We’ve moved into May and it’s not getting any cooler. And my earnestness to cook as little as humanly possible is not slowing down either.
As you may have inferred from the last few posts, summer in my kitchen = salad. I sometimes eat leftover salad for breakfast, with a cold hard-boiled egg sliced in. The great thing about salads is that if they if greens aren’t the core ingredient, chances are, they’ll keep longer. Which is why I use a lot of dried beans and legumes as a base for salad. Chickpeas are great, and rajma or kidney beans can also be used to make a great salad- especially if you want to switch up your routine from regular rajma-chawal.
Lobia or black eyed peas are as good a dried bean as any to make a salad. I usually cook them rajma-style, putting everything- the lobia, spices, tomatoes, et al- into the pressure cooker and letting it whistle away for a while, and then eating the curry with rice or roti.
But then that can get boring.
So I took it upon myself to make lobia fun and colourful! The peas are quite pretty to look at on their own- what with their little black eyes and creamy skin- and they are a solid structure for a filling salad.
Of course, when you begin to type black eyed peas into Google, you will invariably end up being directed to the band, not the legume. So after I Googled black eyed pea recipes, I found my way, as I usually do, to Food52. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother Googling when I can just search straight on Food52. An article for One Pot Of Black Eyed Peas, 5 Dinners linked me up with 101 Cookbooks. If there’s a tastier way to eat a whole grain, legume, leaf or egg, then Heidi Swanson has been there, done that.
Swanson paired her cooked beans with curry powder, red onions, lentils and ginger- so some spice and sharpness to balance the creamy cooked beans.
I decided to make it a little more tropical, adding raw mango or kairi, and some cucumbers and red onions. I like adding to kairi salads- it adds a nice bite and tartness and sharpness that lends an element of surprise :) I wanted the flavours to be reminiscent of som tam, but without any soy or fish sauce. I stuck to a coconut-chilli-lime dressing and lots of fresh mint, cilantro and crushed toasted peanuts, for a little Thai flavour note.
BLACK-EYED PEA & RAW MANGO SALAD
- 2 cups cooked and drained black-eyed peas
- 1/2 cup cubed raw mango
- 1 medium cucumber, diced
- 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
- A handful each of cilantro and fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
- 1/4 cup crushed toasted peanuts
For The Dressing
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 4 tbsp lime juice
- 1-2 tbsp honey/brown sugar/coconut sugar, depending on how sweet you like things
- 1-2 tsp chilli flakes
- Salt to taste
- Put all the salad ingredients in large bowl and toss well to combine.
- Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl until evenly incorporated.
- Pour dressing over the salad and serve chilled.