Hello again! How's everyone doing? Hope wellI!
So is it just me or is everyone just done with the wrath of winter? I guess, us New Englanders are still reeling from the harsh winter we had this year. It wasn't actually too bad till December hit, but January onwards it was madness. It's almost May and I'm still wearing a winter jacket when I'm outside.
One way to beat the winter blues is to channel summer in your mind, and another way to do that is with this refreshing summer salad, that screams fresh and bright! It is also our second installment of our Mango-themed summer foods that you'll see coming more of, in the near future.
Anyway, not to reiterate, but I LOVE Mangoes. Love. Love. Love. Especially Indian Mangoes. I've had Mangoes from other regions but the Indian kind just shouts refreshment and sweetness like no other, which makes it an ideal summer fruit.
The Indian Mango Summer Salad was born as happenstance, when I was invited to a summer potluck. I quickly tossed together whatever protein I had at hand, with some spices and a Mango–which happened to be lying around. Tossed in some veggies, some cilantro and spices, and voila a summer food tradition was born!
There is nothing like getting your protein from a vegetable, it's gentle on your body and easy on the wallet, plus it tastes pretty awe-some! Who cares about healthy at that point? This salad is so easy to make, requires no cooking (except for fire-roasting the pepper if you choose to do so) and is a potluck hit. The exotic flavors of the Mango, and the smoky Chipotle, the Cumin and Corriander bring a fresh and unique twist to a traditional chick pea salad you had before.
So let's get to it! Who's excited to make some Indian Mango Summer Salad?! C'mon! Gimme a M! Gimme an A! Gimme a N! Gimme a G! Gimme an O!
Chick Pea & Indian Mango Summer Salad
2 cans Chick Peas (I used Organic & salt-free)
1 Ripe Indian Mango (soft to the touch)
1 Medium size green bell pepper
1 Medium size orange bell pepper
1 cup fresh chopped Cilantro
1/2 Small red onion
1 Lime (juiced)
1 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Cumin powder
1/2 tbsp Corriander powder
1 tbsp Chipotle powder
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
OK! Let's make! Let me just start by saying, that this salad is so easy, that the hardest and the most time consuming thing you'll do is roast the orange bell pepper. Yeah. Why do we roast it? Because it adds a bit of smoke and a hint sweetness, which as a combination is also reminiscent of Summer barbecue flavors. Plus, it's a bit more interesting when it's roasted and more satisfying!
To fire roast the pepper, just wash it really well, wipe it down and gently rub a tiny bit of oil all over the outside. Start your stove and with a pair of tongs place the pepper directly on the flame, and keep turning till you see some nice char marks. Should take all of 2-3 minutes. Turn off stove, remove and let it rest and admire its beauty. I really like the look of a freshly roasted bell pepper (and Quail eggs) it looks so vibrant, charred and kinda bad ass! Take a look.
I knew you'd agree :)
While the pepper is resting and cooling down a bit, we chop up the green peppers, the onions and Cilantro and finally the Mango. When done, toss them all in a big mixing bowl.
At this point the fire roasted pepper has probably cooled down enough to be handled. Chop it up the same way as the other ingredients and toss it in the same mixing bowl.
Pop open your cans of chick peas and rinse them really well. They should smell clean and not of any acid of anything else, as I've noticed in some brands of canned Chick Peas. I do love to use either Whole Foods or Trader Joe's Organic canned chick peas (not a paid endorsement) but go with whatever you're at home with.
And finally the last steps. In a mortar pestle grind up some Cumin seeds into a fine powder (if you didn't start with seeds just toss the Cumin powder in the bowl with all the other ingredients)
Crushing fresh Cumin does make a difference, and that's where the little things add up. The act of cooking becomes a bit more involved, a bit more personal when you go that extra step.
I mostly use fresh ingredients, but in the case of chick peas, the soaking and boiling them takes much longer (you have to soak them the night before) but when I'm craving a bit of convenience, the canned kind it is, but the good kind.
So we have our powders— Cumin, Corriander, and Chipolte. Toss them into the bowl and add salt, Lime juice and Olive oil. Mix up everything really well, making sure that you're not breaking down any of the Mango pieces or the Chick peas to a mush. Salad mixing spoons work great.
And with that, we have salad! That was easy, wasn't it? I hope you enjoyed reading this recipe. You have to try and make this salad next time you're craving a satisfying, healthy and refreshing meal, that's unlike anything you've had before. Looks gorgeous, tastes even better—I guarantee it. And if you don't love it, I can personally come over and help you out with that problem.
As an option to balance out the good (you know where we're going with this) take some Ciabatta, toast it, and a butter it up a bit as a toasty and crunchy accompaniment to your salad. It goes really well with the tender chick peas and the sweet Magno. This minor crime is well worth it and doesn't really offset the good you're going to do to your body…trust me, I'm a chef.
Well, there you have it! Mango Madness part 2 is history! For the next iteration of Mango Madness, I think I might do a bubbly Mango Mojito! Yum! So look out for that one! If that doesn't scream summer, then I don't know what does. Until then, much love and…
Nom Nom Nomaste!