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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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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Swede, Fennel and Tart Apple Salad | Rutabega, Fennel and Tart Apple Salad

Swede – the unloved vegetable on the green grocer’s shelves. We are on a mission to show that this vegetable deserves as much love as other Winter vegetables. Known also as rutabega, a fancy name for sure, it is often mistaken for turnip, but turnip is a completely different beast.

The turnip is sophisticated, while the swede is common and a bit bogan. Turnips are white with purple tops, crisp and slightly bitter. They are perfect eaten raw in salads or as snacks, and are delightful if cooked but still retain some crunch. The swede is pretty unusual in that it’s yellow, less bitter than its sister vegetable, turnip, and some will say that they are sweeter. They have been described as strongly flavoured but today’s swede tastes a little of turnip and a little of apple. They can also be eaten raw in salads, or, more commonly, are cooked.

This is a salad where Swede is used raw and mixed with Fennel and tart Apple. It is a salad that really celebrates winter vegetables. You will love it. I have given you two forms – the first is a crunchy salad, and the second option is to add some yoghurt and pine nuts. Both are great.

Similar recipes include Fennel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, Fennel and Apple Salad, and Fennel Salad with Fresh Prunes.

Or browse all of our Fennel dishes, and all of our Swede recipes. All of our many Salads are here.  Or explore our collection of Late Winter dishes.

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Celeriac and Tart Apple Salad with Poppy Seed

Sometimes when you are making Ottolenghi dishes, when you are rubbing that vinegar and sugar mixture into the onions or the chilli concoction into the cucumbers, massaging gently, when you are cooking the fourth or fifth element for the recipe, you think this is never going to work, why am I bothering? But then you taste the final dish, and you melt, and the flavours are incredible, and it is totally worth the messy kitchen and the washing up.

This is another Ottolenghi salad that brightens up the day. The king of flavours, Ottolenghi’s taste combinations really are quite extraordinary.

This crispy salad hits you full on with its sharp sweetness and oniony heat, and it’s just what is required to shake up tired tastebuds on a drowsy wintry or early spring night. You will love this one.

Similar dishes include Winter Roast Vegetables with Chickpeas, Fennel and Apple Salad, and Roast Cauliflower, Grape and Cheddar Salad.

You might like to browse other Ottolenghi recipes, or explore other Salads here and here. We have Apple Salads and Celeriac Salads. Check for all other Celeriac recipes, and take some time to explore all of our Early Spring recipes.

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Winter Roast Vegetables with Chickpeas | And a Salad of Winter Vegetables

If you are a reader of our Winter posts you know that we love to use the oven at any time of the day. It warms the kitchen, living areas and us. Plus it fills the space with the most delicious of aromas.

This is a great dish to throw into the oven on those cold days to warm the space and provide great food. Use the roasted vegetables as a side dish, or as a hot or room temperature Winter salad with a yoghurt and cumin seed dressing.

The recipe needs enough small-diced vegetables to pile into your baking dish to a depth of 5 cm, so I use a small baking dish for this one. And we are going to slow bake them for a couple of hours, so leave yourself enough time. We often make it first thing in the morning for lunch time salads.

Similar recipes include Butter Braised Turnips, Celeriac Salad, Vegetables with Indian Flavours, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Figs, Baked Parsnips with Parmesan, and Perfect Roasted Potatoes.

Or browse all of our Baked dishes, Roasted dishes, and all of our Late Winter recipes.

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Salad of Broad Beans with Walnut-Yoghurt Sauce

I have been reading Istanbul Cult Recipes recently, and it is a lovely book that embraces some of my fav ingredients such as samphire, purslane and broad beans (fava beans). It is mainly non-veg recipes, but there are enough vegetarian recipes to be interesting.

It has this interesting recipe for whole broad beans. You have to use very young broad beans, otherwise the shell is too tough and too strong in flavour to eat. The recipe simmers the beans but if you can get them young enough, cooking is not necessary. The sauce for the beans is a whiz of yoghurt, breadcrumbs and walnuts, with dill for brightness.

This is my riff on the recipe using broad beans from our garden.

Similar dishes include 31 Dishes to Make with Broad Beans, Broad Bean and Dill Rice, and Broad Bean Pod Puree.

Browse all of our Broad Bean recipes and all of our Salads. Or explore our Late Spring dishes.

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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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Orange and Carrot Salad | Moroccan Orange Salad

Morocco has beautiful orange salads and we are making some simple ones. Quick to pull together and gorgeous with their sweet-savoury tastes, they can accompany almost any meal, or be eaten on their own. We have a Mid-afternoon Snack ritual, and these sorts of salads, along with a good cuppa something, are often just what the day has ordered.

Similar salads include Orange and Olive Salad with Mint and Basil, Carrot and Blueberry Salad, and Pomelo and Carrot Salad.

Other Moroccan dishes include Moroccan Carrot Salad, and Baked Eggplant and Zucchini with Chickpeas and Harissa Sauce.

Or browse all of our Orange Salads, our Carrot Salads, and all of our Moroccan dishes. Alternatively, take some time to explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Marinated Eggplant with Tahini and Oregano

Fresh oregano must be one of the most underused herbs. It is rather potent, so must be used with care, similar to rosemary or sage. It’s a herb that can dominate if used too liberally. However, oregano is very versatile and works well in marinades or dressings for roasted vegetables or substantial salads. It also flavours gratins and makes a great addition to pasta sauces, pizzas, or over steamed potatoes.

Some combinations are just a match made in Middle eastern heaven. Eggplant and Tahini, for example. With roasted wedges of eggplant and a creamy tahini sauce, it’s hard to go wrong. The fresh oregano needs to be added with a little caution as mentioned, but adds a fresh herby note to the dish.

Wedges of eggplant are baked and then marinated in garlic, chilli, herbs and oil, before being dressed with the tahini sauce. Truly, the baked eggplant wedges are good enough to eat on their own, so make sure that you cook enough of them to have a quick snack while making the dish. For the finished dish, the play of the green flavours of the herbs against the eggplant and tahini is magnificent. And don’t you love the way that lemon juice works with tahini? I have always loved that.

It is a magical side dish, entree, mezze plate addition or salad, and can be made up to 2 days in advance. The recipe is from Ottolenghi’s book Ottolenghi.

Small eggplants such as Japanese or Chinese varieties are good to use for this recipe, as well as the globe varieties. If using white eggplants, perhaps peel them before roasting as the skin is thicker than most other small eggplants.

This is an Ottolenghi dish from Ottolenghi. It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one 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. 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 dishes include Lentil Salad with Pomegranate Molasses., Eggplant and Zucchini Baked with Chickpeas and Harissa, Eggplant Steaks, and Saffron and Rose Scented Eggplants.

Browse all of our Eggplant dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Ottolenghi and from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Black or Green Lentil Salad with Pomegranate Molasses

I had been in a conference and training for 12 hours a day for a full 5 days and was yearning for fresh food, sunshine and exercise. The food part was easy, a large bowl of lentil salad with pomegranate molasses and cumin and lots of fresh herbs.

This is a quick and easy salad, once the lentils are cooked. You will love it.

Similar recipes include Brown Lentil Sprouts Sundal, Puy Lentils with Asparagus and Watercress, and  Easy White Bean Salad.

Browse all of our Lentil Salads, and explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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