5 Minute Home-made Mango Salsa

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Mumbai’s summers have been through the roof this year but the one thing that’s kept us our spirits up has been the delectable, juicy, Mango. Come summers, the fragrance of mangoes traverses through the home of all Mumbaikars. My dear friend, Chef Mrugank Desai and I decided to come up with supremely easy to make, seasonal recipes (at the fag end of the summer unfortunately) with ingredients you need not go scouting for. I’m not a fan of store bought salsa since it’s significantly high in preservatives, and since I’d been looking to perfect a recipe, we thought of making it with a little help of the mangoes lying around at home.

Ingredients:

Mango – 200 gms
Chopped onion – 50 gms
Chopped tomatoes – 50 gms
Chopped coriander – 10 gms
Green chilly – 1, chopped
Olive oil – 15 ml
The juice of 1 Lemon
Salt – to taste

Method – Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix carefully. Be sure not to squash the mango and tomatoes, else you’ll wind up with a rather mushy salsa! Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate before serving.

This can be enjoyed with chips, nachos, even quesadillas!

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Rosemary and spinach baby potatoes

Hello All!

It’s been a while since I last posted a recipe of my own so I decided to do one today. I came up with this during my University days because as the saying goes ‘necessity is the mother of all inventions!’  Hunger pangs and a shortage of time led to this 😀 It’s one the easiest dishes to put together and can be a made as a starter when you have guests to entertain or when you have a perfectionist of a  younger sibling that thankfully, loves your cooking.

This recipe serves 4-6 people.

All you will need:

2 packets baby potatoes (washed)
3 large cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
10-12 leaves of spinach (washed and dried)
2 sprigs of basil (optional)
3 tsp dried rosemary (if you have it fresh, nothing like it)
1 tbsp olive oil
A pinch of salt
A couple of black olives

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

2. Par boil the potatoes in a large pot. If using the pressure cooker, one whistle shall do suffice. Wait until they cool, then cut into halves.

3. In a baking/oven tray, toss in the potatoes, garlic,rosemary, spinach and basil leaves. Drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle the salt.

4. Toss well but carefully so as to ensure that the potatoes do not break.

5. Bake at 180 degrees for 40 minutes or until the potatoes have roasted and the spinach leaves are nice and crisp.

6. That’s all !

Top with chopped olives and serve hot.

Quick tip:

You can also add 2 tbsp of pesto sauce (once the potatoes have been roasted and cooled) and coat  them well. In this case, avoid the basil leaves.

Do write to me at chaicakekitsch@gmail.com once you give this a try! I’d love to hear from you.

Traditional Greek Salad Recipe

Greek salad is extremely famous within Greece, internationally as well and it’s no wonder why. Filled with fresh ingredients, it’s healthy, extremely light on your stomach and is a great alternative to eating an entire meal. It is also known as ‘horiatiki’ meaning ‘village’ in Greek, because of its traditional, rustic nature. Originally, the salad only contains cucumber, tomato, onion, olives, olive oil, fresh herbs and feta. It does however, vary slightly, depending on where you are eating it. For example, in Santorini, capers are used instead of olives. In Crete, it is served with dakos, i.e. tomato and feta piled onto a barley rusk, previously soaked in water and oil. In some other places, local cheese or soft white cheese is substituted for feta.

Even though the salad is prepared differently in different countries, it does NOT contain any leafy greens and/or red bell peppers. Feta is served as a whole block, not crumbled and is served in a shallow dish, not a deep one. Only fresh, ripe ingredients are used.

This recipe makes 1 medium bowl, serving 1 person.

Ingredients:
1 cucumber
2 large tomatoes or 8-10 cherry tomatoes
1 small onion
7-8 kalamata olives**
1 slab of feta (around 100 gm)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
Fresh herbs*
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste
You may also add thinly sliced green bell peppers.

*I picked up traditional herbs from a local supermarket in Santorini for the salad but you may use oregano.
**I love olives so my recipe calls for these many. You may change this depending on your preferences. Regular black olives can also be used.

Method:
1. Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and oregano in a bowl and set aside***.
2. Cut the cucumber in slightly thick rounds. Do not peel it.
3. Cut the tomatoes in wedges, not in cubes. If you are using cherry tomatoes, cut them in half.
4. Cut the onions in wedges.
5. Combine the cucumber, tomatoes and onions in a shallow dish. Add the olives.
6. Drizzle the olive oil mix over the ingredients and top it up with the slab of feta. You can garnish the feta with some herbs.

***You may add a dash of red wine vinegar to this mix.
I do not usually measure the oil; I pour just enough to coat the salad.
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The feta is served as a whole which you can then crumble.
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Do write in and let me know your thoughts. Enjoy!

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