Cucumber, Carrot and Green Mango Koshambari

Koshambari Salads are perfect Summer “round out the meal” salads as they contain both cooling vegetables and lentils for protein. So often the advice given to vegetarians is written by non-vegetarians and therefore includes only vegetable-based dishes without lentils, grains, soy products, nuts, seeds and so forth, in sufficient proportions for a balanced vegetarian diet.

The great thing about traditional Indian vegetarian cuisines is that they are naturally balanced in all sorts of ways – nutritionally, texturally, flavour-wise, ayurvedically, …. Forget the current Western style fashions in India, like the addiction to Oreo biscuits and too much street food (how can I criticise either of these!), the combinations of grains, lentils, paneer and vegetables is naturally balanced.

Koshambari is the perfect Summer salad, with cooling ingredients and the surprising inclusion of soaked but raw lentils, either chana dal or mung dal. Today we use chana dal with carrots, cucumber and green mango. Delicious. While raw foods are not common in India, the occasional Kosumalli makes an appearance. Raw food is not sanctioned by Ayurveda – so there are versions of this salad that lightly saute the ingredients. You can do this too, should you desire.

We have compiled 30 Great Mid Summer Salads for you, so it is very easy to vary your salads each day.

Similar recipes include Carrot Koshambari, Cucumber and Mung Kosumalli, and Daikon Salad with Coconut and Nigella Seed.

Browse all of our Koshambari recipes and Indian Salads. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Collection: Kachumber Salads

Kachumber, or cachumber, is the Indian version of a chopped tomato and cucumber salad. It usually consists of freshly chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and onions with a pepper and lemon or lime dressing. It often includes fresh chilli peppers, or chilli powder can be added to the dressing. The dressing is unique to this salad, as it does not contain any oil and gives a peppery tang to the salad.

Browse other of our Collections:

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Cucumber and Tomato Raita with Lemon-Chilli Paste

Picture a Tunisian grandmother, a master at cooking kofta, making them with Ottolenghi. This scene from his Mediterranean series is a classic. She gets fully ticked off with his faffing around, the time he takes, the number of ingredients he uses. She sits on a stool in the corner, rolling her eyes and muttering under her breath. Ah, Grandma, we know, we KNOW.

It must have been a trial for Ottolenghi to bring out Simple, his latest book. Recipes pared down to their bare essentials. No more layerings of flavour upon flavour upon flavour. No more dishes that can be a meal in themselves. HE must have been the one rolling his eyes and huffing and puffing as testers and editors stripped yet another ingredient from a dish.

I am in 2 minds about Simple. Yes, there is a level of difficulty in his other books, and not all of those recipes are for typical week night cooking. But there is something in the Simple recipes that I miss. An undefinable something. It is as though every recipe in his other books stretches us in the kitchen somehow. A new ingredient, a new technique, a new way of cooking, a new combination of ingredients. Not so Simple. Some dishes are quite ordinary by comparison, albeit delicious.

Still, they are as visually pleasing as the dishes from his other books, and a delight in their own way (just a different way to the Ottolenghi we have been used to). This raita, a riff on an Indian dish, is quite good. I’ve said before that Ottolenghi does not yet understand Indian food very well – perhaps he doesn’t care about that. He has been known to use Indian ingredients in ways that don’t showcase them to their best. But in this dish, although not typically Indian, it is a pretty jolly good plate of food.  Love the inclusion of preserved lemon in the chilli paste which is layered on top of the raita. Brilliant.

Raita is traditionally served with an Indian meal as a salad and as a cooling agent, contrasting well with the spiciness of the rest of the meal.  Leave off the chilli paste if you want to serve it this way. But raita is very versatile. It is lovely as a dip, gorgeous with some warm pitta, and excellent spooned on top of spiced rice.

You can find the original recipe for this dish here.

Similar dishes include Pomegranate Raita, Pomelo Raita, and Carrot Raita.

Browse all of our Raita recipes. Our dishes from Simple are here, and all of our Ottolenghi recipes are here. You might like to check out our Indian dishes and our Indian Essentials. Or explore our Late Spring dishes.

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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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Hesarubele Koshambari | South Indian Mung Dal and Cucumber Salad

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.

Similar recipes include a Collection of Kosumalli Salads, Carrot Koshambari, Ambe DalCucumber and Mung Salad, Meenakshi Ammal’s Kosumalli, and Indian Cucumber Salad.

Browse all of our Koshambari Salads, and all of our Indian Salads. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Easy Summery Weekend Breakfast and Brunch Dishes

Think outside the box for Breakfast, especially in Summer.

Prepare your breakfast dishes, make a large pot of coffee, set the table on the verandah, deck, or under the grapevines, take the newspaper or a book, and enjoy a leisurely Summer breakfast.

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Cucumber and Pineapple Kachumber

There is nothing better than balmy weather, and pineapples are in the markets! So we bring a slightly tropical feel to the table today with a special salad of cucumbers and pineapple.

Similar recipes include Carrot and Cashew KachumberMadhura Pachadi with Tamarind, Apple and Yoghurt Salad with Grapes, Kachumber, and Chickpeas and Ginger Kachumber. You might like to see our Collection of Kachumber Salads.

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

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Cucumber Raita

Amongst non-Indians, Cucumber Raita must be the most well known accompaniment to Indian meals. It is not a surprise, really. It is a tasty and cooling dish that easily cuts through the heat of Indian food. Because of it’s popularity, the wealth of different Raita and Pachadis (Sth India’s version of the raita) sadly do not feature in restaurants.

In Summer, in this 42C heat of recent days, even we reach for this cucumber cooling goodness. I hope you enjoy it.

Similar recipes include Cucumber and Tomato Raita with Lemon-Chilli Paste, Cucumber Pachadi with Coconut, Spinach Pachadi, and Carrot Sambol.

Browse all of our Pachadi and Raita. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or browse our Mid Summer collection of recipes.

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Chinese Cold Cucumber | Chinese Flavoured Quick Pickle

Soy dressings are not something that I grew up with, my family being unadventurous food-wise, and county folk to boot. Integrating different ingredients into the daily routine was something that happened rarely, although I do remember my Mother being obsessed with Peppermint Essence. All our desserts tasted like toothpaste for months.

But soy dressings DO feature in our household, having inherited a foodie adventurous gene from somewhere in my line of ancestors. This salad, definitely Chinese, dresses finely chopped cucumber in soy, sesame, and rice vinegar. Use a white vinegar if you don’t have rice vinegar.

Similar recipes include Cucumber Salad with Capers, Translucent Cucumber Salad, and Asian Pickled Cucumber and Tofu Salad.

Or browse all of our Cucumber Salads, and all of our Cucumber recipes. All of our Chinese dishes are here. Or explore our Late Summer collection of dishes.

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Chinese Pickled Cucumber

Quick pickles are very fashionable now, and why not! They are both tasty and healthy. This is a Chinese recipe that produces a lovely, sweet-sour quick pickle of cucumber. Leave it to soak and pickle in the vinegar mix while you make the rest of the meal, and it will be ready to serve when you are calling the family to the table.

Similar recipes include Chinese Cold Cucumbers, Carrot Quick Pickle, and Onion Strings Pickled Salad.

Or browse all of our Quick Pickles and all of our Cucumber recipes. Our Asian recipes are here. Alternatively, explore our Late Summer collection of recipes.

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