I learnt this recipe a few years ago from a cook my mum had hired. Like I have mentioned before I never used to like green things (vegetables) but when I saw the mangoes and dhania (coriander) I just had to try it. I LOVED it. To be honest this lady had a way of making me appreciate stuff, she also made me start eating mushrooms with her mushroom chicken, but that’s a story for another day. Anyway, so in January just after I posted the Thai-style Beef and Mango Salad and when my gal Mona was in Nairobi my mum decided to send her a list of stuff to buy and bring for me, on the list was mangoes, cucumber and dhania. My mother in her note specifically asked Mona not to buy apple mangoes but a different type of mango and she even went ahead to draw the shape of the mango, clearly she isn’t a farmer coz she did not know the name and she specifically told her that they had to be firm. So when Mona told me this I really laughed at the fact that my mother drew the mango but I also wondered why she specifically said that Mona shouldn’t buy the apple mango, which my mother knows are my favourite. Anyway I appreciated the gesture and called to thank her but forgot to ask why the specifications. I kept the mangoes to ripen. Then a week later it hit me!! MUM sent me all the ingredients for the mango and cucumber salad, is that what she wanted me to make? So I called her and she confirmed this, HOW SLOW COULD I BE??? By this time my mangoes were slightly too ripe but I made the salad anyway. This salad is good with this type of mango

I don’t know what they are called but I guess any mango would do. Also ensure your mango is not too ripe. It should be a bit firm for the best results.




  • 3 mangoes, peeled and cut into medium strips
  • 1 large cucumber cut into strips
  • About a ¼ cup of dhania or small handful
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste (optional)



1.      In  a bowl mix together the mango, dhania and cucumber

2.      Add the lemon and vinegar. Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes if using.

3.      Toss to coat and place in the fridge until ready to serve

4.      HOW EASY IS THAT???



NB: you can use rice wine vinegar if you want to I use white vinegar because that was what was available.


I tend to have a love hate relationship with pasta. I never liked it much but with time I have come to realize that I did not like it because of how it was prepared. I saw this recipe a few years ago in a cookbook called “the best ever 20 minute cookbook”. I thought the title was interesting because hey, who doesn’t want a tasty meal in less than 20 minutes? The original recipe did not have mushrooms and used parsley instead of coriander (dhania) but I can’t really stand the taste of parsley, dhania is my favorite herb and at the time I was just discovering mushrooms. This dish takes about a max of 12 minutes to prepare. It looks great if you use red dried chilli which I did not have. I used oyster mushrooms but I’m sure it can work with any mushroom. HAPPY COOKING!!




  • 400g penne (you can use any type of pasta that you prefer)
  • 90ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed (use more or less depending on your taste)
  • 2 chillies (preferably dried red)
  • A small handful of dhania (coriander) roughly chopped.
  • Handful of mushrooms, sliced




  1. Cook pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water (this should take about 10-12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil very gently in a frying pan.
  3. Add the crushed garlic and whole dried chilli and stir until the garlic is aromatic, add the mushrooms.
  4. When the garlic is just beginning to brown remove and discard the chilli.
  5. Darin the pasta and place it in a bowl
  6. Pour on the oil and garlic mixture, add the dhania and toss vigorously till it all mixes up.
  7. Serve immediately




·        Use very good quality cold-compressed olive oil as the oil is an important ingredient in the recipe

·        Do not use salt in the oil and garlic mixture as it will not dissolve well. Add salt to the pasta as it cooks instead.