Daily Archives: June 28, 2015

Mango Cole Slaw

I came up with this recipe about seven years ago when I hosted a BBQ at my house for 80 people.  It was a hot day and I needed to make sides that would hold up without spoiling in the heat over a period of five or six hours.  I really enjoy cole slaw with BBQ but it’s often too gloppy and is most certainly not heat friendly when made with mayonnaise.  A good cole slaw must be crisp, fresh and dressed just right, but does not necessarily need mayonnaise.   And so I remembered an Indian cabbage salad (koshimbir) that my mom sometimes makes and decided to use that as my base.  The result was a big hit and I’ve made it for many summer parties since then to equally rave reviews.  

Last night I was pressed for time and was asked to bring a side to a BBQ and made it again. This time I decided to finally write down and publish the recipe since several at the table asked me for it.


1 head Cabbage
1/4 head Purple Cabbage
2 Carrots thickly grated
1 large Mango – peeled, cored and cut into small dice
1/4 cup Champage wine vinegar (sometimes I will use Verjus instead)
2 Tbsp Lime juice
1/2 Tsp Sugar
1 Tsp Sea salt (or to taste)
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Extra virgin olive oil
1 Tsp Cumin seeds
1 Tsp Black Mustard seeds
1 Thai green chili – finely chopped
15 – 20 Kefir Lime leaves or Curry leave (if leaves are large, chiffonade them)
1/4 Cup Cilantro – chopped


Remove outer leaves of cabbage and cut into quarters with core at the base. Remove the core from each piece and halve each again vertically.  Thinly slice each piece with a sharp knife into a fine shred.  Repeat with purple cabbage.  You may do this in the food processor but I often find that the shred is too fine resulting in a mushy rather than crisply slaw.  If you’re really pressed for time, many markets sell a bagged cole slaw mix.  It’s not quite as fresh but will do in a pinch.  Combine shredded cabbage into a collander and thorough rince under cold water and leave aside to drain while grating carrots.  In a large bowl combine green and red cabbage & carrots.  Add the Champagne wine vinegar, lime, sugar, sea salt & pepper and mix thoroughly (generally easier with your hands).  Place a small skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil, cumin seeds and mustard seeds.  When the seeds start to sizzle & pop, add the chillies.  Once the chillies stop sizzling (about 10 seconds), add the kefir lime leaves all at once and quickly and immediately step back as they will pop & splatter vehemently for about a second.  Once the popping stops, pour the hot oil over the cabbage mixture and mix thoroughly (if using hands, be careful of the pockets of hot oil).  Add mango & cilantro and mix again.  Allow to sit at room temperature for an hour mixing occasionally until the cabbage has “cooked” in the marinade.  

Serve chilled or at room temperature.  Enjoy!!

Note : You can add more heat to this by using one more Thai chili or reduce the heat by using a seeded serrano or jalapeno.  For anyone who may want to eliminate the salt, I do recommend adding at least some.  Not only to bring out the flavor but also because it helps to cure and cook the cabbage along with the acids.  Kefir Lime leaves or Curry leaves as they are often called can be found at most Indian markets.  There really is no substitute for these in this dish.  You can try adding lime zest but the taste will not be the same.  Some day I’ll have to blog about the word “Curry” which is so misunderstood, misused and completely butchered by most, including prominent chefs.  

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