Nothing like a fresh salad with locally grown fruits and garden fresh herbs. I brought really fresh naturally grown pears from Dhanachuli (located in Uttarakhand hills) and we have been eating pears for meals sometimes. This pear salad was one of those meals that we both enjoyed thoroughly. These pears are the ones that get soft after full ripening but the fruit seller had plucked them slightly raw to get a longer shelf life. Crisp and sweet these are. Yes those roadside fruit sellers in remote hills always pluck themselves and bring the fruit to the roadsides so the people traveling in vehicles can buy them. I love going to such fruit sellers in those areas and buying fresh fruit, it is a luxury we don't have in city life.
So I wanted to use the best of the pear in the best possible way. Of course we have been biting into a pear any time of the day but that could not prevent us from having a large bowlful of pear salad for dinner. How naturally grown real fruit (real whole food) captivates your senses in a different way than chemically enhanced food like substances. Amazing.
I had made mango chutney using the leftover mangoes that we brought from Ratoul last month. These were a mix of sweet and sour mangoes and we were fed up eating the same mangoes everyday. I turned them all into this chilly mango chutney and have been using it creatively since then. For this salad I just diluted the chutney with a little balsamic vinegar and a little water and it coated the pear salad well giving it a nice sweet sour hot kick.
The salad recipe is simple. Slice the pears the way you like, bite size pieces work well. Tear some rucola or arugula leaves ( I used them fresh from my garden) and mix with the pears. Add some tender beet leaves or red amaranth leaves to brighten up the salad and break a few walnuts over it. Drizzle the mango chilly chutney over the salad bowl and mix lightly with the folk as you eat.
Recipe of the mango chutney
fresh (or tinned) mango pulp 2 cups
sugar 1/2 cup
balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp
red chilly flakes (or powder) 1 tsp
scissor cut whole dry red chillies 2 ( I added just for a few larger pieces of chilly visible in the chutney)
Cook everything together till the chutney thickens to your desired consistency. Fill in sterilised jars and store in refrigerator for about a month.
* Try and use a mix of mango varieties in this chutney and include tart and sweet both types of varieties. This gives it more depth of flavours. Using reduced balsamic vinegar also gives it a deeper flavour so go ahead and make this mango chutney yours with a chilly kick.
This mango chutney works really well along with sharp cheeses over toasted crostini or crackers. Or with aloo paratha as Arvind loves it. I loved this mango chutney over grilled chicken too.
Just try replacing your junk ketchup with this mango chutney and see how well it tastes in sandwiches, with fries or even to make different cheese or mayo based dips.
I am planning a fruit pizza using this chutney as a sauce and pears and tart apples as topping with feta cheese and rucola. Who doesn't like easy yummy meals?
Please do let me know whenever you try this mango chutney.