Kosambri (Carrot Salad)

photo courtesy Clay Williams

photo courtesy Clay Williams

Kosambri is a traditional South Indian salad that I love. Whenever I go to a South Indian restaurant I always scan the menu for it, but rarely does it ever appear. So if you want to try it you will most likely have to make the recipe or come to my house? I remember that this dish was made for special occasions and picnics, but when my mother figured out that I really liked it she would make it more often. She mixes all of the ingredients up with her hand and now so do I. I’m convinced it tastes better that way.

This salad has many variations, but most popularly it is made with grated carrot and soaked moong (yellow) lentils. Kosambri has such a unique, tangy flavor, which comes from the combination of coconut, lemon, chili and seeds fried in oil. You can also add soaked chana dal to it.

This salad is so good for vegetarians not only because of the veggies, but because of the protein in the dals. I learned that the beta carotene in carrots is healthful in reducing the risk of cancer, but this recipe is actually doubly good because the nutrition in carrots is best absorbed when it is consumed with some oil. I had no idea how good kosambri was for me, but now I am really happy that I ate so much of it growing up. Thanks Mom and Aunties!

 

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  • Anonymous

    hey chitra!!!

    i’m so proud of you what an amazing blog. i loved reading it and remembering all the wonderful treats your mother would make when we were younger. i can’t wait to try some of these recipes, but i do have a question- out here in the burbs, do you have any suggestions where can i buy some of the indian ingredients/spices? love you chit :-)
    Laura

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09050471034563110203 Chitra

    You are so sweet Laura. The best place for Indian grocery in NJ is Oak Tree Road in Edison. The largest cross street I remember is Wood Avenue. It’s like Little India there. Patel Cash & Carry is a good one. And if you go there you have to go to Dosa Express. They are really mean but make great dosas! There also was a small Indian store on Springfield Avenue in Berkeley Heights. I think right near Plainfield Ave.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11890206580447128222 vid

    Hey Chitra,
    This looks so yummy!! :)
    Never really bothered finding out the nutrient value of Kosumbari..this is very insightful!good job!
    Will try out the other recipes and let you know how it was.

    -Vid

  • Anonymous

    mmm this looks super delicious. i am a lousy cook but one day i hope you make this and invite me over to sample it!
    – alex

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