Combine some tart yoghurt (dairy or non-dairy) with a perfectly ripe, sweet Champagne mango and some Indian spices for a very different treat. This sweet-tart combination makes a perfect side dish to go with a spicy Indian meal. Add a dal and rice, a Indian vegetable or two and a spoonful of homemade lemon pickle, and a meal like this will transport you directly to culinary heaven.
Unfortunately I’ve never seen this on the menu at any of the Indian restaurants I’ve ever been to!
Selecting a perfectly ripe mango can be tricky, as the color is not always an indication of ripeness. Some mangos, like the Kent variety, stay mostly green and rather firm when ripe. Others, like the Champagne or Ataulfo mango, turn golden yellow and a bit wrinkly when ripe. Hold the mango in the palm of your hand and give it a very gentle squeeze. It should yield a little and smell sweet!
Generally I find that using quality ingredients results in better tasting meals. I have never been a fan of “American style” yoghurt as is often contains gelatin, which is made from bovine bones. I prefer the natural European style. Some of my favorite brands are Brown Cow and Pavel’s yoghurt. For non-dairy yoghurt, I like the plain unsweetened coconut or almond milk type.
Here is the recipe:
- 1 1/2 cups plain, unsweetened yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon freshly toasted cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- a few grinds of black pepper
- a little fresh mint or cilantro, finely minced
- 1 1/2 cups of mango, peeled, pitted and cut into small cubes
Toast the cumin seeds in a small pan over medium heat until fragrant.
In a bowl, blend together the yoghurt until smooth.
Add the lemon juice, cayenne pepper, black pepper, mint or cilantro and mango.
Gently fold the salad until well combined.
Make sure the mango stays intact.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate until serving.
This keeps well for a couple of days.