Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fast ,Cool ,Mango Salad!


On a hot summer day one wants to spend as little time n the kitchen as possible, but also it's great having family and friends over. And they must be fed? How do you accomplish both of these tasks with a minimum of muss and fuss..so today I'm going to suggest a few things to do with yogurt.
Indian meals almost always contain a nice cooling yogurt dish, or raita...considering that many Indian dishes can be on
the hot and spicy side something cool at the table..besides you..always helps.
A raita can be simple just yogurt and seasonings, maybe a shredded cucumber tossed in
or a vegetable, such as spinach or tomato can be added but for a treat of treats a big favorite at our house, try a fresh mango chopped up and mixed with spices and some shredded coconut.
There are great deals on mangos right now, so have your own cash for clunker salad and trade in your coleslaw, or greens at the barbecue for this stunner.
This recipe is my adaptation of a Madhur Jaffrey recipe that she credits to a Mrs. Bidapa, but mango salad recipes are mango salad recipes and they're found all over southern India. Most have the same basic ingredients.
Mango Salad:

!.) Get One large ripe mango, or if you can't find one use two smaller ones.
2.) Peel and chop it/them into chunks, of about 1/2 inch to 1 inch in size
3.) grind up 3/4 tsp. of brown mustard seeds.
Now get out your plain yogurt. One can use full, or non fat..whatever you've got.
4.) Put 1 cup of plain yogurt into a bowl. Whisk it up make it nice and creamy smooth
5.)Add the ground up mustard seeds
6.) Add either 1/8 tsp. or 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne....it's up to you how hot you want this.
Here's an optional ingredient.
7.) Add 1 Tbs, finely grated fresh coconut if you can get it.
When we lived in LA I always had a bag of frozen fresh coconut from the nearby Indian market Baharat Bazaar
in the freezer. Here in Sonoma..not so much. I have found that finely grated dried coconut UNSWEETENED mixed with a bit of water to moisten it up works just as well. As I said this step is optional..but it's sooooo good.
8.) Add 1 tsp of sugar
9.) !/4 tsp of salt.
10.) stir in the mango chunks and mix it up.
Now for the Chaunk!
I've talked about this final step before and it's what gives this salad it's tasty kick.

So, Chaunk:
In a small skillet heat a bit of oil..usually about 1 Tbs.
1.) when it's hot add 1/4 tsp. of whole brown mustard seeds
2.) As soon as they start to pop toss in 1 whole dried red chili
3.) When it starts to turn dark, toss in a small shallot that's been peeled and thinly sliced
4.) Stir it all all till the shallot is browned, then pour it all into the bowl of mango salad...
Hear it hiss..listen to the deliciousness! Stir it up well and mix it all in.
This can be served..cold or at room temperature. It'll feed 4 to 6 people

Either way when cooking Indian, always remember ,man or woman does not live by heat alone and what gets hotted up always has to be cooled down one way or another.

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