Mango and curried chickpea salad
In an ideal world this exotic salad by Yotam Ottolenghi should be made with beautifully fragrant Alphonso mangoes from India – but it would be a terrible shame to only ever make and eat such a lovely dish during their short season (April to June). So just go for the best, ripe mangoes you can get hold of – and if they happen to be Alphonso so much the better…
*I also use a 400g tin of chickpeas instead of dried. If you’d like to do the same, simply drain them and then simmer in boiling water for 10 minutes to soften and warm them up.
If using dried chickpeas that have been soaking, drain and rinse them before placing in a medium saucepan on a medium heat. Cover with fresh water and cook at a very gentle simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the chickpeas are completely soft. (*See introduction for method with tinned chickpeas.)
Drain, transfer to a large mixing bowl and leave somewhere warm.
Place the coriander, mustard and cumin seeds in a large frying pan and dry-roast them until they begin to pop. Use a spice grinder or pestle and mortar to crush them to a powder and then add to them the curry powder, turmeric, sugar and ½ tsp salt. Set aside.
In the same pan, heat up half the oil and cook the onion for 5 minutes on a high heat, stirring occasionally, so that it starts to gain some colour. Add the spice mix and keep cooking on a medium heat for another 5 minutes, until the onion is completely soft. Transfer to the bowl with the warm chickpeas and keep aside.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, throw in the cauliflower and blanch for 1 minute. Drain, pat dry and set aside. Once the cauliflower is completely dry, heat up the remaining oil in the same pan you cooked the onion (don’t clean it), add the cauliflower, along with ¼ tsp salt, and fry on a high heat for 3-4 minutes, just to give colour.
Add the hot cauliflower and any oil from the pan to the onion and chickpeas and stir well. Leave for 5 minutes before adding the mango to the salad, along with the chilli, coriander, lime juice and spinach. Stir well and serve at once or chill and serve within 24 hours.
Gently fragrant with an exotic fruit note from the mango and a satisfying earthiness from the cauliflower and chickpeas, this is a very versatile dish to match. Riesling and Gewürztraminer would both work, but for us a New World Pinot Gris is the top choice.