Burmese Mango Salad with Peanut and Lime
I've loved all of Meera Sodha's books but here new one, East, which includes vegetarian and vegan recipes from the Indian sub-continent to the far east may be the best yet. And I love the zingy fresh flavours of this mango salad.
Meera writes: This is inspired by a dish I ate at one of my favourite restaurants in Mumbai called Burma Burma. So it is that I offer up my memory of its mighty and mouth-watering mango, peanut and lime salad.
note / When freshly made, this salad is great by itself or with seasoned and fried tofu, but if left a day it will release delicious juices and is wonderful with rice noodles. You can hand-cut the long strips, but a julienne peeler will make quick work of it. Make sure you buy the hardest, greenest, most unripe mangoes you can find, because ripe mangoes will juice when you cut them.
NB contains nuts
2cm fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
1 bird’s-eye chilli, finely chopped
5 tbsp lime juice (from 3 limes)
1 tsp salt
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1½ tbsp chickpea flour
2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
½ a sweetheart cabbage, finely shredded
2 unripe mangoes (500g)
2 medium carrots (200g), peeled and julienned
a handful of fresh mint leaves
a handful of fresh coriander leaves
a large handful (60g) of crushed salted peanuts
Put the ginger and chilli into a bowl, add the lime juice and salt, and leave to steep.
Put a plate by the stove and cover it with a piece of kitchen paper. Heat 5 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium flame and, when smoking hot, add the onion. Separate the slices using a wooden spoon and fry, stirring once or twice, until brown and crisp. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and put on the prepared plate. Fry the garlic in the same pan for 2 minutes, until golden brown (be watchful: it cooks quickly), then transfer to the plate.
Stir the chickpea flour into the remaining hot oil in the pan over a very low heat to create a paste. Stir constantly for a minute, then add the peanut butter, stir for another minute and take off the heat.
Put the cabbage into a large bowl. Peel the mangoes and shave with a julienne peeler until you hit the stone; or, if cutting by hand, cut the cheeks from the stone on all four sides and julienne. Add the mango and carrots to the cabbage. Reserve a handful of the fried onion to garnish, then add the rest, together with the fried garlic, to the cabbage. Toss, then pour over the chickpea and peanut paste and the ginger, chilli and lime mixture, and toss again. Taste, and adjust the lime and salt if need be.
To serve, finely chop and add the herbs, toss one final time, and top with the crushed peanuts and remaining fried onion.
What to drink: I'd go for a riesling with this, preferably from the Clare or Eden Valley or a passionfruit or mango cider
From East by Meera Sodha, published by Penguin Figtree at £20. Photo © David Loftus
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