Kosumalli/ Kosambari is a very simple salad, one without many spices and made with raw vegetables. It is often made with cucumber but can be made from a variety of vegetables such as plantain stem, radish, carrot, sweet corn and zucchini. It may include soaked split green gram (split mung) or split channa (split chickpeas), coriander leaves, grated coconut, chilies and lemon juice. It can be tempered with black mustard seeds and perhaps some asafoetida.
Today, I am making it with a minimum of fuss. It tastes fresh and summery with a little bite from the green chilli. A perfect salad or side dish on a hot summery day. It takes less than 10 minutes to make.
Cucumber Salad, Indian Style | Cucumber Kosumalli – Version 2
Take a cucumber, or two if they are small. Use long cucumbers, apple cucumbers, short Lebanese cucumbers or ones that are available locally. Peel them if the skin is thick. If it is a thin skinned variety you might like to leave the skin on.
Chop the cucumbers finely or grate them with a coarse grater. Mix with grated coconut – use freshly grated coconut if you have it, or, like me, use frozen shredded coconut. Take some chopped green coriander leaves and mix them through too.
Heat a little ghee in a pan and pop some black mustard seeds – use half a teaspoon if you will, I like more so I use a teaspoon. As they finish popping, stir through 2 chopped green chillies. Saute them a couple of moments in the hot ghee, and then pour the oil and spices over the cucumbers. Mix. Refrigerate if you can as this salad is wonderful cold.
Take it out of the fridge just before serving. Add salt to taste, and then hit the salad with a good squeeze of lemon juice to liven the taste. Serve as soon as you can.
You can add soaked split mung to the salad for a nice crunch. If you are not keen on raw mung, steam them for 5 or 10 minutes and cool before adding.
Use grated carrot with the cucumber for variety.
Curry leaves are a fine addition too. Shred them before adding to the tempering after the chillies.
Cucumbers can release a lot of juice. If you have included split mung, it will soak up the juices.
A little grated raw green mango instead of the lemon juice is excellent.
A little grated ginger can be added.