No, it’s not a typo. I’m excited to chat tonight with James Beard Award-winning author, Mayukh Sen about his dazzling 2021 book, Tastemakers: Seven Immigrant Women who Revolutionized Food in America. Books and Books and Miami Book Fair host tonight’s free, virtual event and you can register here. To celebrate, and because I love a pun, I made fruit chaat, India’s chile-sparked fruit salad, and gave it a tropical twist with citrus, starfruit and strawberries, all in season now in Miami.
Fruit chaat is usually served as a chopped fruit salad, but I took inspiration from one of Mayukh’s tastemakers, Norma Shirley a Jamaican chef beloved in Miami, Norma had an artist’s eye for plating. Let fruit, with its bright colors and sexy shapes, coax out your inner food stylist.
Tossed or composed, fruit chaat is delicious, refreshing, and makes you taste fruit in a whole new way. You just need magic dust, aka chaat masala, the spice blend that gives fruit chaat its kick. At its most elemental, chaat masala is cumin, chile, amchoor (dried mango powder) and salt. You’d think amchoor would be sweet, but it’s tart. Chile, cumin and a smack of tartness is a flavor combo as beloved in Latinx and Caribbean cuisine as it is India, so it’s a Miami meant-to-be. No amchoor? No problem. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Fruit chaat makes the perfect snack for nibbling during tonight’s chat. Thanks to Books and Books, Miami Book Fair, W.W. Norton, and magnificent Mayukh Sen. Join us. Register at www.crowdcast.io/e/tastemakers/register.
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chile
- 1 teaspoon amchoor dried mango powder, available at some specialty stores and online. Or use one good squeeze of lime juice.
- 1 good pinch sea salt
- 2 tablespoons roasted cashews or pistachios
- 2 tablespoons crystalized ginger chopped
- a few mint leaves or microgreens
- In a dry skillet, toast cumin and chile over medium heat just for a minute or two until spices warm and release their fragrance.
- Pour cumin and chile into a small bowl or ramekin. Add amchoor and sea salt and set aside.
- On a platter or in a bowl: combine fruit. Accessorize with chopped nuts, crystallized ginger and mint leaves or microgreens.
- Finish by sprinkling on the chaat masala, and serve at once.
Looking for more fruity recipes?