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 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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Madhura Pachadi | Kerala Pineapple, Plantain and Grape Pachadi

Pineapples are ripening at the moment, and along with all of the other magnificent produce in the shops, they are abundant, cheap and delicious. I am not a fan of peeling pineapples with all those eyes to cut out (some have more than others), but the occasional recipe is worth it.  Today we are making a Pachadi – a side dish – from pineapple. This dish from Kerala is quite unusual. Commonly, Pachadis from Tamil Nadu and Kerala  have a yoghurt base for the vegetable component, or include an amount of coconut. This one has some coconut, but it cooks the pineapple, grapes and plantain to the point that it is jammy, almost like a halwa. But don’t be fooled, it is spicy with sweet and sour tastes.  It tastes a little like a pickle, or a cross between a pickle and a pachadi. It is definitely a dish where less is more when serving – a couple of Tblspns along with rice, thorans and other Kerala sadya dishes. It is delicious, I am sure you will come back for seconds.

There are two versions of Madhura Pachadi, this one flavours the pachadi with powdered mustard seeds, and another which cooks the pineapple in tamarind. The recipe today is based on one from Elephants and Coconut Trees. You can chop the pineapple into pieces that are about 1 – 1.5 cm and they will retain a little bite when cooked (yummy) or chop smaller and it will melt into a halwa type consistency (also yummy).

Similar recipes include Bitter Melon Pachadi, Green Tomato Pachadi, and Ginger Pachadi.

Browse all of our Pachadi recipes and all of our Keralite dishes. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Ambe Dal | Ambyachi Dal | Green Mango and Chana Dal

Are you a mango maniac? I have the dish for you. It’s a dish made of soaked chana dal ground with cumin and green chillies, and served with a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves. And most importantly, there is a generous inclusion of grated raw mango. This dish is a perfect dish for mango lovers, and is served as a snack to people who visit. It is also the best after-school snack during heatwaves.

It is very easy to make, with few ingredients. Perfect for Summer busy lives. The tartness of the mangoes, the sweetness from the coconut, the nuttiness from channa dal, and the spiciness from green chillies means that the flavours both contrast and compliment each other – is your mouth watering yet?

Ambe Dal is a Maharashtrian dish (also known as Amba or Ambyachi Dal). Usually made in Summer, this quick and easy salad is so cooling. Maharashtrian hospitality is legendary, and I can vouch for it as I have good friends from Pune. Maharashtrian cuisine has subtle variety and strong flavours and can be very mild to very spicy.

Green mangoes come in various levels of sourness, from tart to sweet-sour. Choose one that suits your own preferences. Serve Ambe Dal with rice, Kachumber, Kosumalli, and/or roti, perhaps on a banana or mango leaf.  It goes well with Aam Panna.

Are you looking similar dishes? Try Cucumber, Carrot and Green Mango Koshambari, Aamer Dal, Green Mango in Coconut Milk, and Coconut, White Peas and Green Mango Sundal.

Also try Pomelo, Green Mango and Pea Eggplant Salad with Tamarind Dressing, Vermicelli and Green Mango Salad, and Sweet and Sour Mango Curry.

Why not browse all of our Mango dishes, all Salads, our Channa Dal dishes, and all of our Maharashtrian recipes? Our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our many Mid Summer dishes.

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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.

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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, 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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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 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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Boondi Salad with Chickpeas and Coconut Dressing

For a change we bring you a salad that features either boondi or puffed rice. You can buy these easily at your Indian grocer. If purchasing puffed rice from the supermarket, make sure that you are not buying sweetened cereal. You need an unsweetened one for this dish.

Boondi are a deep fried, pearl sized, crispy Indian snack food prepared from gram flour (chickpea flour) and few spices. Make sure you have the unsweetened variety of these also. They are available from Indian groceries. Boondi often comes with its own prepared spice mix included in the packet. You can add it to the salad.

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