Often I get an idea for a recipe that seems perfect until I actually get to the kitchen, make it and have my first bite. This tuna salad, filled with the flavor of Indian hot lime pickle, was almost one of those near misses but I tinkered with proportions and condiments and was able to reel in a tasty winner.
Two Indian ingredients are used in the recipe. In the tuna salad itself you'll need achar -- pickled, spiced lime rinds. Different companies make it in different degrees of hotness and chunkiness. Since it will be chopped it doesn't matter if you get the relish style (somewhat smaller pieces of lime rind) or regular hot lime pickle. The pickle adds a little heat, spices, acid and astringency to the the salad. Serving the mango chutney mayo with the tuna salad smoothes and adds a bit of sweetness to the combo. Serve as small tea sandwiches as in the recipe below or use fresh or moistened lavash (or large flour tortillas) and roll and slice for party appetizers.
I first envisioned this recipe for my friend Mona's grand baby's "welcome party" when I made the lavash version. I adapted to this easier tea sandwich version when her Indian auntie came to tea recently. I've also made it with mashed tofu instead of tuna and with vegan mayonnaise for a vegan version. I haven't tried it yet but I think it would be delicious with smashed chickpeas instead of the tuna.
A word about the ingredients. I used Patak's hot lime relish, which is fairly widely available on line and in specialty, Indian and Middle Eastern grocery stores. This is the first time I've used tuna in several years and I used Sea Fare Pacific wild caught albacore packed in salt-free natural juices. The chutney was from Trader Joe's, but any Major Grey's style or sweet mango chutney will work fine. I also used 1 oz.-sized King's Hawaiian sweet rolls. (Note I'm writing this on my ipad and will update to include the links later)
Hot Lime Pickle Tuna Salad with Mango Chutney Mayo
Makes 8 tea sandwiches or about 4 regular sandwiches
1-6 oz. container of tuna, drained well and flaked
1-2 Tbs. hot lime pickle or relish, finely chopped
3 Tbs. mayonnaise
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. salt (optional)
1 1/2 Tbs. mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tbs.mango chutney, finely chopped
8 small sweet Hawaiian or Portuguese style rolls
16 very thin slices of cucumber
8 very thin slices of tomato, drained on paper towel
Mix together tuna, 1 Tbs. lime pickle and pepper. Stir well. Taste. Gradually add in second tablespoon of pickle by teaspoonfuls and mixing and tasting as you go until you get the right level of heat, spice and astringency for you. I like it with the full 2 Tbs. You can probably go a bit hotter than normal for yourself since the bread and mayo will be sweet. Taste again and decide if you want to add salt.. Both the pickle and tuna probably have enough salt you won,t need to add more.)
Mix mayo with chutney. Spread inside top and bottom of each roll with mayo mixture. Arrange 2 cucumber slices on bottom of roll, top with 1/8th of tuna salad and then with tomato slice. Close roll. Repeat with remaining rolls and adjust if using larger rolls. (I also like this mounded on top of a tomato half with dollops of mango chutney mayo on top.)