Alphonso Mango and Curried Chickpea Salad

Written by Eydie Desser

I love all of Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks. He is incredibly inventive and creates the most flavorful dishes by using copious amounts of spices and herbs—a Garden of Eydie element in making great tasting recipes!

This recipe calls for those small yellow mangoes called Alphonso. They are more fragrant than the large reddish mangoes we usually see at your local grocery store.

Ottolenghi uses oil, salt, and sugar even in his super healthy plant-based recipes. At Garden of Eydie, we prefer to go sans sugar, oil, and salt as much as possible. We will tell you how in the directions. This dish still tasted wonderful without the added 460 calories of oil! Spices will bloom when cooked with a bit of oil and adding more flavor to the final outcome. So if you want to add a little oil, we have suggestions in the ingredient list to make it healthier. After adding more lime juice, serrano chile, and dicing the mango to 1/4” pieces instead of ¾” called for, we enjoyed it tremendously!

An amazing tip in this recipe: Soaking chickpeas in plenty of water with baking soda allows for the skin to come off easily once cooked, making for a more elegant dish.


  • 3/4 cup/150g dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight with 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. curry powder (we used Madras Curry Powder)
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. superfine sugar (we omitted and didn’t miss it)
  • 5-1/2 TB sunflower oil–Optional! (we omitted and sautéed the onions and cauliflower with a little water). If you are going to use oil, use just 2 TB of extra-virgin olive oil instead—much healthier.
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced (2 cups/200 g)
  • 1 small cauliflower, broken into small florets a 1-½” dice (4 cups/400g)
  • 3 or 4 Alphonso mangoes or 1 large ripe regular mango, peeled and cut into ¼-1/2-inch dice (3-1/4 cups or 570g)
  • 1 medium-hot green chile (we used serrano), seeded and minced
  • 1-1/3 cups/20 g cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 3 TB lime juice or more to taste. We used 5 – 6 TB
  • 1-2/3 oz/50 g baby spinach leaves
  • Salt (optional) —-just a tiny sprinkling at the end


  1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and place in a 3-quart saucepan filled with water to cover the chickpeas by 3”.
  2. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the chickpeas are completely soft. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, and leave somewhere warm (at this point we removed the skins falling off the beans). *See below note about cooking dried chickpeas—our chickpeas took only 15-20 minutes to cook!
  3. 3- While the chickpeas are simmering, place the coriander, mustard, and cumin seeds in a 10-inch sauté pan heated over medium fire, and dry roast until they begin to pop, 1-2 minutes. Use a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and crush to a powder. Mix in the curry and turmeric powders, as well. (The recipe calls for ½ tsp. salt and 1 tsp. superfine sugar. We omitted these items and didn’t miss it!)
  4. Dry sauté the onions: Heat the same pan over medium heat for a minute or two, add sliced onion and move them quickly, tossing and stirring so that the onions don’t stick to the pan. Add a couple of tablespoons of water and keep stirring for another minute. Add the spice mixture, stir, coating the onions completely, 1 minute. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low, and let the onions soften to release their natural oils, 1 minute or so. Remove the cover, stir and cook the onions until they are lightly browned and translucent. Transfer to the bowl with the warm chickpeas and give them a stir to combine.
  5. Bring a 3-qt pot of water to a boil, add the cauliflower, and blanch for just 1 minute. Drain, pat dry, and set aside. Heat the same pan that the onions cooked in over medium-low heat. Add the cauliflower pieces and stir to coat with the spices left in the pan. Sprinkle a little water over the cauliflower and cook, stirring every 20 seconds or so, until the cauliflower is brown and coated with the spices, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add the cauliflower to the onion/chickpea mixture and stir well.
  7. Add diced mangoes, chile, cilantro, lime juice, and spinach. Stir well and serve at once or chill and serve within 24-hours.
  8. If desired, add a pinch of salt (optional) and more lime juice to each dish before serving.


Cooking dried beans: All beans that are bought dried don’t have an expiry date, or when they were picked. The beans could be months, if not years old. We used dried chickpeas from the farmer’s market that were just picked and dried and were less than a year old. They cooked in 20 minutes, instead of the 45 minutes to 1 hour the recipe suggested. Check your beans every 20 minutes or so, just in case you have fresher chickpeas than ones that have been sitting for a long time. It makes a huge difference.

If your chickpeas are not soft within an hour, then they will never get soft and you need to get new chickpeas!

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