Collection: Kosumalli Salads

A Kosumalli is a simple spiced yet cooling salad. There are many varieties, but the most common is made by mixing soaked mung dal or channa dal with cucumber, carrot, and coconut, and tempering the salad with spices.  It is a South Indian specialty, eaten as a snack or made to accompany a meal. The crunch of the cucumber, the sweet flavour of coconut, and the tang of lemon balances the earthiness of the lentils for a deliciously flavoured and textured salad.

It is said that the dish originated in Karnataka where it is called Kosambari in Kannada. However the dish is now common across South India with many community cuisines (eg Upadi and Chettinand) have adopted it and adapted it to local tastes.

It is rather rare to have raw ingredients in South Indian cuisine. At the least, most ingredients are sautéed. There are a couple of exceptions including  Kosumalli which is closer to a Western version of a salad than Sundals and Pachadi  and Raita dishes which are often referred to as salads but differ from their Western counterparts. Although the modern preference is to use raw ingredients, in older recipes you will find that the dal is semi cooked, and the vegetables quickly sauteed.

Although made day to day in many households, Kosumalli is also made for festivals such as Navarathri and Ramanavami, and can feature at weddings.

There are many variations of Kosumalli that that differ with the vegetables being used. It can be as simple as cucumber with spices or with lentils and cucumbers. Cucumber can be replaced another vegetable, commonly carrots or sprouts. Or, as mentioned, it can be made with a combination of vegetables  (finely chopped cucumbers, plantain stem, sweetcorn, zucchini, green mango, onions, peppers, carrots, sprouts and/or tomatoes), coconut, spices and lentils.

Kosumalli makes an excellent light lunch with a bowl of yoghurt or steamed rice, or can be stirred into yoghurt to be eaten as a dip or in a similar way to raita. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or with dinner. It’s also a great tiffin dish and kid’s lunch dish.

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Green Beans with Tomatoes | Fagiolini in Umido

Green Beans are versatile and delicious. They are common in many parts of the world, so common in fact that we take them for granted. The humble green bean is always there, forming part of our meals without hogging the lime light and without us paying too much attention to them.

But I have some recipes that will change that view. This recipe is Italian, a simple dish but delicious in that the flavours of the beans shine against the tomatoes. It is rustic, a farm dish indeed, but worthy of any table.

Similar dishes include Green Beans Braised in Tomatoes and Olive Oil, Gujarati Green Beans, Green Beans with Freekeh, Green Beans with Lentil Crumble, and Italian Flat Beans with Blue Cheese.

Browse all of our Green Bean recipes and all of our Italian dishes. Or feel free to browse our Early Spring recipes.

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30 Great Salads for Mid Summer

Summer is here and it is HOT! We need refreshing and cooling salads. Don’t get stuck with boring ones – Be inventive!

Here are 30 of our best salads for Mid Summer.

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South Indian Vegetable Soup

Another lovely South Indian soup from the Cook and See series of books. Vol 4 of these books is by Priya Ramkumar, Meenakshi Ammal’s granddaughter. It is simpler than the other volumes, introducing recipes of the early 2000’s  rather than the traditional fare of the 1950’s. I love the soups, as simple and easy as they are. Today’s is Vegetable Soup – vegetables are cooked till tender then coarsely mashed before being served with some cream swirled through.

Similar recipes include Indian Potato and Tomato Soup, South Indian Carrot Soup, and South Indian Green Peas Soup.

Browse all of our Indian Soups and all Soup recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Indian Quick Daikon Radish and Onion Pickle with Turmeric, Ginger and Mustard Seed

Pickles are important to Indian food, no matter which Indian cuisine you are enjoying. Most are made using various slow-pickling methods, but there are also a few quick pickles. Perhaps considered more of a salad than a real pickle, they add a delightful tang to meals which cuts through the heat of any accompaniment. I love this dish with vadai or other deep fried snacks – the acid of the lemon or lime is a great accompaniment to snacks.

This salad uses daikon (the white radish) with onion rings and carrot, quick pickled in lemon juice and spices. Here we have added pounded mustard seeds (rather than popped in oil) to give a true mustardy taste, but you could also make a tadka of mustard seeds and add to the finished pickle.

