Caribbean Chow/Indian Chaat Style Salad

I think you can guess¬†from the title of my post that I was struggling to come up with a proper name for this creation ūüôā It started with me coming across a caribbean mango cucumber¬†chow recipe on a recipe forum. My sensory buds tingled at the mention of mango. And with cilantro and lime thrown in? Wow, even more mouthwatering stuff.

So that was the inspiration for my salad. So I got myself a mango two¬†weeks ago – yes mangoes have started making an arrival here in our grocers! And note I said ‘ got myself a mango’, which meant that I was¬†NOT willing to share this with anyone else at home. Yes I mean it. When it comes to mangoes, I become an infant …’Its mine!” ¬†OK OK so my family left me alone. ¬†They had the infinite wisdom that once mangoes start making more of an appearance especially at the Indian grocers, mom would get¬†a crate of them and at that point¬†she will be willing to¬†share some with us.

So the recipe I had seen was fairly simple – onion, garlic, green chillies, lime juice and …Culantro. ¬†Yes no typo there, it is Culantro. ¬†I looked it up and it says that culantro or shado beni is a special herb grown in the caribbean. ¬†It is supposedly slightly different from Culantro or shado beni but cilantro is a close substitute. ¬†I am definitely very interested in laying my hands on this herb! ¬†Please let me know if any of you know where I can get it in the US?

Continuing with my salad, I added diced¬†avocado, cucumber and mango together. ¬†For the caribbean¬†chow, ¬†you pound together the onion, garlic, chillies and culantro and add this to the mango/cucumber pieces. Toss with salt and pepper and you are good to go! So I did this and then decided to add some chaat masala since the green chili and cilantro mixture along with lime was so reminiscent of the chaat we used to have back in the streets of Mumbai. ¬†So I added some chaat masala – the salad started tasting so good and I continued to sprinkle more and more of the chaat masala till I felt that it was just perfect – ‘You could eat the whole bowl’ kind of perfect! ¬†Yum!

After that day I started getting mangoes every week and I have made this salad at least three times in the past two weeks!. This last time I made it, i also added cooked beets and sweet potatoes to it.  Tasted wondrous and a perfect side dish to my pan fried salmon.

Chaat masala btw is a blend of several different spices and has a dominant sour/tangy flavor from the dry mango powder and the black salt (pink salt) but it has a little bit of heat also from the other spices and cayenne pepper. I always buy store bought chaat masala but here’s a recipe for it if you would like to see the ingredients – Chaat masala recipe

Linking this delicious salad recipe to Plant-Based Potluck Party Link Up and Saucy Saturdaythis week.

Caribbean Chow/Indian Chaat Style Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad, Paleo, Vegan
Cuisine: Caribbean , Indian, Fusion
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
 
A tangy and sweet tropical salad consisting of cucumber, avocados and mango deliciously spiced with cilantro, garlic, lemon juice and chaat masala
Ingredients
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ red onion
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
  • ½ ripe mango, cut into medium size chunks
  • ½ cucumber, peeled and diced
  • ½ boiled potato (or sweet potato), diced
  • ½ of a medium beet cooked (optional), diced
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp chaat masala
Instructions
  1. In a mortar or pestle or a small food processor, add the cilantro, garlic, red onion and the lemon juice. Blend well until you get a chunky kind of paste. Keep aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the avocado, cucumber, mango, potato (or sweet potato) and beet (if adding). Add the cilantro mixture to this. Add the salt, pepper and the chaat masala. Toss well to mix the spices well with the vegetables and fruits. Serve fresh!
Notes
For Paleo version, Use sweet potato instead of potato
For AIP version, Use sweet potato instead of potato and Skip chaat masala

Link up your recipe of the week

Caribbean Style Grilled Shrimp (Paleo)

Shrimp is an all time favorite of mine! ¬†My parents having been born and raised so close to the coast in Kerala, shrimp was my amma’s ‘go to’ ingredient for added flavor. ¬†Yes she would add prawns in even vegetable dishes to enhance the flavor!. And boy that sure got us kids to eat all their veggies plus¬†lick the plate! ¬†Shrimp or ‘Chemeen’¬†as they are called in Kerala are used to make so many wonderful dishes like chemeen curry with coconut(thengarachu curry), chemeen varatharachu curry, ¬†chemmeen green mango curry, prawn masala, prawn cutlets, ¬†dried prawns chutney, prawn pickle etc etc. ¬†Gosh my mouth is watering!

So you can imagine my joy when I was allowed to eat shrimp again by my naturopath after having abstained from eating it for more than a year! This is one of the reasons I like my Paleo diet. !

When we had visited Cancun a couple years ago, the resort we stayed in had a beautiful lunch buffet menu. One of the items on that buffet was ‘carribean style’ sizzling shrimp! My husband would grin at me¬†as I loaded up my plate with these wonderfully spiced and perfectly grilled shrimp every single day of the 5 days we were there!

