I had this salad at my friend Kate's home last weekend and since then I was itching to make it myself and brag... oops! blog about it. When I walked into her deliciously smelling kitchen, I saw a neat pile of mango julienne and she was busy slicing the onions to strew over it. The combination of mangoes and onions seemed odd, but I kept quite, keeping in mind that she has surprised me in past, with more weird combination and exceptional results.
After she finished putting together the salad, I tasted it and instantly fell in love with it. The tang of the mangoes, with the sweetness of the chili pepper, and the mellowed bite of the onions with the crunch of the toasted peanut. Heavenly! "Just the salad would be my dinner", I declared. And then she opened the lids of her Chicken Jasmine Rice, Steamed Chicken in Lemongrass Chili-Garlic Black Pepper Sauce, Stir-fried Veggies in Oyster Sauce, which transported me to Malaysia and back.
Kate comes from the beautiful Borneo Islands and are dishes are authentic Malaysian. She whips up dishes in a jiffy, which are mainly steamed or stirfried, but are so packed with flavors. I had tried to recreate them in my kitchen, but with dismal result. However, this salad that I put together was as good as her, maybe because of its sheer simplicity. Kate told me this salad traditionally uses Thai Mangoes, but in US we do not get them and so both she and I settled for the Brazilian variety. She used toasted peanut, but I used walnuts. Why?? I had only walnuts in hand, that's why!
Here goes the simplest summer salad recipe.
Firm Brazilian Mango - 1 cut into julienne
(You can use any firm semi ripe mango)
Red Onion - 1 sliced
Red Chili Pepper or
Red Bell Pepper - 1 cut into julienne
Lime/ Lemon Juice - 2 tbsp approx
(I had squeezed half a lime, and not sure how much is that, in tsp measurement.)
Walnut or peanut - a handful roasted
Salt and pepper - to taste.
How I did it:
In a large bowl, add the julienned mangoes. The mangoes should be firm and not too ripe and sweet, else the flavor of the pepper and the onions will not gel together. The mangoes should be slightly sour-slightly sweet. The one we call Kaccha-Meetha Aam. The color of the flesh should be pale yellow. If you find the color of the mangoes in the pics to be bright yellow, blame it on my lame Photoshop skills!
Next strew some onions.
Finally add the red chili peppers. You can use the red bell peppers too. Squeeze in half a lime or lemon and let it stand for 15 miniuts.The lime, will mellow the onions a bit and not let the mangoes blacken. Do not salt it at this stage, else the onions and peppers will release water and make the salad soggy.
Just before serving add salt and pepper and a handful of toasted walnut or peanut.
Diabetic Platter: This dish very refreshing salad, that we can eat in moderation. Though mangoes are not a wise fruit option for diabetics, this recipe uses semi ripe variety, which are not too sweet. So I have assumed, they are okay to be indulged in. Still, keep the portion small and use only heart healthy walnut for the crunch factor. This salad pairs very well with spicy tandoori kebabs. I served it with my Tandoori Tilapia and the combination was superb.