bowl to Angie’s Fiesta Friday!








6 Responses to “Ancho chile and cranberry salad with paneer cheese”
  1. michelleoblogoff says:

    Beautiful salad! I have taken a moment to remind myself just how good I have it in my little corner of the universe! Hope your weekend treats you well!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Michelle
      thank you so much! Thanks for sharing that you stopped as well, there is just too much strange and bad things going on!
      Take care and have a great week ahead 🙂

  2. chefjulianna says:

    Your creations are always so masterful, Petra! And this one is just as gorgeous! All of those flavours have my head reeling! Very inspirational! 😀

    • petra08 says:

      hi Julianna
      Thank you. I knew when I read Julie’s recipe that it would be good, even if I changed it it was absolutely bursting with flavour! Just amazing and I am glad you like it 🙂

  3. Sounds like a delicious vegetarian salad with the paneer cheese – which I have yet to try! Chipotles add a smoky flavor as well – I use to smoke my own jalapenos 🙂

    • petra08 says:

      hi Judi
      I have never smoked my own chillies! It sounds really interesting! It was a great salad, a new favourite 🙂

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