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I hardly ever order salad when I’m eating out but this particular salad meal caught my eye when I first visited the only Greek restaurant in Mauritius. Zorbas, a quaint coastal restaurant with a lovely view over Grand Baie, was not actually open when I stepped in for an impromptu lunch. The guys there, however, took my order and encouraged me to try their Souvlaki ‘sandwich’ – a yogurt flavored chicken salad, served along with pita bread and Tzatziki. My first encounter with the Greek Souvlaki brings back good memories and incredibly it took me this long to share it with you. The recipe, from CafeDelites, is refreshingly simple and needs no more than 30 minutes to put everything together since the marinade itself doubles up as the salad dressing. Make sure you have enough pita bread to soak it up.

GREEK SOUVLAKI CHICKEN SALAD

Ingredients:

For the Marinade

2 large chicken breasts

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

Cracked pepper

For The Tazatziki

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 Lebanese cucumber

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Pinch of kitchen salt

For The Salad

3 Lebanese cucumbers, sliced

250g cherry tomatoes

1 green pepper, sliced

1/2 red onion, sliced thinly

200 g marinated Feta cheese

1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives

Method:

  • Whisk together marinade ingredients in a large, shallow dish. Pour out 1/3 cup to use as the dressing.

  • Reserve the dressing in the refrigerator for later use. Add chicken to the marinade and coat it evenly.

  • Cover chicken mixture and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.

  • Combine Tzatziki ingredients in a bowl and mix them well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • Toss the salad ingredients together in a salad bowl and divide them between four serving plates.

  • Heat a large grill pan or a skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade.

  • Add chicken to hot pan. Sear until the chicken is cooked through, for about 5-6 minutes each side.

  • Remove chicken from the pan; allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Slice thickly and arrange on salad.

  • Slice warmed flatbreads and arrange on plates. Drizzle with reserved dressing and serve with Tzatziki.

Greek Souvlaki Chicken Salad

I believe this to be my greatest discovery this summer. While I cannot honestly fathom how I did without this heavenly mango drink for so many years, I have a good mind to catch up on what I’ve been missing and I strongly urge you to do the same if you have not already done so. Mango mastani is a thick blend of fresh mango puree, chilled milk and vanilla ice cream topped with nuts, tutti fruit and candied cherries. I do not think that the term ‘milkshake’ really does it any justice to the mango mastani, which originates from Pune, Maharashtra in honor of the beautiful queen Mastani, wife of Maratha Peshwa Bajirao I. The love story of these ill-fated lovers has been over the years retold through novels, Tv series and movies, the most famous being Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani, released in 2015. The recipe for this refreshing royal beverage, from Cook with Manali, has been tweaked to include mango sorbet as I was running short of vanilla ice cream and it serves to enhance the mango flavor, which can only be a good thing here.

MANGO MASTANI

Ingredients:

2 large ripe mangoes

1 cup whole milk, chilled

1/2 cup whipping cream

5-6 ice cubes, crushed or whole

2 tablespoons sugar, to taste

1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

4 scoops vanilla ice cream

2 tablespoons chopped pistachios

2 tablespoons tutti frutti

2 glazed cherries

Few mango pieces

Method:

  • Peel the mangoes and remove all the pulp. Blend all the ingredients till smooth.

  • Pour into serving glasses, fill the glasses 3/4th leaving some space for ice cream.

  • Add 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream to each glass. Garnish with the chopped nuts.

  • Top with tutti frutti, mango and cherries. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Mango Mastani

Salad meals have becomes the latest trend among health conscious foodies and bloggers. The average working man or woman has virtually no time to sit and plan a basic balanced meal. Even lunch time has become a dash to grab a sandwich and a bottle of mineral water between two meetings. As we give in to our hectic schedules, our daily meals become increasingly pre-packed or takeaway stuff, which we devour mindlessly as we put convenience ahead of health benefits. This delicious rice noodle salad can help balance out the junk food with its colorful jumble of prawns, nuts, and crunchy veggies. Taken from the blotchy pages of my well-used salad book, Larousse Salades Repas, this cold Asian salad can be served in verrines as fancy hors d’oeuvres or packed in a mason jar for office lunch.

COLD RICE NOODLE SALAD

Ingredients:

350g thick rice noodles

1 small pineapple, peeled

150g bean sprouts

250g large prawns

1 small English cucumber

20 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 small bunch mint leaves

60g salted cashew nuts

1 small red chili, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce

Method:

  • Prepare the dressing by crushing chili, garlic and sugar in a mortar. Transfer to small bowl.

  • Stir in lime juice and fish sauce and keep the dressing in the fridge until ready to assemble.

  • Cook the rice noodles as per packet instructions. Drain them well and place in serving bowl.

  • Cut the pineapple into small cubes and slice cucumber thinly. Shell and devein the prawns.

  • Sautee them in one tablespoon oil until they turn pink and are cooked throughout. Set aside.

  • To assemble salad, combine noodles with pineapple, cucumber, bean sprouts and tomatoes.

  • Add the cooked prawns, drizzle salad with dressing and toss in bowl till it is well combined.

  • Scatter the salted cashew nuts and fresh mint leaves to top before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Cold Rice Noodle Salad

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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