Mangoes are native to India and account for approximately half of all tropical fruits produced worldwide. In India, the tree and it's fruit plays a sacred role. It is a traditionally a symbol of love and some believe that the Mango tree has the power to grant wishes. The trees can also live a very long time, with some specimens still bearing fruit after 300 years. Pretty damned impressive !
In Hinduism, the perfectly ripe mango is often held by the elephant god, Lord Ganesha (remover of obstacles and patron of prosperity) as a symbol of attainment and potential perfection. Mango blossoms are also used in the worship of the Goddess Saraswati who rules knowledge, music, arts, science and technology. All this, and they taste superb too!
Today's recipe is very easy and is the ideal Summer after work dinner. You can throw it together really fast and the result is a healthy, summery and delicious meal. Feel free to play around with the salad ingredients and use whatever you have around. Throwing in some toasted almonds or sunflower seeds would add a lovely nutty crunch to the salad if you fancy it.
Chicken and Mango Salad
You will need: 6 chicken tenderloins, 1 ripe sliced mango (I prefer them a touch under-ripe, but choose whatever suits you), ½ red onion finely sliced, 1 baby Cos lettuce (or assorted salad leaves of your choice) , ½ Lebanese cucumber - deseeded and sliced, ½ cup finely julienned red pepper/capsicum. Olive oil for greasing the pan or grill.
For the marinade: 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon minced or finely chopped chilli (more if you like it fiery!), 1 clove minced garlic, Rind of 1 lime.
For the dressing: Juice of 1 lime, 2 teaspoons fish sauce, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, salt and pepper to taste
Method: Whisk together the marinade ingredients and combine well with the chicken. Marinate for at least an hour (overnight is great if you have time)
Whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.
Cook the chicken in a hot, greased pan/grill until cooked through. Brush with any remaining marinade as you go. Doing this on the BBQ would also work really well. When the chicken is cooked, allow it to rest for about 10 minutes.
While the chicken is resting, assemble all of your salad ingredients on individual plates or a large platter. Slice the chicken into smaller pieces and add to the salad. Drizzle over some of the dressing just before serving.
Serves 2-4, depending on how hungry you are!