I looked at the old walk clock on the top left corner of my room. It’s 03:40 PM and its Sunday. It has been raining cats and dogs for the last couple of days and the rain will continue the following week as well. Kids are napping and my husband is reading. I am staring at the laptop screen wondering what to type next. This weekend was slow with no pop-up dinners or special events to attend. We spent the day cleaning and doing rounds and rounds of laundry. I wanted something light for dinner so I am thinking a lentil filled pepper rasam and a side salad. I come from Southern part of India where every meal is served with a salad made with carrots, mango or cucumber. On some days amma will cut slice cucumber and dust it with crushed peppercorns and salt.
I am doing to make carrot salad with loads of mung dahl and coconut. Our meals are incomplete without coconut. They will be used in the form of milk, oil or grated meat. It is seasoned with a simple tadka made from coconut oil, mustard seeds, asafoetida, dry red chillies and curry leaves. I finished the salad with some fresh lemon juice, salt and cilantro.
Simple South Indian Salad : Carrot-Lentil-Coconut Salad
- 2 carrots, grated
- 1/2 cup dry or fresh unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup mung dahl, soaked overnight or soak in hot water for 2 hours
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1-2 dry red chilly
- Pinch of asafoetida
- 10 curry leaves
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1 Lemon Juice
- Salt to taste
- Cook the mung dhal like pasta in excess water. Cook for 10 minutes. Please make sure it doesn’t turn mushy. It should be “udhir-udhir (retain its shape)”
- Heat oil in a saucepan. Once hot, add mustard seeds and let it pop. Then add dry red chilly, asafoetida, curry leaves and saute. Remove from heat. Set the tadka aside.
- In a large bowl, add the carrots, perfectly cooked mung dahl, coconut, tadka and cilantro. Mix well and pour lemon juice.
- Add salt to taste and store in fridge until ready to serve.