13 August 2007

Gobo inspired Mango Salad

Update: Continuing from the JFI-Chillies round up, I'd received an entry from Elizabeth of Blog from Our Kitchen (Toronto). Since her site was down during the round up I could not access it. She has sent in Ras el Hanout - North African spice mix especially good as a spice rub for grilled meats.

I love the Kesar variety of mangoes. If there was a competition between Kesar and Alphonso, I would actually vote for the Kesar. It is sweetness personified and the fruits are long and graceful (no wonder, it is called the Queen of Mangoes in India) , almost lady like as against the short-stocky Alphonso. I know, I could just be e-murdered for voicing out my opinions like this - but hey, this is my space.... ha ha!

This season, when I ate an exceptionally tasty fruit, the thought of sticking it in the mud and growing my own tree lead me into doing just that. And 3 weeks later, I saw the tiniest bit of green shoots coming out of the opened up seed and it was such joy to watch them grow.

I think the photo shows a mango plant which is about 2-3 months old. And boy, the leaves are just as big as you would find on a big mango tree. When our under-construction house is ready, I plan to take it there and let the tree blossom there. It is to be seen if the Gujarati mango finds itself at home, at some distance down South. I'm not giving up hope anyway!

Mangoes from our Madras home

Gobo is a vegan restaurant in NYC, located in both West Village and Upper East Side. It is tough to get a place to sit on most days and once you are in, it is tough to get away from all the delicious, gorgeous food. You will be surprised that a vegan restaurant has such a roaring business, but it does!! I had the good luck to be there in one of our partying weekends from Rochester in upstate New York. NYC was a 5-6 hour drive and we had a good friend living in the heart of Manhattan. It was always fun, trying out new dive bars, new places to eat and just walking about the streets.

When I tried out this salad, it had such simple flavours and ingredients, that I had to re-create it at home. The original salad had loads of baby spinach, mango pieces, crispy onion slices and candied walnuts in a vinaigrette dressing. I replicated the same salad in a couple of weeks after we had visited Gobo, at a house party and the salad was a huge success. Since I don't find baby spinach in Bombay, I do it using just mangoes. With a fruit like that, I dare say, we really don't miss the spinach! In case you were wondering where I'm getting mangoes in the midst of monsoons, it is from our tree in the Madras house. My father in law tells me they are a cross between a Banganapalli and some other variety, giving it quite a fibrous, very sweet flesh.

While I consider peeling the whole mango with one stroke (ie. the peel should not break off, giving one long peel in the end) as a fun challenge, that is not everyone's idea of fun. Check Elise's step-by-step demo on how to cut and peel a mango.

Chilled Mango Salad

Mango Salad
Category: Salad, summer food
Time taken: Under 15 minutes
Serves: 2


2 ripe mangoes, peeled and diced into bite sized pieces
Scrape the flesh upto the seed and reserve
Handful of almonds, roasted in microwave for 1-2 minutes till crisp

For dressing
1/2 - 1 tsp strong English Mustard (I used Coleman's)
3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried parsely
few turns of freshly ground black pepper
pinch of salt
scraped mango bits
Whisk all the above together with a fork and keep aside

Place the diced mangoes in a bowl.
Whisk the dressing well. Pour over the mangoes, toss till it evenly coats the mangoes.
Chop the toasted almonds into small pieces, each into 3-4 pieces and scatter over the salad just before serving. Serve chilled.

1. You can serve this salad on a bed of baby spinach or salad greens, and use candied walnuts / any other nuts instead of almonds.

2. This salad goes well with grilled food such as fish or chicken, cutting through the tastes with its sweet freshness. You can also serve this beside a biryani or if you are like me, you can eat it just like that.

Interesting reads

A Mango Medley - by Gowri Ramnarayan for The Hindu

On Mangoes & the love for Banganapalli


Raaga said...

Here's my favourite :-)


Am all set to try this salad of yours :-)

Anita said...

Sweet. tangy, spicy: I can imagine it being great with grilled meats!

What else are you planning to do with those mangoes?? Are they ever used in curries?

Mallugirl said...

kind of like a relsih right? they almost look like tandoori chicken. sorry, i know u are a veggie. but couldn't resist it.

sra said...

Nandita, interesting dish, and nice selection of articles there! The Himampasand, or Himayat, as we call it, is my absolute favourite!

musical said...

Nandita, am totally with you on this! its all about celebrating the variety, isn't it :).

and i heart you for mentioning Gobo! you just rekindled many lovely memories.....and thats a lovely salad!!

Cynthia said...

This would be perfect with the fish I cooked today :)

Nags said...

mangoes are my absolute fave too! love the pic and the way you tried to recreate the recipe :) my mom used to do that. it will take me much more practise before I can actually do that, I guess.

TBC said...

Oooh mango salad. Looks really good. Balsamic vinegar makes it so sweet & tangy.

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