Tropical Fruit Salad with Chilli, Star Anise, Cinnamon & Lime Dressing

 


This gorgeous fruit salad comes from spice master John Gregory’s Smith‘s book, Mighty Spice. Inspired by his travels around the world, John wrote the cookbook to show how you can use spices to add amazing flavours – including spicy, zingy, fiery and tangy – as well as delicious aromas. Instead of having to use a whole load of different spices, John uses a total of only 25 spices – and a maximum of only 5 spices for each recipe. And there’s a wonderful selection of dishes from all over the world. Brilliant!

This recipe literally took no time at all to prepare. I cheated (!) and bought a pre-prepared tropical fruit salad. So I simply made the syrup and mixed it into the papaya, pineapple, mango and passion fruit. So easy. And the flavours here are stunning – a combination of fiery chilli, zesty lime juice, and sweet, aromatic cinnamon and star anise – all mixed into the different fruit flavours. We ate this after a beef stir-fry, making the whole meal a fantastic mix of tastes and aromas. It’s wonderful to find new inspiration for fruit and this is fast becoming a new favourite in our house!

gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, egg-free, soya-free, nut-free, seed-free

Serves 4     Preparation time 10 minutes     Cooking time 10 minutes

  • 90g/3¼oz/heaped ⅓ cup caster sugar
  • 5cm/2in cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • juice of 2 limes
  • seeds and pulp of 3 passion fruit
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted and roughly chopped
  • ½ pineapple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 papaya, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
  1. Put the sugar, cinnamon, star anise and chilli flakes into a large pan with 250ml/9fl oz/1 cup water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Stir continuously for 1 minute, or until all the sugar has dissolved, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, shaking the pan occasionally, for 10 minutes until the liquid has reduced to a thin syrup. Transfer the syrup to a mixing bowl and set aside to cool. Remove the cinnamon to stop its flavour overpowering the dressing, but reserve for decoration.
  2. Once the syrup has cooled, pour in the lime juice and passion fruit and mix well. Add the mango, pineapple and papaya, then toss together so that the spicy, sweet-sour flavours of the dressing coat the fruit. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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