When the weather changes from Spring to Summer, the biggest challenge is the shift in our food cravings. Rather than cook on the stove, the cravings lean more towards cold, fresh and easy meals. Salads are a huge family favorite, with each of us having our own most desired interpretation of the same. Be it a simple tossed salad using lettuce and mixed greens, a quinoa salad, a veggie salad with typical Indian flavors (will share the recipe soon) or bean salads (which are very popular in the chaat category), or even a nice fruit salad, we love salads in the summer.
We have a variety of salads that we like, so at home, when salad is on the menu, the dressing is usually customized to each one’s liking. Make a huge bowl of salad and serve their favorite dressing on the side, everyone is happy ! It becomes a little bit difficult when news breaks out about lettuce being infected by certain types of bacteria and we must stay away for a while until the coast is cleared again. In such times, we go for alternatives. A bean salad is versatile and very filling. One can flavor it with anything you like and it beautifully adapts to the said mix of spices and fresh veggies.
White and brown garbanzo beans, green mung, brown lentils, black eye peas and a whole array of whole legumes are no stranger to the Indian palate in the form of a warm salad called ‘Sundal’ ! Cooked whole beans/legumes and toss them in an aromatic tempering that may include some coconut, cilantro, curry leaves, black mustard seeds, asafetida, etc. Delish !
Some beans like the black beans, navy beans, American lentils, French green lentils, etc., were introduced to me when I moved out of India, to the United States. But, as a vegetarian, when one loves beans and legume recipes, depends on it for nutrition, it not only expands your taste palate but also adds to your recipe repertoire. So many beans, so many recipes ……..it is actually very exciting !! LOL, you’ve gotta take my word for it !
Black bean Mango salad is one such find that I absolutely loved it and decided to make it a regular one at home, especially when Mangoes are in season. This is a very basic recipe, make it your own by adding flavors that entice you and enjoy it !
Prep time – 15 minutes Cook time – 15 minutes (if cooking your own beans)
Spice Level – 🌶🌶 Ease Level – 😃
**I soaked a cup of dry black beans overnight and the following morning, cooked it for 15 minutes in my Electric Pressure cooker on Bean Mode, No Pressure Release.
**Once cooked, I drained the beans and rinsed them well under cold tap water. Let them sit in the colander until I chopped the ingredients needed.
**Use either taco seasoning or chaat masala or cayenne or finely chopped green chili / our use a little bit of all!
- Cooked black beans – 2 cups/ 2 cans drained and rinsed well
- Persian cucumber – 2 – finely diced (use any cucumber you like)
- Ripe, firm Mango – 1 medium – finely chopped (Mango shouldn’t be too ripe)
- Cilantro- a few sprigs – finely chopped
- Avocado – 1 small – optional – finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon or to taste
- Shallot – 1 small – finely chopped (I did not add onions to the kids’ salad)
- Taco seasoning – 1/2 teaspoon – optional (my personal favorite in bean salads)
- Chaat Masala – 1/2 teaspoon – optional
- Cayenne – 1/2 teaspoon – optional
How to :
- In a mixing bowl, toss all the veggies, I add them one by one directly into the bowl as I keep chopping the veggies.
- Add the cooked black beans
- Add all the seasonings like salt, cayenne, chaat masala, salt, taco seasoning and lime juice.
- Toss gently until thoroughly mixed and check for seasoning.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve immediately or let chill in the refrigerator and serve when you are ready.
- This salad holds really well for at least 2 or 3 days if you skip the avocado. I add chopped avocado right before we are ready to eat.
TA-dah ! you have an absolutely delightful and filling bean salad ready. You can also use a combination of beans, add tomatoes, baby radish, corn, jicama….literally endless possibilities !!! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Thank you for stopping by !