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Annnndddddd my obsession with mangoes continues. After indulging myself with all the heavy and junk foods like pizzas (after discovering yeast) and kebabs and desserts in the past two months mostly because I knew I was not going anywhere, I thought it would be nice to get some salad into my system. And by salad it needed to be fruity, meaty, have banging flavour and be filling – like ‘entire meal’ type filling for a woman with a large appetite.
My Bengali roots came rushing up and I got this craving to combine my three most favourite ingredients, prawns, mango and mustard. I’ve used this combination in a delicious prawn, mango and coconut curry earlier which you absolutely must try and now I’m using it in a completely different way. This salad uses mustard oil and I would highly recommend using only mustard oil for this salad dressing because that’s what gives it that extra punch but if you really, really, really don’t have mustard oil, then use any vegetable oil of your choice but yeah…….
It’s mango season now in India and we have a pretty good choice in varieties of mangoes. I used the Sindhura variety which is a light, fresh, sweet variety and absolutely delicious. Be sure to use a ripe, firm mango in this salad because you don’t want it turning to pulp if it’s overripe and you don’t want it to be too sour if its not yet ripe. Uff I’m being too particular no? But what differentiates your dish from an ordinary, blah one to a really delicious one that hits the right spot is the care and effort you take to choose the right ingredients and how you handle them.
The prawns I used are jumbo prawns so they went in hot water for 2 minutes. If using small prawns, keep them in the water for about 30 seconds and medium prawns for about a minute. Put off the gas just before you put the prawns in – do not have the water boiling on the gas with the prawns in. That way they do not overcook and become rubbery. don’t worry about them being undercooked. They will keep cooking in the marinade and become a perfect texture because you put them in hot. So here’s my salad. It’s a punchy salad so not very appealing to kids unless they are used to really bold flavours and if unlike mine, they love prawns. I could eat the whole thing for lunch but those who have smaller appetites, can split it.
Ingredients (serves 1 hungry person or 2 small eaters)
1 tbsp mustard oil
1 tsp english mustard paste
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt (I used pink salt)
1/4 cup tender corn kernels (frozen/fresh/canned)
4 large prawns
1 ripe mango diced into 1 inch squares
1 english cucumber diced into 1 cm squares (with skin on)
1/3 red bell pepper diced into 1 cm squares
1/2 small purple onion diced finely (can use 2 shallots)
1 long green chilly de-seeded and diced finely
1 tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves
- Mix all the ingredients under ‘dressing’ really well in a bowl and set aside.
- Boil 1 litre of water and if using frozen corn wash it in water and boil the corn for two minutes. Remove the corn from the water and set aside. Skip this part with fresh and canned corn.
- Add the prawns to the same water you took boiled the corn in, switch off the gas immediately before adding the prawns and remove the prawns from the water after exactly two minutes, shaking off all excess water.
- Put the prawns into the bowl with the salad dressing and coat it well and leave to marinate for at least 10 minutes. You can cut each prawn into three or four pieces and then marinate it in the dressing.
- In a large bowl, add the corn, mango, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, green chilly and coriander leaves. Then add the prawns and all the marinade and toss well but take care not to mash the mango to pulp. Check if you want more salt, lemon or anything else and when satisfied, remove onto a serving dish and enjoy.