Why is Kosambari good for our taste buds and our health too?
Around Shivratri, every year, a special dish is prepared in Karnataka. Besides sweets, this dish is one of the most sought-after delicacies of Shivratri.
Surprisingly the dish is also very easy to make. Simply mince some fresh, colourful vegetables, some fresh coconut and some soaked split green gram. Mix them well together. Give the final touch by adding curry leaves and mustard seeds made to pop in a teaspoon of oil. What you have is a Kosambari!
Yes, it is the same Kosambari which is an important part of your everyday food, even on regular days. Called Koshimbir in Maharashtra and Kachumbar in the North, Kosambari is the Salad of Indian cuisine. But the best part of Kosambari is that every region of the country has its special style of making it. Even if you decide to eat a different Kosambari every day, you might find that the 365 days of the year are inadequate to taste them all!
How is Kosambari made?
Making a Kosambari is an extremely simple process. It can be made by a novice or a chef with equal ease. And the best part, there is no standard recipe! But in general, the following is the process of making the Kosambari:
- Wash some lentils and soak them in water. Keep them soaked till you feel that the lentils have become soft.
- Take a bowl and mince a variety of colourful vegetables that you can lay your hands on. These could be cucumbers, carrots, coriander, fresh coconut etc. you can make it more colourful with leafy vegetables like Spinach or by adding beetroot.
- Take a small pan and heat a tablespoon of oil in it. Add some fresh curry leaves and a pinch of mustard seeds to the hot oil.
- Once the sputter of mustard seeds has stopped, remove the excess water from the Lentils and add them both to the minced vegetable bowl. Add some salt and chilli powder or black pepper powder to taste.
- Mix them all well, and voila, your Kosambari is ready!
The best part of making a Kosambari is that it can be made in 5 minutes flat, excluding the time taken for soaking the Lentils. You can remove the lentils from the list and make your Kosambari an all-vegetable affair too! You can even add minced seasonal fruit to it to make us yummier and tastier. Kosambari is an extremely flexible dish where the availability of ingredients and your mood decide the outcome. The more you experiment, the better it becomes!
What are the health benefits of Kosambari?
Besides Shivratri, Kosambari is a part of regular lunch and dinner or evening snacks in most households. The beauty of this dish is its simplicity to make. But don’t be misled by its simplicity because Kosambari offers a variety of health benefits too. Some of the prominent ones are enumerated below:
- Assists in weight loss
Almost all the ingredients of the Kosambari are fat-free. Even the oil used is minuscule. Hence, weight watchers can take Kosambari without batting an eyelid.
- Improves digestion
The veggies in Kosambari help in promoting the secretion of juices essential for digestion. This makes the overall digestive system efficient and the process better.
- Aids in constipation
Due to the high fibre content of Kosambari ingredients, those suffering from constipation can look forward to some relief. These ingredients help in keeping the gut clean
- Great for eye health
One of the most important ingredients of Kosambari is the Carrot which is considered to be a rich source of Vitamin A, is essential for our eye health.
- Lowers cholesterol
The absence of any cholesterol-adding ingredient and the presence of fibres makes Kosambari a must-have tool for those wanting to lower their cholesterol levels.
- Helps manage acidity
Cucumber in the Kosambari works to neutralise the stomach acids, thus helping you to manage your stomach acidity better.
- Promotes muscle growth
Proteins in the soaked legumes come in handy for those looking to build muscle or maintain overall muscle health.
- Slows down ageing
The more colourful vegetables and fruits you use, the higher the antioxidant level of your Kosambari. These antioxidants slow down the ageing process in the long run.
William Shakespeare once said, “A rose by any other name will smell as sweet.” The same holds about the goodness of Kosambari. You may call it Kosambari, Koshimbir, Kachumbar or a Salad. The goodness of this dish remains unaffected! Make it a habit to have some every day in your diet.