I had a “some different kind of peanut salad” in mind when I was planning out healthy starters for a party, but what became of it was entirely on impulse and whatever I found in the refrigerator. This is a recipe born in the process and it simple and a zesty one too.
Call it whatever you may – a summer salad, a spiced side salad or a salsa, it is delightful and substantial in every way. Use tiny papads (Indian lentil wafers) to scoop, top it on a chip or have it all by itself. We had the leftovers as a side dish with our lunch the next day.
Like any other salad, any of your favorite things will work with it. I had slightly ripened and not so tart green mangoes sitting there in a corner all forgotten and I used them up here. The unexpected hint of sweet paired really well with the spicy dressing and the toasted crunchy peanuts.
Besides the mild cucumber and fresh lime juice is always in for me in a salad during the summer time.
It was meant to be an Indian flavor based salad, but I deviated and reached out for the bottle of Asian Sesame oil instead; with no regrets. It added a light subtle flavor, not obvious, but certainly there, while my guests wondered what that “unusual” but “nice” flavor was.
A blend of sweet, tart, and spicy with a lovely crunchy munchy feel, it was refreshing and lip smacking good!
Peanut, Mango and Cucumber Salad
Ingredients: (serves 4-6)
- 2 cups peanut, shelled, skinned and lightly toasted
- 2 cups green raw mango. chopped
- 1 large English cucumber, or any cucumber with little or no seeds, chopped
- 3 tablespoon chopped red onion
- 2 hot green chili pepper, thinly sliced
For dressing: (adjust proportions of dressing to suit your taste)
- 2 tablespoon Asian Sesame Oil
- 4 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
- 2 teaspoon red chili pepper/paprika (or to taste)
- salt to taste
- any of your favorite herb for flavor, if you wish to use
I have used green mangoes, which had ripened lightly so they were light yellow and sweet and tart at the same time. If you are using raw mangoes which are all green, the salad will be more on the tart side and miss the little hint of sweet. Do use whatever you prefer.
If you have got whole peanuts, shell them first. In a large skillet, lay them in one layer and light toast them on low to medium heat until you see light brown spots on them. Cool and rub between kitchen towels to remove the skin. If you are using shelled and skinned peanuts, just toast them till they have light brown spots on them. Cool the nuts. Place the cooled nuts in a ziploc.plastic bag or between kitchen towels and using a rolling pin crush them coarsely. It is okay if some are still whole and halved.
Combine raw mango, cucumber, pepper and onions and toss; let it sit for about an hour. Drain if they release any liquid. Chill the mix.
Whisk the oil, lime juice, chili powder, salt, cumin and herbs.
Add the crushed peanuts, toss and combine the whisked dressing. Let sit for about 30 minutes for the flavors to blend.
Serve as a salsa with chips or as a side salad.