It’s March, which means Spring is ALMOST here!! 🙂
Although, knowing Pittsburgh weather, it will probably snow on Easter… Yet, the groundhog didn’t see his shadow, so that counts for something, right?
When I think about Spring, my mind instantly goes to visions of flowers, fruits, and fresh veggies. I think this Mango Pomegranate Salad with Creamy Curry Dressing was my subconscious way of channeling Spring, even without being able to use good warm-weather produce. Really, this is a salad that you could make at any time of the year, but it works well as a Winter or early Spring option.
Oh, did I mention that this salad is SUPER easy to make?! The salad itself is only 5 ingredients!
- Pomegranate seeds
- Shredded carrots
- Sliced almonds
- Salad greens
No excuses. You need to try this!
This pretty little salad came together after my mom informed me that we were going to have a birthday dinner for my dad. I should preface this by saying that my family is probably a little out of the ordinary when it comes to home cooking. My mom’s side of the family is Middle Eastern and my dad’s side is European, so we grew up eating exotic foods. So, it was no surprise when I found out that Dad’s birthday meal would take on an Indian-inspired theme. I was thrilled because I LOVE Indian food, but then also a little puzzled as to what sort of salad I should make, since I had already volunteered to provide one for our dinner. I don’t know that I’ve ever really had an Indian salad, aside from raita (cucumbers in yogurt sauce).
This was my chance to create something new! 🙂 And with the start of a new food blog, I need to be creating new recipes every chance I get! I knew I wanted to do something on the lighter side, so it wouldn’t compete with the chicken biryani (curry chicken with vegetables), cauliflower rice, and naan (Indian flatbread) that we would be having (all Paleo-ified, of course).
My dad loves pomegranate seeds, and since it was his birthday, that was the first ingredient that I knew was a must.
From there, I thought that mango would be a delicious and beautiful compliment to the pomegranate seeds. (Plus, mango is my Dad’s other favorite fruit!) Mangoes might not exactly be in season right now, but I always seem to find good ones throughout the year, and they’re a bargain price at Aldi! If you’re not going to make this salad right away, I recommend picking a slightly underripe mango and letting it ripen at room temperature for a few days. Otherwise, select a ripe mango. If you can’t find any decent ones, just substitute regular oranges or mandarin oranges!
I love salads with a crunch. I was originally thinking pistachios for this, but I didn’t have any on hand, so these sliced toasted almonds were a great substitute!
For the dressing, I combined creamy tahini (sesame paste) with coconut milk and Indian spices to get a light, tangy, and slightly sweet curry flavor. If tahini isn’t a staple in your house- don’t worry, I rarely have it on hand either- you could probably try almond butter as a substitute.
Oh, and did I mention that this dressing is a GORGEOUS color? It really pops against the greens and fruit! And that is all thanks to the spices.
Madras curry powder is an interesting blend of coriander, turmeric, chilies, salt, cumin, fennel, black pepper, garlic, ginger, fenugreek, cinnamon, cloves, anise, and mustard. Whew! Long list, but not to fear! If you can’t find madras curry at your grocery store, you could either make your own, try a more basic yellow curry powder, or create a new spice blend using several of the madras curry components. Be creative and play around with it! If curry isn’t your thing, I think this salad could be great even with a simple light balsamic or citrus vinaigrette, perhaps!
Needless to say, my family went crazy over this salad, so I knew it was destined to be shared here! Whether you try this as a side dish with Indian food or make it as a lunch, topped with your protein of choice, I think it will become a new favorite! Enjoy!
- 4-5 cups of mixed salad greens
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 mango
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup coconut milk (I used full-fat)
- ¼ cup tahini
- ⅛ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1.5-2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon madras curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- a pinch of sea salt and pepper, to taste
- In a dry skillet over medium/low heat, toast your sliced almonds for a few minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned. Turn off heat and set aside.
- Peel your mango (I used a potato peeler) and chop into bite-sized pieces. Place chopped mango in a large bowl, and add the carrots, pomegranate seeds, greens, and almonds. Give it a toss.
- In a small bowl, whisk together your dressing ingredients until smooth. Taste to adjust salt, curry, or sweetness, depending on your preference.
- Serve salad and dressing separately (which is what I did) or if serving immediately, drizzle some of the dressing over the salad and toss gently.
~If you are using a curry powder other than madras, you may need to sweeten the dressing more and adjust the amount of turmeric, depending on your taste.
~The dressing made more than I needed, so I used the leftover dressing on my lunch salads!