Crunchy Keralan salad

Kerala Salad

Serves 4

  • 1 coconut

  • 2 red peppers

  • 4 punnets cress

  • 1 bunch spring onions

  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled

  • For the dressing

  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled

  • zest and juice of 3-4 limes

  • 7-8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

First of all you need to crack open the shell of the coconut. I normally do this by placing it on a tea towel on a hard surface and then giving it a wallop with a rolling-pin or a hammer. Once you've cracked it open you can pull it apart (being careful not to spill the milk everywhere!), discarding the hard outer shell. The dark skin on the outside of the coconut's flesh doesn't bother me, especially if I'm grating it. But if you want to remove it, a speed peeler works quite well.



Once you've got into your coconut, cut the peppers into quarters, remove the stalks and seeds, then finely slice. Trim your cress directly from its punnet (the easiest way to do this is to take the cress out of the punnet, wash the leafy end and stalks under a tap, then slice the stalk end off and discard it). Trim your spring onions and finely slice them. Cut the mango flesh off the stones and finely slice it (there is a knack to doing this properly – if you look at the shape of the mango, the flat stone always lies the same way, parallel with the flattest sides, so you should be able to slice the flesh off with not too much wastage). Get your pieces of coconut and grate them finely. Put all these ingredients into a large salad bowl.



Lime and ginger work together really well in the dressing. Finely grate the ginger and lime zest into a small bowl, then add the lime juice and olive oil. Season to taste, and add more oil as necessary to balance the flavours of your dressing. Limes can be different strengths depending on their juiciness and size.



Dress the salad just before serving, saving any extra dressing for another day, and eat straight away. Great just as it is, or with some grilled prawns or satay chicken. Also lovely as a snack inside a wrap or flatbread. So even though the coconut may be a pain to prepare it's well worth it...

Nutritional Information

Crunchy Keralan salad

With creamy coconut, juicy mango and peppers

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0 foodies cooked this
This fresh coconut salad is inspired by the flavours of sunny southern India – it's absolute heaven
Serves 4
15m
Not too tricky
Method

This is a fantastic and really unusual salad that was inspired by a friend of mine called Das who runs the most terrific Indian restaurants in London, called Rasa. Although I have called it 'Keralan', it isn't really a true salad from there as you'd never find cress in Kerala! In Rasa, Das uses a lot of fresh coconut – which really is one of the most incredible flavours for making dishes like curries, or mixed into rice, breads, desserts and salads. You can now buy coconuts from most supermarkets, but if you can't find one, feel free to make this salad without it – it will still be pretty good but it won't have that special edge to it. Only make this when the mangoes are silky smooth and not at all stringy. You should be able to cut through them like butter.

First of all you need to crack open the shell of the coconut. I normally do this by placing it on a tea towel on a hard surface and then giving it a wallop with a rolling-pin or a hammer. Once you've cracked it open you can pull it apart (being careful not to spill the milk everywhere!), discarding the hard outer shell. The dark skin on the outside of the coconut's flesh doesn't bother me, especially if I'm grating it. But if you want to remove it, a speed peeler works quite well.

Once you've got into your coconut, cut the peppers into quarters, remove the stalks and seeds, then finely slice. Trim your cress directly from its punnet (the easiest way to do this is to take the cress out of the punnet, wash the leafy end and stalks under a tap, then slice the stalk end off and discard it). Trim your spring onions and finely slice them. Cut the mango flesh off the stones and finely slice it (there is a knack to doing this properly – if you look at the shape of the mango, the flat stone always lies the same way, parallel with the flattest sides, so you should be able to slice the flesh off with not too much wastage). Get your pieces of coconut and grate them finely. Put all these ingredients into a large salad bowl.

Lime and ginger work together really well in the dressing. Finely grate the ginger and lime zest into a small bowl, then add the lime juice and olive oil. Season to taste, and add more oil as necessary to balance the flavours of your dressing. Limes can be different strengths depending on their juiciness and size.

Dress the salad just before serving, saving any extra dressing for another day, and eat straight away. Great just as it is, or with some grilled prawns or satay chicken. Also lovely as a snack inside a wrap or flatbread. So even though the coconut may be a pain to prepare it's well worth it...

Whether it's delicious vegetarian or vegan recipes you're after, or ideas for gluten or dairy-free dishes, you'll find plenty here to inspire you. For more info on how we classify our lifestyle recipes please read our special diets fact sheet, or or for more information on how to plan your meals please see our special diets guidance.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 465
    23%
  • Carbs 19.9g
    8%
  • Sugar 18.9 g 21%
  • Fat 38.8g 55%
  • Saturates 18.5g 93%
  • Protein 4.6g 10%
Of an adult's reference intake

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When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

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  • 1 coconut

  • 2 red peppers

  • 4 punnets cress

  • 1 bunch spring onions

  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled

  • For the dressing

  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled

  • zest and juice of 3-4 limes

  • 7-8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper