Thursday, April 1, 2010

Indian Carrot Salad

Once upon a time, in a beautiful garden in Camarillo, lived Papa and Mama Rabbit and their 3 bunnies.  

On Easter Sunday, Mama decided to make a special carrot salad for her husband and bunnies.  But she wanted to make something different, something with more spice and flavor than her usual carrot salads. As Mama hopped around looking for food, she was inspired by the produce that was growing in her own garden: red chilies, cilantro, a coconut tree, a mango tree, and a lime tree.  With help from her bunnies, the family worked together to gather the chilies, carrots and cilantro leaves and the coconuts, mangoes, and limes that had fallen off the trees. 

But something was missing: that ethnic Indian touch that Mama was convinced would give her carrot salad that extra kick. Just then, Papa Rabbit came home to save the day! He had gathered mung dal and black mustard seeds to surprise his wife for Easter. 

Mama soaked mung dal, grated carrots, mangoes and coconut, chopped cilantro leaves and squeezed the juice from the limes. 

Mama prepared carrot salad. 

The bunnies hopped with joy! Hooray! And Mama Rabbit made an Easter meal that the family remembered for years to come.

Mama and Papa are happy that the bunnies enjoyed the salad.

Carrot Salad recipe 

This refreshing salad is popularly known as cachumbar in the state of Maharastra, India. This eye-catching carrot salad is a feast to the eyes as well as to the palate.  You can buy mung dal from Indian stores or natural food stores. By addition of legumes to the carrot salad, this will be a complete meal to enjoy for lunch.

Serves 4 - 6

• 1/3 cup mung dal
• 2 cups grated carrots
• 1/3 cup coarsely grated fresh coconut
• 1/3 cup grated raw mango (optional)
• 2 tablespoons oil
• 2 dry whole red chilies such as
chile de arbol
• 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
• 1 - 2 tablespoons lime juice
• 1 teaspoon salt or to taste

• ½ cup cilantro leaves

Soak dal in 2 cups of boiling water for 3 hours, and then drain. Combine dal, carrots, coconut and grated mango (if you are using) in a salad bowl. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot add chilies. When the chilies start turning dark, add mustard seeds and cover until the spluttering subsides. Remove from the heat and pour it over the carrot mixture along with lime juice and salt. Gently toss to combine. Season to taste. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Cook’s Note: If you are using a raw mango, you can adjust the amount of lime juice depending on the sourness of the mango.

For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including gluten free recipes), please check out my book, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, at my website

 Please check out Foodie Friday for more recipes.

Video on how to make carrot salad: 


  1. What an adorable story. The carrot salad looks so tempting and nutritious and the recipe looks simple enough for even someone like me.

  2. I finally saw one of your videos Komali. Really enjoyed it. Very professional production.

  3. This looks like a wonderful salad. I love the addition of lentils!