“I love mangoes,” Isla said one day. “Can we grow some?”
Vinny sighed. “Not here in Canada, kiddo. Mango trees thrive in India, where people call mangoes the Food of the Gods. Mango trees live long and prosper there. Some specimens are over 300 years old and still going strong.”
Isla put on her sad face.
“But don’t worry, Chick Pea.” Vinny got out two lovely reddish green fruits and a sharp knife. “We can get mangoes in the grocery store. They’re especially good in the spring. Help me chop up these two beauties for a salad and I’ll tell you a story.”
Isla smiled and got to work.
Vinny told this tale
abridged, from Ramu and the mangoes
A rich man in Delhi brought home two juicy mangoes. He gave them to his servant and said, “Here Ramu, take these to the kitchen and cut them up. A friend of mine will be coming soon and I want to share with him.”
To make sure the mangoes were not sour, Ramu put one piece in his mouth. Ah, how sweet! “If I eat just one more piece, the master will never know,” he thought. But before long, the plate was empty!
Poor Ramu. What was he to do? The mangoes were gone. He was afraid he would lose his job!
“The knife is blunt, Master,” Ramu called. “I can’t cut the mangoes with it!”
“Bring the knife here,” the master shouted. “I’ll sharpen it for you.”
While the master was sharpening the knife, Ramu ran to meet his master’s friend. “Have you had a fight with my master?” he asked the friend. “He says that he will cut off both your ears!”
The friend stared in surprise. “We haven’t fought. But yesterday when he came to my house, I put on his sandals by mistake. Why would he want to cut off my ears for a little thing like that?”
“See for yourself,” Ramu said. “But don’t let him catch you!”
The friend crept up to an open window and saw the master of the house sharpening a big knife. He wasted no time running back the way he had come.
Ramu shouted to his master, “Your friend has taken the mangoes. He’s running away!”
The master rushed out after his friend. “Stop! ” he called. “Keep one of them if you like, but let me have the other one!” The friend screamed in terror and vanished in the distance.
Back at his house, the master said, “I never knew that man was such a thief!” He then went out and came home with two more lovely mangoes. “Here Ramu,” he said. “You eat one. And cut the other one for me.”
Leafless Mango Salad with Ginger Dressing
Two to four servings
- 1 large ripe greeny-red mango (about 2 cups, peeled and diced)
- 2 cups sugar snap peas, tips removed and julienned
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper (about 1 cup), seeded and diced (optional)
- one carrot, sliced on a grater into thin coins (optional)
- 1 cup Brussels sprouts, chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup unsalted walnuts, roughly chopped
For ginger dressing
about 1/2 cup
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons sesame seed oil
- 1/2 to 1 small jalapeno, seeded
- 1 teaspoon ginger, finely grated
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 7 drops liquid stevia, or sweetener of choice to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Blend all dressing ingredients well in a blender or food processor, scraping down sides to incorporate. Pour into a salad dressing bottle and enjoy. This dressing will keep for up to 3 days.
- Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Only the first three ingredients are vital. Add in whatever others are in your fridge, for nice color and crunch
- Pour the ginger dressing to your taste over the salad and toss to coat. Enjoy immediately!
Mangoes are delicious this time of year – ripe, big, juicy and creamy in texture (not hard or stringy). This fabulous salad tastes great without any leafy greens distracting from mangoes’ deliciousness. If you want greens, though, serve this salad on a bed of them. But your salad will no longer be leafless :).
What’s so special about mangoes?
Mangoes are a super fruit, rich in these nutrients:
- pre-biotic fiber – for better digestion and for healthy gut bacteria that benefit every part of your body, including your brain
- vitamins A, C, and B6 – for good eyesight and skin and to protect against oral and lung cancers
- copper – for healthy blood and enzymes that control body chemistry
- polyphenolic flavonoid antioxidants – to protect against colon, breast, and prostate cancer.
Mangoes are one of the most popular, nutritionally rich fruits going, with unique flavor, fragrance, taste, and heath-promoting qualities. Isla agrees!
Then she added: Ramu is clever, Vinny. But just who was the thief, here? Ramu wasn’t fair!