Mango, Chickpea & Cauliflower Salad

I had a really good weekend. I was able to go outdoors and hike a little with a nice packed sandwich (that I'm still thinking about). And I saw Deadpool 2 which slayed me! I wasn't sure they could improve on Deadpool 1 but somehow they managed to! Anyhow, back to food and cooking :)
With mangoes in season, I think it's only appropriate to have mangoes in everything. Salads, smoothies, desserts. I was intrigued by Yotam's take on a salad with a spiced chickpea and cauliflower base. It sounded very Indian, especially with the freshly toasted and ground spices that go into the warm onions. So I decided to put it on my weekly menu and I'm so glad I did.

The recipe straddles the fine line between salad and curry (to be eaten with bread/rice) very well. I could easily have gone either way but decided to go the salad route. The pungent spices go very well with chickpeas and cauliflower, both ingredients that need something like this to punch up the flavor. The lime juice, mangoes, jalapeño and cilantro add a very bright, fresh note with the right amount of acidity. The salad is both warming and bright because of these contrasting flavors. Perfect for warm days that have started to appear in the northern hemisphere now!

Recipe adapted from Plenty More, Yotam Ottolenghi
Makes 4-5 servings

1 tsp black/brown mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
5 tbsp sunflower oil (don't skimp on the oil, the salad needs it)
1 large yellow onion, quartered and sliced
2 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 small cauliflower (just over a pound), cut into florets 1 1/2-2" big
3 small ataulfo mangoes, peeled and diced
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 jalapeño, chopped fine
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped cilantro
2 cups baby spinach leaves (optional)
2 cups micro salad mix (optional)
edible flowers for garnish (optional)

Heat a wide saucepan on medium high heat and toast the mustard, cumin & coriander seeds till light brown and popping. Immediately remove to a plate to cool. Grind it with a spice/coffee grinder once cool and add garam masala & turmeric to it. Heat 2 tbsp oil on medium high heat in the same pan and add onions and saute while connastntly stirring for 5 minutes, till they have some color. Reduce heat to medium and add chickpeas and all the spices along with 1 tsp sea salt. Saute for another 5 minutes constantly stirring and scarping the bottom. Take the pan off the heat and let cool slightly. Remove the onion and chickpea mixture to a bowl to cool scarping the bottom fo the pan very well. Heat 3 tbsp oil in the same pan on medium high heat and add cauliflower along with 1 tsp sea salt and saute while constantly stirring for 5 minutes. Add a couple tbsp of water if things are sticking to the bottom too much. After the cauliflower has some color, add ~2 tbsp water and cover and cook on medium low heat for 3-5 minutes till the cauliflower is tender. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove the cauliflower while scraping the bottom to the bowl with chickpeas and onions. Add 1/2 tsp sea salt, mangoes, lemon juice, jalapeño and cilantro and toss gently to combine. If using spinach, toss that with individual serving of salad. Top with micro salad leaves and edible flowers if using and serve.


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