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Alphonso mango and curried chickpea salad

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

This Indian influenced chickpea salad is packed with flavor, spicy, sweet, earthy chickpeas, fresh spinach and herbs. They all come together on your palate in a burst of flavor, competing with each other. This is a substantial salad that can be either served alone or with a soup, ideal for a light meal.

An Alphonso mango is also known as the "King of Mangoes". It is absolutely the most delicious, and hence most expensive, mango. It is a small mango with a deep yellow and smooth flesh and a wonderful aroma, and absolutely delicious flavor. Trust me you know when you have eaten one. These are now available in the US at some Indian grocery stores in Juy and August and usually run $4-7 per fruit. More on this fruit here.

I realize that a few folks are going to say, "Oh my, what a waste of Alphonso mangoes!" Ok you can use any good well flavored mango, after all India, and now the world, has about 3000 varieties that are quite easily available.

I changed how you cook the chickpeas a bit. I find cooking dried chickpeas with a touch of garlic and a bay leaf adds so much flavor to the chickpeas, they are no longer boring. I also very strongly prefer to cook dried chickpeas (or any other dried bean(, rather than use those out of a can. You control how much they cook and I love the slight bite from these. To diverge a bit, you can cook the beans with any spice or herb of choice, depending on what the dish calls for, for some amazing results that are so subtle but substantial.

I love , and have all of Ottolenghi's cookbooks. The diversity his recipes bring to my table, from wonderful Mediterranean cuisine to other global flavors are wonderful. This is one of those cookbooks that I go back to often.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.


150g dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight

1 garlic clove, sliced

1 bay leaf

Touch of salt

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp black mustard seeds

½ tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp curry powder

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp salt

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cauliflower, split into very small florets

2 Alphonso mangoes (or 1 big regular mango)

1 medium hot green chilli, chopped

20g chopped fresh coriander

3 tbsp lime juice

Olive oil

50g baby spinach leaves

Put the chickpeas in a bowl, cover with three times their volume of water, and soak overnight. Drain, put in a pan with the bay leaf, garlic and salt, cover with water and simmer until they are cooked but have a gentle bite. Drain.

Dry-roast the coriander, mustard and cumin seeds in a skillet, then crush to a powder. Mix in the curry powder, turmeric, and salt.

In the same pan, heat half the oil and, on high heat, cook the onion for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spice mix, cook on medium heat for five minutes, until the onion is soft, then transfer to a large bowl.

Blanch the cauliflower for a minute, then drain. I generally quick blanch them by putting them in a microwave safe bowl with a touch of water for steam, and cooking for 2 minutes to get them to be still a bit crunchy. Once it is dry, heat the remaining oil in the same pan you cooked the onion in, add the cauliflower and fry on high heat for two minutes, to give it colour. Add the cauliflower and hot chickpeas to the onions (the chickpeas absorb more flavour when hot), stir and leave to cool to room temperature.

Peel the mangoes, cut into 1 cm dice and add to the bowl. Stir in the chilli, fresh coriander, lime juice and spinach, taste, and add salt and lime juice as needed. Serve at once, or chill and serve within 24 hours. When serving bring to room temperature.

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