I’ve never been one to have salads as my main meal. For me, dinners always mean a well-rounded, balanced plate decorated with a serving of protein, a generous helping of vegetables and a side of carbs. Using this rule of thumb, I create fresh dinners for us almost every night. The theme, menu and flavours differ each night – but the essence often remains the same.
A couple weeks ago, I decided to spend a rare quiet Sunday huddle in a corner of our family room, equipped with my laptop and a large mug of steaming hot chocolate. It’s been so long since I made the time to just sit and read my favourite food blogs. I decided to start with some oldies that I have since lost touch with. Saffron Trail, One Hot Stove and Rasa Malaysia were once blogs that I would never miss reading each week. Blame it on a rambunctious toddler who seems to get into trouble every 5 minutes, or just me trying to put more on my plate than I can possibly manage; but somehow, I’ve missed visiting these sites for the past few months. And my, what a joy it was to revisit these old but gold friends! I came out that evening refreshed, full of new inspiration and more than a boat full of recipes bookmarked to try before this year ends in exactly three measly months!
One such recipe that I just had to run into the kitchen and give a go at was Nandita’s Curried Chickpea Salad with Mango – which she herself was inspired to make by Yotam Ottolenghi. It sounded absolutely delicious! I had planned on making Sloppy Joes that night for dinner, and this salad seemed like it would pair wonderfully with it. I used my own spin and made my version of the salad to suit mine, Hubby Dear’s and of course, the notorious Baby Dear’s tastes. I kid you not when I say that this kid knows good food. Following right in his mom’s footsteps I guess!
Here’s my version of the salad inspired by Nandita, who was inspired by the great Ottolenghi. Serve this along side a simple grilled chicken and some toasted garlic bread for a truly delicious, comforting meal.
Halloumi, Mango and Chickpea Salad
Prep time: 15 min | Cooking time: 10 min | Serves: 2 as main, 4 as side
For the chickpeas:
1 tbsp light cooking oil
2 cups canned/boiled chickpeas
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric power
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
salt, to taste
For the Salad:
4 cups fresh baby spinach
2 cups diced halloumi, grilled
1 large mango, diced
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt & pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a frying pan and add in chickpeas, spices and salt. Saute till the chickpeas are completely coated with the spices and start to brown along the edges. Keep aside.
In a large salad bowl, mix in spinach, halloumi and mango pieces. Add in the warm chickpeas and lemon juice, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.