Carrots, sprouts and pine nuts salad, with an oil-free dressing [Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free]

Day 3 of Veganmofo had me stumped.

I could not take photographs this morning before leaving for work, and after I returned the light was receding, so photographs were just not possible!

I have a stash however.

Since a year, I have been wanting to write a cookbook celebrating Indian vegan recipes. Despite it being the age of the internet I firmly believe a book has a wider reach and voice, that will help me get across my message to a varied audience. However, I have no idea as to how I go about this. I probably did not try hard enough, but for now I have decided to just keep sharing recipes and ideas on the blog. Someday, when I am no longer a working mom, I will be more focused on this. I feel bold and a little exposed, having talked about a dream. Now, I will have to do something about it!

Today I delved into that reserve.

The recipe is a spin-off on the kosumalli (kosambari / koshimbir), a simple carrot salad served as part of ceremonial meals in Karnataka and sometimes in 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, AND yet, they are extremely delicious. Almost cathartic, and rejuvenating. I recognized many of 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. We have over worked on them and some have been shorn off their very purpose. One has the right to disagree, of course! But not before you have my version of kosumalli.

carrots, sprouts, nuts salad with an oil-free dressing

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 or more as per preference

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.

With such heavenly ingredients, it is obviously delicious.   Anyone can cook.  I could have it with a meal, as an appetizer, as a meal but ideally as a verrine.

Meal in a glass, Dal, Rice and Salad


But to register in google search I must call it a ‘salad’!  I do go back to the basic kosumalli when I need a quickie.  Its a favourite too.


Carrot and mung bean salad, kosumbari in Kannada

At eating rules, October is being pledged as a time for unprocessed foods.  I do not use processed foods as a rule, and I believe in the philosophy of eating right.  I am pledging too. 🙂

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Have your say

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

  2. That’s an idea! I like it very much, Kankana. 🙂

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

  4. Thanks, Richa! That would be great. If it would do that. 😀 Still a dream.

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

  6. Ladies, keep those ideas coming. Its getting better! 🙂

  7. 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 🙂

  8. Nandita, if it happens, I will talk about it, more than I talked about the dream! 😀 Thank you!

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

  10. 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

  11. Ha ha!! 😀 Thanks, Gigi!

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

    Interesting twist on ‘Kosambari’ 🙂

  13. Chinmayie, thank you. 🙂 So ‘kosambari’ is another tag I need to add!

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

  15. 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

  16. 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! 🙂

  17. Thank you, Meena. 🙂

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

  19. Ha ha! PG, that’s sweet. Maybe I should think about it seriously! 🙂

  20. 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.

  21. 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. 🙂

  22. Very nice, healthy & colorful recipe !!

  23. Wow..looking yummy! great recipe!

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