India is not just about the regional variations of the same mithai (sweet) or dessert, sabzi or flatbreads, but also salads. From east to west and north to south, there are different types of salads in India, which are easy to make, packed with nutrition and our delicious too. One such version is the Kosambari/Koshambari or Kosambari Salad of South India. Interestingly, the same changes to a Koshimbir when in Maharashtra. This one is a Moong Dal Kosambari, that is a must try.
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Kosambari Salad is a South Indian tempered salad, typically from the state of Karnataka. It is primarily made with lentils or pulses with a tempering of basic South Indian spices and curry leaves. The 2 most common lentils used to make a Kosambari are split Bengal gram (chana dal) and split green gram (moong dal). This post particularly features the Kosambari made with Moong Dal.
Seasonal fruits like raw mango can also be added in a Kosambari Salad. Even veggies like carrots and cucumber can be added. One of the main highlights of this special South Indian style salad is also the addition of fresh coconut in it. This does bring in a different texture plus a certain earthiness to the dish.
Other ingredients may include green chilies for the spice factor, fresh coriander for the herby touch and lemon juice for the tang. Some people also like to add asafoetida in the tempering. However, the tempering bit can be skipped as well. This Moong Dal Salad does have all of this.
An authentic Kosambari is always quick to make, simple, fuss-free, yet is tasty, wholesome and a great way of adding some extra proteins in your diet or meals. While this salad perfectly goes with your main meals, you can even have it as a snack, just like it is had in South India.
More on Kosambari Recipe
This Moong Dal Kosambari is popular during many festivals and special occasions too. For instance, it can be served to Lord Rama during Ram Navami festivities.
Along with Kosambari, Panakam and Neer Mor (Majjige) is also usually served during this time. It is common during the festival of Ganesh or Vinayaka Chaturthi too. It is also made during the Gauri and Varalakshmi festivals.
The Moong Dal Salad is an amazingly refreshing, zingy and light salad, apt for any occasion, in addition to the above-mentioned festivals.
As I also mentioned earlier, it is awesome as an accompaniment with your lunch and dinner meals too. Since there’s a great deal of health too in this preparation, you can consume it as a guilt-free snack.
How to make Kosambari
1. Firstly, rinse ¼ cup moong lentils a couple of times in water. Then, soak the lentils for 1 to 2 hours. If in a hurry, you can soak moong lentils in hot water for 30 minutes.
Ensure that the lentils are soaked well enough and are softened. You don’t want hard lentils in your salad!
2. Later, drain all the water very well and add the moong lentils in a bowl.
3. Add 1.5 cups finely chopped cucumber, 3 tablespoons fresh grated coconut, 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves and 1 chopped green chili.
Instead of green chilies, you can use black pepper powder too.
4. Squeeze some lemon juice in the bowl. You can add lemon juice less or more as per your requirements.
5. Mix everything very well.
6. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a small pan. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and let it crackle. Keep the heat to low. You can also add dried red chili in the tempering.
7. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add 5 to 6 curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida (hing). Stir and switch off the heat.
8. Pour the tempering in the salad and mix very well. If making for family, you can refrigerate the salad for 30 minutes to 1 hour and then serve later.
Add salt before serving, as if added earlier, the cucumber releases water.
9. Add salt as required. Mix very well and serve immediately.
Do not store the kosambari salad for many hours in the refrigerator. If you plan to have it cold, refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour without adding salt. For best taste, flavor and nutrition, try to eat the salad as soon as you make it.
10. If making for Ram Navami or any other religious festival, offer the Kosambari first to the God or Goddess. You can also make Moong Dal Kosambari Salad on regular days as a side dish with your meals.
- If you do not have green chilies, you can even add black pepper powder in this Moong Dal Kosambari Salad.
- You can decide onto the quantity of lemon juice depending on how tangy you want your Kosambari to be.
- You can make the tempering with coconut oil too. You can even add dried red chilies in the tempering.
- Since this Moong Dal Kosambari has cucumber too in it, add the salt just before serving. If added earlier, the cucumber will release water.
- If you are preparing the Kosambari Salad for your family, you can refrigerate it and then serve later.
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Kosambari Recipe | Kosambari Salad | Moong Dal Salad
- ¼ cup moong dal
- water as needed to soak moong dal
- 1.5 cups finely chopped cucumber
- 3 tablespoons grated coconut
- 1 green chili – chopped or ½ teaspoon chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice or add as required
- salt as required
- 2 teaspoons oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
- 5 to 6 curry leaves – chopped or kept whole
Making kosambari salad
- Firstly rinse the moong lentils a couple of times in water. Then soak the lentils for 1 to 2 hours. If in a hurry, then you can soak moong lentils in hot water for 30 minutes.
- Later drain all the water very well and add the soaked moong lentils in a bowl.
- Add finely chopped cucumber, fresh grated coconut, chopped coriander leaves and green chillies. Instead of green chilies, you can add a bit of black pepper powder.
- Squeeze some lemon juice. You can add lemon juice less or more as per your requirements.
- Mix everything very well.
For tempering kosambari
- Heat oil in a small pan and then add mustard seeds. Let the mustard seeds crackle. Keep the heat to a low. You can also add 1 dried red chili in the tempering.
- Once the mustard seeds crackle, add 5 to 6 curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida. Stir and then switch off the heat.
- Pour the tempering mixture in the salad. Mix very well. If making for family, you can refrigerate the salad for about 30 minutes to 1 hour and then serve later. Add salt before serving as if added earlier, the cucumber releases water.
- Add salt as required. Mix very well and serve straightaway.
- Serve kosambari salad as a side salad with your meals.
- Ensure that the moong lentils are soaked well. They should not be hard or have any hard bite to them.
- You could also use coconut oil for the tempering.
- Add lemon juice less or more depending on your taste preferences.
- You can scale this recipe to make a big batch.
- Do not store the salad for many hours in the refrigerator. Eat it as soon as you make or keep for about 30 minutes to 1 hour in the refrigerator without adding salt.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Kosambari recipe post from the archives, first published on April 2017 has been republished and updated on November 2022.