A dangerous triple play – Amchur, mulberries and a gargantuan avocado. Salad.

Forgive me if you sense some pent up frustration behind this post today. Phil is away, so I’ve been single parenting. No biggie there, but when that’s going on, I have to reward myself with a tad more end-of-day relaxation. My kids go to bed pretty late, so when I’m solo and 9:15 rolls around and I’m finally free, I have my little performance bonuses all ready to go. Glass of wine. Check. PJs. Check. Popcorn. Good to go. Movie or series on Netflix… Where’s the Apple TV remote? Where the @#$#*& is the Apple remote?

My sweet little daughter hid it, that’s where the Apple remote is. You see, today’s 6-year-olds are tech savvy, but only, like, 64% tech savvy. So she knows how to manhandle the remote like a pro, but she doesn’t completely understand when you can pause TV and when it’s live and what happens when the TV turns off. Because, like, doesn’t every show just come on whenever you want it? Soon. But she’s learned that that’s not exactly the case in every circumstance. So she figures if she hides the remote no one will touch her show and she can pick up where she left off.

Yes, I tried to wake her up to ask her, but she wasn’t having any of it, and if this makes me a bad mother so be it. I needed to watch the next episode of Homeland, even though I’m not that far into it and still wondering whether or not I like the main couple and whether or not the show stereotypes and fearmongers in a big way. But I need to watch it to decide these things.

So I’m blogging in a disgruntled way instead. Lucky you!

And now for another quick story, this time about the dangerous food I tried tonight. Yesterday I visited The Spice Trader, a new shop that just opened in my awesome hood. When I saw the sign go up I wondered what spicy joys it could bring me that I couldn’t find at The Bulk Barn. Love the Bulk Barn. But one quick visit showed me what was different – these chicks know their spices, and their cooking (and they have an insane variety of grainy goodnesses).  I explained that I blog weird food, and the owner immediately waltzed me from tin to tin explaining about rare or odd flavourings and what they could be used for. I chose two tins, and they didn’t even charge me for them, which, like a drug dealer giving a freebee on a gateway drug, will obviously have me hooked on her place for life. They do mail orders. Just sayin.

So I’ll keep one spice I chose a secret for a future post, but the other is called “Amchur,” (also Amchoor) and is made by drying and grinding green mangoes.

AmchurIt adds an acidic taste, and so can be used in recipes instead of lime, which is fabulous, because lime is a common ingredient and I don’t always have one on hand.  It worked like a dream in the salad dressing below.

I’ve been overdosing (keeping with the drug theme, for some unknown reason) on buying odd foods lately, so you may be seeing a lot more posts and I’ll be seeing a lot less Homeland. Yesterday just a few doors down from The Spice Trader, I found some dried mulberries. Yet another delicious superfood…

Round and round the mulberry bush

Round and round the mulberry bush

And today while I wasted time at a sketchy Chinese grocery store during the remote control thief’s gymnastics class, I found an enormous avocado.


And these things.

Stick food

If you can tell me what those saber branches are I’ll send you a prize. No, seriously, I don’t know what they are either and I’m hoping you can help out before I start gnawing on them.

So here’s what I did with the amchur, hulk avocado, and mulberries. I’ll save the stick food for a day I’m feeling panda-ish.

Shrimp, Avocado, Mango salad with Curry Cream Dressing and Mulberries

(all portions, except for dressing, are according to personal taste. My mom always asks measures of components for salads I’ve made, and my answer is “no idea! Just go with your hungry gut”)

  • Shrimp, defrosted and peeled
  • 2Tbsp olive oil (for frying the shrimp)
  • sprinkle of powdered ginger, or 1Tbsp peeled, finely diced ginger root
  • Lettuce – I used romaine because I happened to have some
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Mango, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • Dried mulberries (substitute with dried cranberries or other small dried fruit)

Curry Cream Dressing (should serve 2 entree salads very comfortably)

  • 2Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 4Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4Tbsp cream
  • 2Tbsp curry powder (This gave strong curry flavour, which I enjoyed. Consider reducing to 1Tbsp if you prefer a more muted taste)
  • 1/2 tsp amchur powder

Directions: Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and fry shrimp with ginger a few minutes until pink. Assemble salad ingredients over lettuce, including shrimp. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over.


Mango shrimp salad in curry cream

This salad was completely delicious. There’s nothing I hate more than a boring salad – unless, of course, I’m paying $15 for a boring salad – and this one would definitely be worth some coinage. My kids liked snacking on the mulberries, which tasted sweet and floral. The avocado was surprisingly sweet too (for an avocado). My expectations for the hulk-cado were low, because generally with food, the smaller versions are tastier (peaches, strawberries, lambs) but king kong cados must be the exception.

The curry cream dressing was by far my favourite part of the salad, though. Make it using lime if you can’t be bothered to contact The Spice Trader for the amchur (just do it!), but make it and serve it often. It was tart and acidic while still comforting and spicy. It would go very well with a chicken salad too, or to jazz up a boring sandwich. Rating: 4 Yums

Question: In your house, is it called a clicker, remote, converter, or channel changer? And how crazy does it make you to lose it?


  1. Leave a Reply

    October 17, 2013

    Love that you talk about spice trader. What an awesome little joint! I just bought a few tins last weekend for thanksgiving stuffing and turkey. This salad looks gorge and I have to say, I’ve never added cream to a salad dressing but wow, I’m about to start 🙂

    Love your blog. It’s basically my favourite one.

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      October 17, 2013

      Awwww thanks! Love your mag of course (The Purple Fig, in case anyone is looking for edgy chick power articles!)

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      October 17, 2013

      Hey, I almost let that one slide by without noticing. No cream in salad dressing?? Isn’t that British salad cream kind of your thing??

      • Leave a Reply

        October 19, 2013

        Ohhh lol…well, yes salad cream…but that’s more of a mayo. You mean cream cream don’t you?!

        • Leave a Reply

          Ann Allchin
          October 19, 2013

          Yup, cream cream! But there was mayo in there too. Should have thrown in some butter for the triple threat. Or lard. (Ha!)

  2. Leave a Reply

    Cinnamon @ eatpraytri
    October 17, 2013

    I love those GIANT avocados! They used to have them all the time at the market in Seattle.
    We call it the remote and it drives me nuts to not know where it is. NUTS!!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      October 17, 2013

      That Seattle market is awesome! Isn’t that where the first Starbucks is? Not that that’s anywhere near being the best part. I’m going to start throwing giant fish at people like they do. Seattle just rocks in general – one of my favourite cities.

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