Curried chickpeas, ie chickpeas with Indian spices, are always delicious, no matter what form they take. Here, we are not constructing an Indian dish but using curried chickpeas in a salad that you are going to love. The curried chickpeas are mixed with browned onions, cauliflower florets, and either mangoes or papaya, – truly a delicious salad that can be eaten warm or cold.
The recipe is from Ottolenghi. In the original dish he uses Alphonso Mangoes, those intensely flavoured Kings of Mangoes available in India during Mango season, and shipped to some countries outside of India. Sadly and despite the large Indian population here, it is rare to find them. I have only seen them once, and promptly bought a whole tray.
Use any other ripe mango if you can’t get Alphonso. Or if you want to make this outside of mango season, our substitute is to use papaya. It doesn’t bring that same intensity of flavour that mangoes do yet it is surprisingly delicious. We always feel free in Ottolenghi recipes to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area. Add plenty of lime juice to the salad, it makes a difference.
Always taste as you go, and particularly so with this recipe. Ottolenghi specifies curry powder in the ingredients, but curry powders range from very hot to quite mild. You might like to adjust your green chilli level, for example, if you are using a hot curry powder. Also add more lime if this is the case – perhaps some lime zest too.
It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.
Similar recipes include Mustardy Cauliflower Salad, Tray Baked Spicy Turmeric Chickpeas, Cauliflower Shawarma, Cauliflower with Lime and Spices, Green Salad with Chickpeas, Preserved Lemon and Feta, and Chickpea Tabbouleh.
Browse all of our Chickpea Salads and Papaya dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.
Cauliflower, Mango or Papaya and Curried Chickpea Salad
150g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight with 1 tspn bicarbonate of soda and then cooked until tender
1 tspn coriander seeds
1 tspn black mustard seeds
½ tspn cumin seeds
1 tspn curry powder
½ tspn ground turmeric
1 tspn caster sugar
½ tspn salt
80ml sunflower oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 small cauliflower, split into small florets
1 -2 mangoes or ripe papaya, depending on size
50g baby spinach leaves
1 medium hot green chilli, chopped
20g chopped fresh coriander
3 Tblspn lime juice
Drain the cooked chickpeas and set aside in a large bowl.
Dry-roast the coriander, mustard and cumin seeds in a skillet, then crush to a powder. Mix in the curry powder, turmeric, sugar and salt.
In the same pan that you roasted the spices, heat half the oil and, on high heat, cook the onion for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spice mix, cook on medium heat for five minutes, until the onion is soft, then add to the chickpeas.
Blanch the cauliflower in boiling water for a minute, then drain. Once it is dry, heat the remaining oil in the same pan you cooked the onion in, add the cauliflower and fry on high heat until it is tender but crisp and has charred spots. Alternatively, stir the cauliflower in the pan to coat with the oil and left over spices from the onions (already in the pan) then top onto an oven tray and roast in a medium-hot oven until tender but crisp and a little charred. This will lead to a softer cauliflower, but will avoid a blackened pan.
Add the cauliflower and hot chickpeas to the onions (the chickpeas absorb more flavour when hot), stir and leave for 5 minutes for flavours to absorb, or you can allow it to cool to room temperature.
Peel the mango or papaya, cut into 1cm dice and add to the bowl. Stir in the chilli, fresh coriander, lime juice and spinach, taste, and add salt and lime juice as needed to balance the flavours. It takes quite a lot of lime juice..
Serve at once while warm, or at room temperature, or chilled. Serve within 24 hours.