Similar dishes include Onion Strings Quick Pickle, Green Apple Pickle, and Quince Pickle.

Browse all of our Indian pickles and all of our general Pickles.  Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Late Spring recipes.

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Lemony Poha (Aval)

This delicious poha dish makes a beautifully nurturing breakfast or meal at any time. The poha is quickly cooked with spices and lemon juice – it is quickly made after soaking for 15 mins. It is so easy you could (almost) do it with your eyes closed.

Poha is available at your Indian grocery store – it is rice that has been steamed and pressed or rolled flat. There are at least half a dozen varieties, including thin, very thin, medium and thick.  For this recipe, use thick or medium poha in this recipe so that it holds its shape after soaking. Thick poha is preferable.

Similar recipes include Poha Chaat, Onion Poha, and Kolachi Poha.

Browse all of our Poha recipes. Browse our Indian recipes here and our Indian Essentials are here. Or take some time to explore our Late Spring dishes.

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Broad Bean Burgers/Patties

Chickpea flour is really easy to make at home, especially if you have a high speed blender. We toast the chickpeas until they are aromatic – either the small Indian chickpeas or the regular, larger ones – and allow them to cool. Then grind them to a fine powder in a high speed blender. We are fortunate enough to have a “dry” blender jug, designed for powdering dry ingredients, but I hear you can do this just as easily using the normal blender jugs.

We toasted our chickpeas early this morning, pre dawn, and the house smelled toasty and chickpea-y. They cooled while we had breakfast, and then made our flour – a couple of cups worth. The reason we are doing this today is that we were out of the flour and needed a little for today’s recipe. I love to make my own besan – you know what is in it when you grind it yourself.

The fritters come from an Ottolenghi recipe and I have made some adjustments to it. Firstly the egg is replaced with the chickpea flour as we do not cook with eggs. Secondly – we wondered why Ottolenghi was toasting spices and then adding black pepper separately. So we have used our South Indian tricks to toast and grind black peppercorns along with the other spices. We replaced fennel seeds with ajwain as we love ajwain and were out of fennel seeds.

We have also been used to making this recipe with a fabulous Indian tomato chutney to accompany it. Today we made it with a sour cream sauce but I do recommend it with the tomato chutney – I’ve included the recipe below.

And by the way – a little Indian sour and salty mango pickle sets these burgers off beautifully (we prefer to call them patties).

The broad beans were from our stash in the freezer.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – a day per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely (this recipe is from Plenty). Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Broad Bean Dip with Wilted Greens, Broad Beans with Lemon and Coriander, Broad Bean and Cabbage Kofta, and Falafel.

Browse all of our Broad Bean recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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A Collection of 30 Salads for Early Summer

Summer is here! So gradually the warm weather comes this year. But salads are definitely on the table. Don’t get stuck with boring salads. Be inventive!

Here are 30 of our best salads for Early Summer.

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EARLY SUMMER – Don’t Miss these Summery dishes | Seasonal Cooking

Coats and jackets are put away and anticipation is high for the warming weather. The capriciousness of Spring is steadying. The weather is beautiful, and food becomes lighter, as though our body is shedding its layers too. Thoughts turn to the bountiful Summer harvest.  Enjoy these highlights from our Early Summer classic recipes.

Want more than highlights? You can also browse:

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Quick Courgettes and Garlic

There is a quick thing you can do with zucchini and garlic – or leave the garlic out – that is an instant supper. Cook some rice to go with it,  if you like,or some pasta with butter and black pepper, and your hunger will be satisfied.

I always wonder – what is the proper name for these beauties – courgette or zucchini? Both names are slightly romantic – I try to stick to zucchini because it’s Australian, but sometimes courgette sounds better. Courgettes and Garlic, a quick and utterly delicious dish, perfect on its own and also perfect with pasta.

Similar recipes include Grilled Zucchini and Fennel, Pasta with Zucchini and Parsley Pesto, and Zucchini Thoran.

Browse all of our Zucchini recipes and explore all of our Late Spring dishes.

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