I know that a lentil salad does sound quite boring. BUT this lentil salad will change your mind for the better! Kosambari, as this grated carrot salad recipe is called in some parts of India, finds its place, most often, in the food offerings made to deities during festivals and celebrations. It is a crunchy, no-cook salad made with soaked mung lentils, grated coconut, juicy carrots, fresh coriander, lime juice and simple pantry spices. It is sweet, tangy and spicy all at once!
This salad comes together without much effort and just as this carrots and chia salad recipe tastes great cold or at room temperature.
Love salads? Me too! What is your favourite salad? Do let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear from you.
Ingredients for carrot salad recipe
We all know that lentils are good for health (read this article about lentils and pulses) and this clever recipe has lentils, veggies and spices all in good proportions to make it delicious and healthy.
Mung Lentils: Use the regular, yellow lentils.
Coconut: We require grated coconut. Fresh or frozen coconut works best. I do not recommend using desiccated coconut for this recipe. Desiccated coconut works in those recipes (such as this sautéed beetroot) where there is some cooking/steaming involved as this will allow the coconut to "bloom".
Green Chilli: I love the flavour of green chilli. I use green chilli in this recipe more for the flavour than the heat. Use a mild one. Not a fan of chilli? No worries! Skip it.
Lime or Lemon?: I would say lime. If you have read my article about souring agents, you will know that I love the intense tanginess of limes. Lemon juice will work well too.
Fresh Coriander: Use only the leaves and not the stems. This being a South Indian recipe, you may use curry leaves (finely chopped), however I prefer not to.
Making this easy carrot and lentil salad
Come, lets make this delicious salad.
Step 1: Begin by soaking the lentils in water. But before that, wash them in water for 2 -3 times - till the water runs clear. Now soak moong dal for 1 hour.
Step 2: While the lentils are soaking, grate the carrot. I use a box grater for this.
Step 3: Finely chop the green chilli and coriander leaves.
Step 4: After the lentils have soaked for 1 hour, drain all the water off.
Step 5: Now in a mixing bowl, add the grated carrot, chopped green chilli and fresh coriander. Add the drained lentils, salt, coconut and ground black pepper. Add the juice of lime. Mix well.
Mum's top tip: Mix and massage the salad with your hand. It will taste even more delicious!
The salad is ready to it. If you have the time, let the salad rest for 30 minutes. This will allow the juices to mingle and enhance the flavours.
Pro tip: If you plan on having this salad later, do not add the salt in just yet. Add the salt a few minutes before serving. This will keep the salad crunchy and juicy!
Have you made this recipe? Do share it with me on Instagram. I would love to see your dish.
Storing this salad
This moong salad will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. I find that the salad tastes even better after a day or two! I love having this salad in the fridge as a handy side to a meal or as a snack on its own when hunger pangs hit. It is good for any time of the day!
This is a no-cook, raw dish. For this reason, traditionally, mung lentils are used in this recipe. Mung beans can be used instead of the lentils, however you must soak the mung beans for at least 5-6 hours, cook them and then add them to this dish. Love mung beans? Then do check this
The possibilities are many! You may add slices grapes or pomegranate kernels. You may add cucumber and turn this into cucumber kosambari instead of carrot kosambari.
Unripe mango will work like a dream! Just grate some raw mango - the quantity will depend on the sourness of the mango as well as your personal liking - and add it to this salad in place of lime juice.
Absolutely! This salad is suitable for your toddler 18 months upwards. Children will love the texture of this salad. They will enjoy feeling the different textures and colours.
I hope that you enjoy making this grated carrot salad recipe as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you. If you have made it, please take a moment to leave a comment and /or a rating below. This will make me super happy and motivate me to create more good content for you! xx Padma
Carrot Salad Recipe
- ½ cup yellow mung lentils
- ½ cup water (at room temperature)
- 1 carrot (medium sized) 100 -110 grams
- 1 green chilli (mild)
- 15-20 cilantro (coriander) leaves only
- 2 teaspoons grated coconut (fresh or frozen)
- ¼ teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt (adjust as required)
- 1 tablespoon juice of lime (or lemon)
Prep the lentils
- Wash the lentils 2-3 times till the water runs clear. Soak in water for 1 hour.½ cup yellow mung lentils, ½ cup water
Prep the vegetables
- While the lentils are soaking, grate the carrot. I use a box grater for this. Chop the green chilli and the cilantro finely.1 carrot, 1 green chilli, 15-20 cilantro (coriander) leaves only
Keep the ingredients measured and ready
- Salt and crushed black pepper.Grated coconut. Squeeze the lime and measure the juice required for this recipe.¼ teaspoon crushed black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon juice of lime
Now let us assemble the salad
- After the lentils have soaked for an hour, drain them. Make sure that all the water has drained off well.In a mixing bowl, add the ingredients one by one. Start with the grated carrot. Then add the chopped green chilli and cilantro. Now add the lentils, salt, crushed black pepper, coconut and lime juice. Mix well. I learnt from my mum that mixing this salad with hand and gently massaging the ingredients with your palm will ensure that the juices and flavors mingle well, resulting is a salad that tastes sublime!2 teaspoons grated coconut
- The salad is ready! Have it as a snack or as a delicious side with your main meal.
- Grate vs Chop: If you are like me, you will be tempted to chop/mince the carrot in a food processor instead of grating it. Please don't do that. Grating the carrot will give this dish the texture that is expected of it.
- I have kept this salad very simple and with few ingredients. You may add slices of grapes or pomegranate kernels. Adding cucumber pieces and turn this into cucumber kosambari instead of carrot kosambari.
- This salad is suitable for your toddler 18 months upwards. Children will love the texture of this salad. They will enjoy feeling the different textures and colors.