Koshambari (also known as Kosumali) is a lovely crunchy and refreshing salad from Karnataka in the south of India which is made in a variety of ways. While it almost always contains cucumber and mung dal or channa dal, it can also be made with carrots, sprouted lentils or green mangoes.
It is a traditional salad and it is typically served as a part of the meal during festivals, weddings and gatherings. It is also often made at home for daily meals.
The ratio of cucumber to lentils can vary with the region, the household, and the season. Some will make it and emphasise the cucumbers. Others will make it with a predominance of lentils. Other places will balance the two.
For such a simple salad, there are endless ways of making it, so much so that you could eat it at every house in a street, and every salad will taste slightly different. I tend to increase the cucumber component here in Summer where the temperatures can get up to 45C – 46C at times, and increase the lentils in the Autumn and into Winter.
Serve this Kosambari with hot Masala Chai during your tea time break or with your lunch or dinner. Generally it is served as just a couple of Tblspn or so on each plate along with the other dishes.
Hesarubele Koshambari | South Indian Mung Dal and Cucumber Salad
0.25 cup mung dal (or more if desired), soaked for 1 hour and drained well
0.5 – 1 cup cucumber, peeled and finely diced (I used 1 cup today)
1 – 2 green chillies (or to taste), finely chopped
0.25 cup coriander leaves, chopped
0.25 cup grated coconut, fresh or frozen
2 Tblspn lemon juice
0.5 tspn sugar
sea salt to taste
0.5 Tblspn ghee
0.5 tspn Indian brown mustard seeds
pinch asafoetida powder
0.5 Tblspn urad dal
a few curry leaves
Combine the drained mung dal with the chopped cucumber, chillies and coriander leaves. Add the lemon juice, sugar, coconut and sea salt to taste. Mix lightly.
Make a tadka by heating the ghee in a tadka pan and add the mustard seeds. Allow them to pop then add the asafoetida powder and the urad dal, then the curry leaves (careful, they will splutter). Pour over the salad and mix well.
recipe notes and alternatives
The green chillies can be added to the tadka if desired.
1 small carrot, grated, can be added to the salad.
Soak 0.5-1 Tblspn channa dal with the mung dal.
Increase the amount of mung dal to 0.5 cup if desired.
It can be made without the cucumber.