In India, on one trip, a travelling companion remarked that India did not have dishes of fresh vegetables and greens, like salads and simply cooked vegetables. It was a surprising statement from a person who was not unused to India, but it does show that the most commonly publicised dishes are not the fresh, uncooked or quickly cooked dishes. I may have been more fortunate that that person, eating in the homes of friends in India and spending time in their kitchens. Salads are eaten all over India – they are different to Western tossed or composed salads, but they are fresh and beautiful.
An Indian salad will contain raw or briefly cooked vegetables, fruits, sprouted lentils, and spices. They can also contain grains such as puffed rice or poha (flattened rice). Cooked lentils and beans can be briefly stir fried with spices, coconut and herbs. Vegetables and fruits can be stirred into yoghurt and dressed with sautéed spices.
Salad dressings are not used per se, but flavours are balanced with spices and coconut. When fruits are used, or vegetables like cucumber and jicama, it can be simply spiced by mixing with chaat masala, black pepper and some lime juice.
So today, a salad of fruits with spices and peanuts. It is gorgeous, spicy and with a tang of mustard. I came across the recipe somewhere some time ago, and make it when pineapples are sweet and mangoes are available. There are many different types of mangoes in India, pineapples too. Today, I have used a sweet, green mango, but others with firmer flesh and tarter flavour can also be used. It is a great salad to serve with fiery food, or as part of a Summer lunch outside under the gum trees.
Similar dishes include a Collection of Kosumalli Salads, Sprouts and Pomegranate Kosumalli, Hesarubela Koshambari, Hawaiian Chilli Pineapple Salad, Longan and Green Mango Salad, Pomelo and Green Mango Salad, Cucumber Pachadi, and Kachumber.
Also try Madhura Pachadi with Tamarind.
Browse all of our Indian Salads, and all of our Salads. Our Mango dishes are here, and our Pineapple dishes are here. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.
Mango and Pineapple Salad
1 Indian dried red chilli (or to taste)
0.25 tspn brown mustard seeds
lime juice + pineapple juice from cutting up your pineapple
1 green, sweet-sour or sweet mango, diced (or use a yellow sweet mango)
1 small pineapple, peeled and diced
125g fresh or frozen shredded coconut
1 slice fresh, youngish ginger, chopped finely
1 tspn ghee or Indian Sesame Oil
1 tspn brown mustard seeds
5 curry leaves
unsalted raw peanuts, available from Indian shops
Toast the peanuts in a dry pan and set aside.
Nip the end off the chilli (so it doesn’t explode) and toast the chilli in a hot pan until it darkens. Then dry roast the mustard seeds until a nice aroma arises. Grind the chillies and mustard seeds to a fine powder with the mustard seeds.
Add the juice of 1 lime and any juice from the pineapple to the pineapple. Add enough water to make about 0.25 cup of spice dressing. Blend it well. Toss the spice mixture with the mango, pineapple, coconut, lime zest and ginger.
Make a tadka by heating the ghee or oil in a tadka pan or other small pan. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Then add the curry leaves and allow them to splutter. Pour the tempering over the salad.
Scatter the peanuts over the top (optional).
recipe notes and alternatives
As an alternative to peanuts, garnish the salad with pomegranate seeds.
If using firm green pineapples, peel some shred from it with a potato peeler to use as a garnish.
If using very young ginger, shreds can be peeled from it with a potato peeler. These can be mixed with the salad or used as a garnish.