My kids love mango so much I tend to just slice the fruit into halves in a lattice ("hedgehog") pattern, turning them out to be eaten as they are. But I fancied trying something a bit different. Diced small with vegetables, herbs, a squeeze of lime, masala spice and a handful of peanuts - as juvenile salad consumption goes, this one was a triumph. They couldn't eat enough of it.
Chaats are traditionally served in Indian cuisine as cold salads or snacks to share. Use seasonal vegetables and fruit and track down a good chaat masala mix (I got mine in my local Indian grocer) - the ingredients are lengthy and delicious, including chilli, paprika, coriander, cinnamon, fennel, long pepper, green cardamom, clove, mace, green mango and more, all warm, sour and sweetly spiced. It would be unnecessarily ambitious to try making your own, and shop-bought is fine.
I used salted peanuts instead of seasoning the chat. By all means use plain peanuts or a boiled pulse, such as chickpeas, instead.
1 ripe mango, diced
100g salted peanuts
1 cucumber, seeds removed and diced
½ red onion, diced finely
1 lime, juiced
40g bunch of coriander, leaves picked and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of chaat masala mix*
* Alternatively, toast and grind a mixture of cumin, coriander or any of the spices mentioned above.
In a bowl, mix the ingredients together and season to taste - you want a good balance between spice, salt and acidity.
I served the chaat with fried chicken thighs and lime pickle.
Mango and peanut chaat. Photograph: Claire Thomson for the Guardian