Indian cuisine is well known for its extraordinary flavors. With a plethora of lip-smacking delicacies to choose from, it never fails to satiate the taste buds. With HS surfacing in my early twenties, I was compelled to embrace a low-key diet and eliminated many of my all-time favorites that were prepared with liquid jaggery, soaked in creamy masala sauce or deep-fried to crispy perfection.
Here is a popular South Indian crunchy salad made with lentils and cucumber. It is usually prepared on festival days as a side dish but it can also be consumed as an evening snack to soothe hunger pangs. Keeping HS in mind, I had to modify the recipe to suit my needs.
Serving size: Makes 4 servings, 1 cup per person
Prep time: 15 minutes (minus the time needed to soak the lentils)
Cook time: 5 minutes
Ingredients for kosambari
- 2 tablespoons yellow lentils or split yellow moong dal (If yellow lentils in a slightly larger proportion agrees with you, go ahead and use 1/4 cup. Adding more lentils causes inflammation for me, hence I limit the quantity.)
- Enough water to soak the lentils
- 3 tablespoons grated (wet) coconut
- 1.5 cups finely chopped green cucumber (Be sure to peel the cucumber and remove the seeds before chopping them.)
- 1/4 cup finely grated carrot
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves or cilantro
- 1/16 teaspoon black pepper powder (ideally 1 finely chopped green chilli is used, but it doesn’t agree with me)
- 2 teaspoons of sugar-free kokum syrup (Ideally, 1 teaspoon lemon juice is used for this recipe but anything strongly citric can cause flare-ups, so I avoid it. Kokum may turn the salad slightly pink.)
- Salt as needed
- 1 tablespoon organic cold-pressed coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/16 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
- 3–4 curry leaves
Directions for kosambari
- Rinse the lentils in water to remove dust or unwanted particles.
- Put the lentils in a bowl and let them soak in room temperature water for about 2-4 hours.
- Use a sieve/ fine mesh strainer to drain the water from the lentils.
- Rinse them once in fresh water and leave it in the strainer for about 15 min to let any remaining water drain completely before using it for the recipe.
- Put the lentils in a bowl.
- Add 1.5 cup finely chopped cucumber, ½ cup grated carrot, 3 tablespoons freshly grated coconut, 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves, 2 teaspoons of kokum syrup and sprinkle a 1/16th teaspoon of black pepper powder.
- Use a spatula to mix everything well.
Directions for tempering
- In a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon of organic cold-pressed coconut oil. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds to the hot oil. Make sure the flame is on low while the mustards splutter.
- Add 1/16 teaspoon of asafoetida and 3-4 curry leaves into the oil. Turn off the flame or switch off the induction and stir for a few seconds.
- Pour the tempering mixture on the salad.
- If refrigerating, do not add tempering or pepper. Always add them along with salt just before serving or consuming.
This recipe was inspired and modified from Dassana's Veg Recipes.
- calories: 221
- cholesterol: 0mg
- dietary fiber: 2g
- protein: 3g
- sodium: 93 mg
- sugars: 13g
- total carbohydrates: 20g
- total fat: 15g
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