Last week as I pulled out shrimp out of the freezer to grill some quickly for my lunch, on a sudden whim I decided to try making it the carribean style – the way we¬†had it at the resort. Going by my memory of the flavors, I quickly put together a marinade using cilantro, ginger,garlic,lemon juice, pepper, and some honey and this wonderful dish was created in less than 30 minutes. ¬†My son was home that day with me for lunch and we both couldn’t stop marveling at how good these shrimp turned out to be! And they were pretty darn close to the ones we had at the resort! ¬†Chef Mom deserves a pat on the back! ¬†‘Thank you’ Thank you’ , I say taking my bow as I clean up the table ūüôā

I made this recipe again a couple days later since I wanted to share these ‘wicked good shrimp’ as my son had called them, with my husband. That time I tried grilling in the oven since I had pan fried it the first time and the grilled ones came out perfectly too. So I give directions for both ways in my recipe below. ¬†What are you waiting for? ūüôā

For a strict Paleo AIP version, omit the chillies and these will still be fantastic I am sure.

Linking this recipe this week to the following link parties:

Saucy Saturdays

Inspiration Galore Project Party

 

Caribbean Style Grilled Shrimp (Paleo)
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer; Main course
Cuisine: Caribbean
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
Shrimp marinated in a tangy, sweet and spicy marinade consisting of cilantro, lemon, garlic and honey and grilled or pan fried in coconut oil to perfection!
Ingredients
  • 16-18 pieces of medium size shrimp (or about 10-12 pieces of jumbo shrimp)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 by 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 green (serrano) chilies
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp sea salt or as needed
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Place all of the listed ingredients other than shrimp and coconut oil in a food processor (use small grinder) and blend well. Mixture may be a little chunky and that's ok. Marinate the shrimp in this mixture for about 10-15 mins.
  2. Heat a non stick frying pan. Add the coconut oil. Grill the shrimp in the pan and cook 1 min on each side.
  3. If grilling in oven, turn oven to Broil setting. Place the shrimp in an Al foil lined tray on skewers and place on the top rack about 4 inches from the flames. Cook for about 2 mins and then flip once and cook for about 1 minute on other side. Take the shrimp out and serve immediately. (Do Not overcook the shrimp as they will turn hard)
Notes
For a Paleo AIP version, skip the green chillies and use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce

 

 

 

 

 

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Cajun Spiced Chicken (Spicy Chicken Fry)

Cajun ChickenThis is what memorable summers are made of ! Ok, so about a week ago, my blogger friend Chef Ronit who blogs at¬†‘Tasty Eats’ posted a recipe for spicy Crispy Chicken Wings¬†which looked so good that I instantly knew I wanted to replicate her recipe. The most intriguing part of her recipe to me was the mix of spices which was very different from the usual spices I use for Indian style grilled chicken/tandoori chicken.

However that weekend I couldn’t find¬†any chicken wings at our grocers and so I had to use chicken drumsticks instead, which in hindsight, was not a very bad option since you get more meat here vs the wings ūüôā ¬†The next problem was I did not have the ‘blackened spice mix’ that Ronit used. But she had given details of what constituted that spice mix and so I used her guidance and my imagination a bit to come up with a ‘similar’ but at the same time somewhat different spice marinade.

Spicy Chicken FryI also followed¬†Ronit’s method for roasting the chicken but since I used drumsticks I needed to cook them for a tad longer. ¬†And the result was just phenomenal! ¬†Wonderfully spiced chicken that the family loved! ¬†The entire tray of a dozen¬†drumsticks was devoured by the 4 of us in just a¬†few minutes!. We had an absolutely gorgeous meal outdoors with this chicken and the steamed tapioca that I posted last week. ¬†Thank you Chef Ronit! ūüôā And Happy Summer and Happy Grilling to all of you!

Linking to Throwback Thursday this week.

Linking to Fiesta Friday too.

Cajun Spiced Chicken (Spicy Chicken Fry)

  • Servings: Serves 4-6
  • Time: about 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Adapted from this  Spicy Chicken Wings recipe from Tasty Eats

Ingredients:

12 Chicken drumsticks, thawed and with skin on
For marinade:

1/4 of a red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves
10 peppercorns
2 tsp red chilli pow
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 tbsp regular salt
1 tbsp rice flour
2 tbsp light olive oil

extra oil for baking

Method:

Take all marinade ingredients in a food processor bowl and grind to a fine paste. If paste is too thick, add a tablespoon of water.

Blot dry the chicken pieces using paper towels. Make small slits on each chicken drumstick for the marinade to get into the inner meat. Then coat each chicken piece with the spice marinade using your hands.  Keep aside for between 15 minutes to 1 hour(If weather is too warm, then keep marinated chicken in the refrigerator)

Pre-heat oven to 425 deg F (about 220 C). ¬†Take a large tray and line with Al foil. Brush the foil liberally with oil. ¬†Place the chicken pieces on the tray – make sure they don’t stick to each other. ¬†Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 50-55 minutes flipping them every 20 minutes or so and brushing with oil on top every time you turn them.

The chicken pieces are done when the tops look crispy brown. Take them out of the oven and cover tray with Al foil until serving so that the steam keeps them moist on the inside.

Spicy Chicken Fry