Every afternoon at 3pm, my ears start buzzing with what is at first a curious sound. I look left, then right and then back at my screen again. I type in the URL to my favourite food website and suddenly the sound gets louder, accompanied by strange sensations from behind my belly button.
Time for tea. And a chocolate ganache. Now if I could get to the food store in the mall across the street before the pangs turn into shrieks. But I don’t arrive in time. The pangs get worse. Before I know it, I’ve spent 30 minutes of the 10 minutes allotted browsing through shelves with munchies of all kinds The humble digestives and crackers are tucked away in the back, on the bottom shelf and by the time I find them I’ve already for myself a box of cupcakes, a cinnamon roll, a hot sandwich and a cold salad.
This isn’t lunch, I tell myself. Control yourself.
Maybe tomorrow. Today, I’ll indulge. Just a little.
By 7pm all my goodies have been polished off and dinner, utterly ruined. I thus settle for a portion of a street side fried snack to go because… it will digest by bedtime. Hopefully.
But then on the bus I’m afflicted with a different set of pangs. Those of guilt, if I’ve judged correctly.
The overindulgence at tea isn’t the fault of my insatiable, illogical post-lunch downer. Sorry, hunger. It’s my disorganisation in the matters of snacking at work.
There’s nothing wrong with it. Except that stuffing up on cakes and rolls and cookies and sandwiches can take a toll in the long run. As long as a week if my weighing scale is right.
So I decided that something needed to be done about this. Now!
With an abundance of mangoes on my kitchen platform, I decided that maybe it’s time to pull out that old recipe for mango salsa. The sweetness of the mangoes would go perfectly with tea and the citrus and savoury elements would satiate my cravings for a salt.
I decided to lay off the tomatoes for this one because mangoes, so ripe and juicy + tomatoes, also ripe but really runny = euch.
I didn’t compromise on the onions though. I never compromise on onions! The world could end tomorrow and I’d be happy so long as I had one last onion to love before I died. But this doesn’t change the fact that onions can be really jarring when paired with sweet mangoes. So I added some cucumbers to neutralise the flavour and add to the crunch.
The star of this dish of course is the mango. But it’s the lime juice that brings it all together. Our Indian limes, however, can be really strong and acidic in large quantities. So stick to half a lime and add more if you feel the sweetness of your salsa needs more acidity.
The best thing about this dish is that it takes all of 15 minutes — this includes chopping, peeling and mixing it all up.
1 ripe mango — a variety that’s not overtly soft or sweet. I used Badami
1 small onion – finely chopped
1 small cucumber – diced
Handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped finely
Salt & pepper to taste
Pinch of chilly powder (optional)
Slice the mangoes, discard (or plant) the seed; dice into small pieces and place in an air-tight jar.
In the jar, add the remaining ingredients.
Mix well, don’t mush, and seal it up for 15 minutes.
Open up, mix again and put it in the refrigerator. Keeps up to 2 days.
Eat at your desktop or dining table with crackers, savoury cookies, bread or parathas.