When my friend Teresa made this for a party, I immediately frogmarched her straight down to the local grocer so she could re-create it. (Sorry, Teresa.) Both this salad and Teresa are from the Seychelles, but the salad is actually Indian in origin. It’s very hot and sweet, more like a condiment, so a little will go a long way. The key is the type of mango you use. They don’t have to be Indian, but they do have to be semi-ripe, by which I mean hard with just the slightest amount of give when you prod them. The salad will taste better the longer you leave the mango to marinate. A couple of hours would be perfect.
It works nicely with leafy greens and coconut-based dishes like the Keralan vegetable istoo or fresh coconut rice .
Serves 4 as a side
2 large semi-ripe mangoes
1 small red onion
3–4 red bird’s eye chiles, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
a grind of the pepper mill
3 tablespoons lime juice
1–2 tablespoons sugar
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the mangoes, then shave the mangoes top to bottom to create long, thin ribbons. Put them into a serving bowl.
Slice the red onion into thin half-moons and add to the bowl, along with the chiles, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Add the sugar little by little—you might not need so much if your mangoes are already sweet.
Mix everything together thoroughly, and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.