F or a long time, to me, salsa was a Latin dance that woke up the rhythm inside you and set the floor on fire with its mesmerizing foot work and moves. A couple of years back, I discovered that salsa was also something that could grace your table. In fact, if you Google "what is salsa?" what you get is an umpteen number of links to everything dance.
Seems like salsa is to Mexican and Spanish cooking, what chutneys are to Indian food. The original salsa apparently started out as a condiment of tomatoes, chillies and ground squash seeds in Aztec kitchens. This was served alongside main dishes of meat and fish.
Salsa (the food kind, which is what features in this post) means "sauce" in Spanish and has come to refer to a relish or salad-like preparation made of mostly of chopped raw tomatoes and onions, chillies, lime juice and coriander (cilantro) leaves. This sounds remarkably like the kind of salad we make and serve in India.
There are versions of salsa which use blanched tomatoes or the salsa is cooked. Variations of the basic salsa are sometimes made substituting some other vegetable or fruit for tomatoes. All salsas have some amount of chillies in them.
I came upon this version of salsa while looking for something else. The word "mango" jumped out at me and is the main ingredient in this salsa. There are very few ingredients in this dish. The flavouring is also minimal with just salt and lime juice, with a bit of fire from the chillies, and reinforces that "less is indeed more".
Try this mango salsa as we did, with chappathis, paneer butter (less) masala or a spicy curry and plain yogurt. Otherwise, serve it with stuffed parathas and plain yogurt or maybe just as it is!
2 cups chopped mango (into small cubes)
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper (capsicum)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 green chilli chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
salt to taste
I have found it is a good thing to ensure that the mangoes you're using here are sweet (of course!), firm and not fibrous.
Put all the ingredients into a bowl, toss together to mix and serve immediately. You can also make this ahead. Put everything, except the salt and coriander, in a bowl and refrigerate till required. Just before serving, add the salt and chopped coriander, toss well and serve.
This recipe should serve about 3, and maybe a fourth person if the other three are willing to share!
This is my contribution to " The Best of June's Produce", which is this month's theme at The Heart of the Matter – Eating for Life