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 the carrot salad recipe
We all know that lentils and pulses are good for health 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 cilantro: 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, let's make this delicious salad.
Step 1: Begin by soaking the lentils in water. But before that, wash them in water 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 chili and cilantro.
Step 4: Drain all the water after the lentils have soaked for 1 hour.
Step 5: In a mixing bowl, add the grated carrot, chopped green chili and fresh cilantro. Add the drained lentils, salt, coconut and ground black pepper. Add the juice of a 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 for 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!
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!
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Carrot salad will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The salad tastes even better after a day or two!
It is simple! Just wash the carrots and grate them using a box grater (or any other grater). If you so prefer, peel them before grating.
If you have made this easy carrot salad recipe, please take a moment to leave a comment and a rating below. This will make me super happy and motivate me to create more good content for you! You can also engage with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram xx Padma
Carrot Salad Recipe
- ½ cup yellow mung lentils
- ½ cup water (at room temperature)
- 1 medium sized carrot (100 -110 grams)
- 1 green chili (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 medium sized carrot, 1 green chili, 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. Add cucumber pieces to make this 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.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only.
Note: The nutrition information is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.