A long time ago I was in Darwin for work and had a few extra days to explore a place I now think of as one of my favourite Australian cities. One of my fondest memories was going to the markets and sampling food that was really unique – fusions of different cultures and tastes I’ve struggled to find anywhere else.
One of the strongest memories of taste was of some dried mango that was dusted with chilli and salt. I’ve not seen this for a while, and with my mother in law giving me a bag of mangoes the other day I decided to embrace my inner Top Ender and see what I can create.
Salsa 1: Mango Salsa with Chilli, Lime and Salt
Take your bounty of mangoes and remove all the flesh from the fruit – as much as you can! I cut the cheeks off and then score the flesh, invert the skin and slide the chunks off (make sure to let the juice dribble in as well, don’t lose that!). Then separately, take a mortar and pestle, and crush up some dried chillies (I still have some really hot birds eye ones from a crop a year or so ago, so I use two for about a small bowl of fruit), and chuck them into the mango chunks. The final two touches – salt (a pinch for a small bowl, but start light and add more if you need to), and some zest of a lime and the juice (about ½ a lime’s worth for a small bowl).
Salsa 2: Mango Salsa with Balachaung
The second one is a bit of a cheat. I am quite fond of a condiment called balachaung, which is a sort of dried relish of dried shallots, garlic, shrimp, salt and chilli. It is a super tasty, hot, salty topping that works a treat on leftovers like fried rice. I get mine from the local Asian supermarkets (pretty much my basket always has some “sweet meat”, a can of soy bean milk and a can of “grass jelly drink”. I’ll have to take PK shopping there sometime…
Repeat the steps above to get the fruit cut up and into a bowl, and then sprinkle the balauchaung on top of the mango. That’s pretty much it – but be careful that you don’t overdo this one.
Both of these salsas are pretty good by themselves (or on crackers or something), but they also are a pretty good accompaniment to seafood like prawns… which is how we’re going to eat these ones tonight!