Carrot Kosambari/ Carrot Lentil Salad


Kosambari is a traditional salad in Karnataka. It is prepared during major festivals, auspicious occasions, and marriages and even offered as ‘prasada’ in temples. This is also called as Koshimbir in Konkani and Maharashtra and is very easy to prepare.

Kosambari does not involve any cooking, it is basically a mix of soaked lentils and vegetable of choice (cucumber or carrot or both) with right seasoning.  It is healthy, high in protein and also has a cooling effect on the body. This is one salad, we love to have during summers.

I have already posted the Cucumber Kosambari recipe here. The procedure is exactly the same, but this has grated carrots instead of chopped cucumber.

Off this goes to the talented Desi Soccer Mom who is hosting MLLA -34 at her blog. This event is a brain child of Susan at “The Well Seasoned Cook”.

Ingredients

  • 1/3  cup moong daal
  • 2-3 carrots peeled (grated finely)
  • 2-3 green chillies (slit)
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut 

Seasoning

  • Oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • Asafetida (a pinch)
  • 2-3 red chillies broken
  • 2-3 Curry leaves

Method: 

  • Wash the moong daal in enough water and soak it for about 1-2 hours. After that drain the water completely.
  • Add the grated carrot, cut green chillies, lemon juice, coconut, salt and mix well.
  • Now prepare the seasoning (tadka) of oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chillies, and asafetida and pour this over the lentil, carrot mixture. Mix again.

This serves as a great accompaniment with rasam/sambhar rice 

Easy Coconut Rice Recipe, South Indian style

coconut rice
In India coconut is one of the most common offerings to God.  Since is considered ‘sreshtha’ (superior) and auspicious it is offered as a way of prayer. It is first de-husked, broken along with the shell and then offered. After that the coconut is treated as part of prasadam and is consumed by making variety of eatables. 

Being a Konkani, coconut is a part of our everyday food. The morning ritual starts by breaking a coconut offering it to God and making some preparations out of it. There are lots of recipes sweet, savory and curries that use coconut. In our family Coconut rice is usually prepared during festivals along with array of other delicious preparations. My ma-in-law uses coconut oil for this rice and that adds a distinct taste to the rice. 

This is easy to prepare and gets done in no time at all (especially if you have shredded coconut on hand). You can prepare this dish if you have left over rice as well.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of raw rice (cooked so that the grains are separate, I do not use Basmati for this).
  • ¾ cup shredded coconut (add more or less depending on taste) [use fresh rather than frozen]
  • 2 tsp urad daal/ split black gram
  • 2-3 dried red chillies (broken into 3 pieces)
  • Asafetida a pinch
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • Few cashews
  • Oil (preferably coconut oil)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped coriander/cilantro (optional)
  • salt to taste

Method:

  • Cook the rice separately so that the grains are separated and fluffy. Take a big plate and spread out the cooked rice, sprinkle salt and little oil onto it.
  • Take a big pan and heat oil (preferably coconut, else use any oil) and add the mustard seeds. After they splutter add the urad daal, asafetida, cashews, broken red chillies, curry leaves and cook until the urad daal turns light brown.
  • Add the shredded coconut to this and stir for 2-3 minutes until it gets the toasted aroma.
  • Finally add the cooked rice and mix for another2-3 minutes. Mix with wooden spatula so that the rice does not get broken. Add the chopped coriander and check for seasonings and serve hot.

Sooji Kaa Halwa / Kesari Bhath/ Rava Kesari/ Sheera

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Wishing you all a very happy Ganesha Chaturthi and hope you all had a blessed and a wonderful day. This festival is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chavithi and as Chavath) in Konkani.

 

Growing up in Bangalore this was a very important festival for us. Every year on this day of Chavath, all our relatives and family would gather at my Uncle’s place and celebrate the festival in a grand way. The festivities would go on for 3 or more days starting with Gowri Pooja, Ganesha Pooja and then finally the Ganesha Visarjan.  Gowri Pooja was the day when the married women did the “Vaina Pooja”/Coconut Pooja and also fasted on that day. When we were younger as kids it was fun, playing with cousins, new clothes, good food, no school activities etc.

 

But as we grew older we got a glimpse of the tradition, our culture and the importance of Satvik Cooking offered to the Lord during the time of the Pooja.

 

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I feel blessed to have witnessed and be a part of that tradition. I can continue to pass this tradition to my son albeit a small way. As a part of the Parbe Jevan (Festive food) I had prepared Lemon Chitranna, Cucumber Kosambari, Daali thoy, Onion Pakodas, Potato Curry and this Rava Kesari/ Rava Sheera (Sweet Semolina pudding)

 

This recipe of Suji Halwa/ Kesari Bath is my MILS’s speciality and she prepares this extremely well. While preparing this please be sure to be liberal while using the Ghee, otherwise the Halwa might have a dry taste. Using oil as substitute for Ghee might not have the desired taste. This Sheera is usually prepared during SatyaNarayan Pooja and offered as Prasad.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Rava/Semolina/Sooji (fine)
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 2/3  cup ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powdered
  • 1.5 cup milk
  • Saffron (a pinch)
  • 2-3 cloves
  • Raisins, cashews (broken into pieces)
  • oil (optional though Ghee is preferred)

Preparation:

  • Roast the Rava/ Sooji/Semolina on low flame in 1 Tbsp of Ghee until the toasted aroma of Semolina waffles through. Transfer it to a plate.
  • Soak the saffron threads in about 1 Tbsp of warm milk. 
  • Fry the raisins and cashews in about 2 tsp of Ghee and set aside. Make sure the raisins plump up and the cashews obtain light brown color. 

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Method:

    • Take a heavy bottom pan and boil milk along with 2 cups of water .
    • Add the roasted Rava/Semolina in small batches and stir in between. (Do not put all the rava at once in the boiling liquid otherwise lumps will be formed).
    • Put in the saffron milk, which now acquires a beautiful yellow color.
  • Add in the sugar and stir once and cover this with lid and turn the flame to medium.
  • After a while the liquid gets completely absorbed and the rava/semolina plumps up. Now add the ghee is small batches and stir in between on low flame.
  • After a while the ghee starts leaving the sides of the pan. Now add the cardamom powder and mix well.
  • Finally garnish with roasted cashews and raisins. Serve warm!