I’ve travelled around the Far East quite a bit over recent years, and as you’d expect, it’s opened my eyes to the possibilities of spice. One of the most surprising dishes I came back with is this chilli-spiked fruit salad. It makes a light, refreshing pudding, but I’ve developed a real taste for it first thing in the morning too. The secret is to make sure your fruit isn’t too ripe, so the salad stays crisp and tangy and gives a proper kick-start to your day
First make the dressing. Mix the tamarind paste, lime zest and juice, sugar and chilli, then season with a little salt and pepper. Mix well, taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
2. Toast the peanuts in a dry frying pan with a small pinch of salt until golden and toasted. Wrap the nuts in a clean tea towel and run a rolling pin over them to crush them.
3. Mix the crushed peanuts into the dressing. Taste and add a little more sugar and/or salt if needed.
4. Combine the fruits and cucumber in a serving bowl. Add half the dressing and toss well. Taste and add the remaining dressing if needed.
Tamarind’s tangy flavour makes it a very useful addition to salads, and it’s definitely worth tracking down a jar if you can. Adding a little extra lime juice can sometimes be a good substitute, though you may find the salad will lack a certain fruity sharpness.