Ugandan Fall Harvest Fruit Salad

Tina Wasserman
Recipe by
Tina Wasserman

This salad contains the three most eaten fruits in Uganda: bananas, mango, and jackfruit. Bananas are actually a staple of the Ugandan's diet. Per capita consumption is 500 pounds a year! Many of the spices in this recipe are now grown in Uganda, a legacy of the spice trade route through Africa centuries ago.

Want to learn more about Jewish life in Uganda? Check out this interview with Shoshanna Nambi, who was raised in the Abayudaya ("People of Judah") Jewish community in Uganda.

3 ripe mangoes, peeled and cubed--divided use
1 20-ounce can of jackfruit in syrup
1 cup of coarsely chopped mixed dried fruits (apples, peaches, pears, apricots)
2 bananas, peeled and sliced (1/2-inch thickness)
1 small can of mandarin oranges (drained)
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup of sweetened, shredded coconut
1 teaspoon of prepared Garam Masala or to taste
1 teaspoon of tamarind liquid concentrate or lemon juice
Honey (optional)
  1. Slice the mangoes from the stem to the bottom, running your knife along the edge of the pit on both sides. Cut the flesh away from the skin, then cube the mango into 1/2-inch pieces (see "Tina's Tidbits" below for easy dicing tips).
  2. Puree about 1/3 to 1/2 of the mango cubes to make 1 cup of mango puree. Place the puree in a serving bowl with the remaining cubed mango.
  3. Remove and drain the jackfruit. Cut the translucent white ovals into lengthwise strips. Add to the mango mixture.
  4. Add the dried chopped fruits, sliced bananas, and salt to the bowl and gently stir with a rubber spatula. Set aside.
  5. In a small processor workbowl, combine the coconut, Garam Masala, and tamarind concentrate (or lemon juice). Pulse the mixture on and off about 20 times until it forms a paste. If you don't own a processor, cut the coconut into small pieces with a large knife, then mix with the other ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, carefully stir the spice paste into the mixed fruit. Add honey if needed.
  6. Refrigerate the fruit salad until you're ready to serve (for dessert or as an accompaniment to grilled meats).
  7. Just before serving, garnish with a little extra coconut on top.
Additional Notes
  • To ripen mangoes, place them in a brown paper bag. Adding a banana to the bag will hasten the process.
  • To dice a mango easily, cut it in half along the seed and remove the seed. Score the meat, just to the skin by slicing lengthwise and then crosswise about 1/2-inch apart. Bend the skin back and the meat stands up like a porcupine's back. Run a knife along the skin to dislodge the fruit and you will have perfect 1/2-inch dice!