The month of Shravana has just begun as per the hindu lunar calendar. And this month signifies various festivals, vrathas and poojas every other day. Back home, this month would be so fully packed with all these and there will be ladies of the neighborhood invited for arishin-kunkuma-tamboola- a custom where married women are invited and offered haldi-kunkum along with some fruits/coconut with beetle leaves. Along with this there will be an additional item as well, like tambittu or chigali or sometimes kosambari.
Lentils are soaked in water for a couple of hours and are offered to the god/goddess as neivedya. And later this is tempered with some spices and optionally mixed with some chopped cucumber or grated carrots. These are put into small cups, traditionally something made of fresh/dried leaves, but of late these are replaced by paper/plastic cups and are offered to the visiting ladies.
Has a nice cooling taste and if the tempering is added just before serving it adds to the crunchiness and tasted great. I made this for the Jyothir-Bhimeshvara-vrata / Bhimana Amavasye last week and here it is…
Kosambari - Lentils and Cucumber Salad
Preparation time : 5 min + soaking time of 3-4 hrs
Cooking time : 2 min
Serves : 4
Chana dal - ½ cup
Yellow Moong dal - ½ cup
Cucumber - ½ medium sized
Cooking oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Green chilies - 2-3
Coriander - 2 tsp, finely chopped
Coconut - 2 Tbsp, grated
Salt - ¼ tsp or as per taste
- Soak the lentils for 3-4 hours
- Drain completely and wash it a couple of times thoroughly. Soaked dals have a strong smell and washing is very important
- Chop cucumber into very small chops. You might want to peel it first if the peel is too thick. I prefer not peeling it to have some crunchiness and not to lose out on nutrients.
- Heat oil in a small skillet, add mustard seeds and allow to splutter
- Add Urad dal and roast till golden color
- Add slit green chilies and curry leaves and sauté for a minute
- Mix the chopped cucumber to the lentils, mix the tadka prepared above, salt and grated coconut
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve
- The best way to chop cucumber is to hold it up vertically with your left hand, and go on hitting it with a knife in right hand, simultaneously turning the cucumber around so that there are slits in all directions for about an inch thickness. Then place it horizontally on the board, and cut out the slit portion into very small bits. This way, very small chops can be got easily.
- Can use only chana dal or only moon dal or a combination of both in any proportion
- I again stress on washing the soaked dals thoroughly