Carrots, sprouts and pine nuts salad, with an oil-free dressing

Day 3 of Veganmofo had me stumped.

Since a year, I have been wanting to write a cookbook celebrating Indian vegan recipes, and to this goal I have been hoarding recipes and photographs. Today I delved into that reserve, and am sharing a simple and quick traditional Indian salad with my touch.

The recipe is a spin-off on the kosumalli (kosambari / koshimbir), a simple carrot salad served as part of ceremonial meals in Karnataka and Maharashtra. I have dressed it differently. I learnt to do that at THAC. While I was there, I found that dishes could be delicious even without fatty or unhealthy, superficial trimmings (some of which I am quite fond of). The meals at THAC are vegan, whole grain, local and fat-free, yet, extremely delicious. I recognized many of the recipes as the ones that I grew up with, refurbished, and presented with a contemporary feel. Strangely, these were dishes that took me back to simple cooking, creating foods that build. A few makeovers were too sweet or tart for my taste but, that could just be me. Maybe I just don’t need that much sweetness in my meals. What impressed me was the subtlety of the South Indian makeovers. It brought home the fact that our meals were never really rich.

Recipe: Carrots, mung bean sprouts and pine nuts salad with an inspired lemon dressing
Yield: Serves 2
Time: 10-15 minutes to assemble the salad, if you have soaked and sprouted mung beans on hand

Winter carrots / Gaajar – 2 cups
Sprouted mung beans / saboot moong sprouts – 1/4 cup

Lemon juice from 2 medium sized lemons (ripe, yellow ones), divided
Green chilli – 1 or as per preference
Black salt – As per taste, for flavour
Fine ground sea salt – As per taste
Fresh grated coconut – 1 tbsp.
Finely chopped coriander – 1 tbsp.
Grated ginger – just a bit, maybe 1/8 tsp. or ginger juice
Fine slivers of date – 1 tbsp., or more as per taste

Garnish with a tbsp. of toasted, shelled pine nuts per bowl.


Steam the sprouts for two minutes and cool. Place along with the carrots in a large mixing bowl.

Add everything else except pine nuts, and give it a good mix. Adjust chilli for heat, salt as per taste.

Serve with a garnish of pine nuts.


Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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  • Quick Recipes

    Wow..looking yummy! great recipe!

  • Nidhi

    Very nice, healthy & colorful recipe !!

  • evolvingtastes

    What is THAC? I am so curious now about the food they serve, based on your descriptions.

    I make carrot koshimbir (maharashtrian style) a lot, and definitely looking forward to this version with sprouts.

    • Harini

      Pradnya, THAC is short for ‘The Health Awareness Centre’ run by Dr. Vijaya Venkat. They hold short courses and shed light on what kind of food is needed by the body and why it is so. Dr.Vijaya Venkat has successfully treated patients through diet. I will update with the link. πŸ™‚

  • PG

    a lovely salad, no doubt!And like always wonderful pictures! But please don’t postpone your plan for writing the cookbook for later. Do it now! πŸ™‚

    • Harini

      Ha ha! PG, that’s sweet. Maybe I should think about it seriously! πŸ™‚

  • Bharathi

    you should do a’cookbook’…the photos will be droolsome for sure….no need to wait for retirement day…In our house we prepare kosmalli often. We also make it on ‘Rama-navami’ festival with cucumber and mung dal. sometimes with grated raw mango added

    • Harini

      Thanks, Bharathi! The cucumber, mung dal salad is new to me, but interesting. I like raw mango in anything so works great!

  • Meena T

    You are really an amazing person. I have admired your blog through the years. All the best for your venture.

  • chinmayie @ love food eat

    I simply love your styling and photos Harini. I really like the simplicity more than anything else.

    Interesting twist on ‘Kosambari’ πŸ™‚

    • Harini

      Chinmayie, thank you. πŸ™‚ So ‘kosambari’ is another tag I need to add!

  • GiGi

    Oooh I love the black salt addition and glad you stored up these fantastic photos.Layered food is so fun.
    Future purchaser of your CB

  • jayashree

    Wow loved the take off from the regular kosambri. thank you

  • Nandita

    Awesome Salad Harini!!! And i will be looking forward to your cook book!! So do remember to keep me in the loop whenever that happens πŸ™‚

    • Harini

      Nandita, if it happens, I will talk about it, more than I talked about the dream! πŸ˜€ Thank you!

  • Lata Raja

    I was also thinking like Kankana on canapΓ©s! Nice one and i like your lemon juice based dressing. Must be a medley of flavours.

    • Harini

      Ladies, keep those ideas coming. Its getting better! πŸ™‚

  • Richa

    thats one gorgeous salad! your cookbook would be so beautiful. i bet the pictures will get lot of people cooking plant based meals:)

    • Harini

      Thanks, Richa! That would be great. If it would do that. πŸ˜€ Still a dream.

  • Kankana

    Such a light salad. I would love it with some roasted papadam.

    • Harini

      That’s an idea! I like it very much, Kankana. πŸ™‚

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