I am yet to read a cookbook written by Yotam Ottolenghi, but I follow his column on the Guardian quite avidly. Last week, I came across his recipe for Alphonso Mango and curried chickpea salad and I HAD TO make it. Not only because it is the mango season in India (that makes the unbearable summers kinda worthwhile) but also because I love salads with fruit in them. It is not one of those boring salads that make you go – “Oh nooo, it’s a salad dinner” – but something you cant wait to dig your fork into – a bit of spinach, a few chickpeas and a juicy cube of mango for the perfect bite! What a delightful combination of flavours and textures they made, isn’t that what a good meal is all about?
One point of emphasis for those who’d like to try this recipe out – please grind the spice mix fresh. I saw the ingredients – mustard seeds, cumin and coriander seeds – dry roast and grind. The lazy efficient cook in me said, “Wait, don’t we have all those powders, why not just mix them up”. The conscience spoke up. And I dutifully measured out the spices on to a hot kadai, roasted them for a bit and crushed them in the mortar pestle – the aromas that came up to my sensitive nose said – “well done girl! This was worth it”. And then again, when we finally ate the salad, the fresh ground spices made ALL the difference!
Here’s my adaptation of Chef Ottolenghi’s recipe.
Mango – Curried Chickpea Salad
Makes 2 BIG salads