Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.
This Chickpea and Mango Salad Recipe is a story of colours.
Colours are important for me when it comes to creating food. The simplest reason is that they increase the enjoyment factor of the food. The color of food is an integral part of our cultural life. Who can deny the mouth-watering appeal of a deep-pink strawberry milkshake on a hot summer day?
Some early and smart civilisations such as the Romans recognized that people “eat with their eyes” as well as their palates. But the colours have a deeper and more meaningful connection with our food. Ancient Chinese medicine talks about how different coloured foods fulfill different nutritional requirements of our body.
White stands for strengthening immunity, yellow improves bone health and skin elasticity, green means detox and red helps with cardiovascular health.
Coming back to this Chickepeas and Mango Salad recipe, it happened when I was slicing mangoes for my younger ones’ evening snack. While holding the ripe and juicy, yellow deliciousness in my hands, I had this sudden urge to make a light dinner salad with it. The first flavour combination that came to mind was the soft and subtle paneer or cottage cheese. Next I needed some crunch, so sliced an onion. What’s a summer salad without some fresh greens? My kitchen garden immediately supplied some fresh and aromatic basil leaves. Now it needed a surprise ingredient for the taste buds. Luckily, I had some luscious red chilli peppers in the fridge. To make it filling and more satisfying I added boiled chickpeas.
With a simple dressing of honey, lemon and yogurt, my rainbow was ready to eat!
2 ripe firm mangoes
1+1/2 cup boiled or canned chickpeas
1cup paneer, feta or cottage cheese
1 small onion
2 red chilli peppers
1/2 cup basil or mint leaves
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons thick yogurt
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika or black pepper
salt to taste
This Is What You Do
Cut mangoes and cheese into bite sized cubes.
Add into a big salad bowl.
Add boiled chickpeas, sliced onions, chopped red chill peppers and basil leaves or your choice of greens.
Mix yogurt, honey, lemon juice, cumin powder, black pepper and salt in a small bowl for dressing.
Pour the dressing right before serving the salad and toss to mix.