05 March, 2014

Methi Sprouts Kosambri (Fresh Salad with Fenugreek Sprouts and Carrots)

Raw salad at it's beautiful, delicious best!
All organic ingredients. Garnish of nasturtium flower, methi, palak leaves fresh from the garden.

Kosambari (also known as Kosumalli or Koshimbir) is a fresh raw salad, made most often with soaked mung dal and grated carrots or cucumber. It is usually served in the initial course of a full festive meal in south India. A kachumber of sorts, it makes a truly refreshing, healthy, very appetizing start!

Although typically served in small portions (a tablespoon or two; after all, one needs to leave room for the rest of the large meal to follow!), it is worthy of being enjoyed in heartier portions at non-festive occasions.

Here I've made it with methi sprouts (see here for how to make sprouts), which combine their mildly bitter freshness with the sweet crunch of carrots, all tossed in a fresh lemon juice dressing with just a hint of that all-important, exotic tempering.

Grated carrots - half cup
Methi sprouts  (see here for how to make)- quarter cup or to taste (depending on desired bitter-sweet proportion)
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped - 2 tablespoons
Fresh lemon juice - 1 tablespoon
Green Chilly - 1 slit (optional)
Grated Fresh Coconut - 2 tablespoons (optional)
Salt - to taste

Organic Oil - 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
Urad dal (split, husked black gram dal) - 1/8 teaspoon
Hing (Asafoetida) - very small pinch
Dried Red Chilly - 1, broken into large bits (optional)
Curry leaves - 6-7

Fragrant curry leaves are often used as a tempering ingredient  many south-Indian dishes.

They are also very nutritious, but more often than not, picked out of dishes and left on the side, uneaten because of their slightly stiff texture and strong flavour.

Although the flavour will be present even if the leaves get discarded, since it is carried well by the tempering oil, I still feel it's worth the little effort to chop it up finely so that it gets eaten!

To do this is quite easy.

Just stack the leaves and cut into very thin strips (about 1/8 or even 1/16 of an inch), which makes ribbon-like strips called a "chiffonade".

Then turn at a right angle, and further cut the strips into miniature square bits. This would be called a "brunoise" if it was a vegetable.

Coriander can be chopped finely, too

Heat the oil, and add the tempering ingredients in, first the mustard + urad dal, followed by the pinch of hing, then lastly the red chilly and curry leaf bits.

Mix everything gently in a bowl.

And it's ready!
Bursting with nutrients!

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