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3 Easy Falvouful Vegan Salads for Any Occasion

Traditional Kosambri salad

1. Kosambari

For years, I considered salads boring and bland with little flavor. Then, everything changed at a Kannada wedding. I tasted a vibrant salad called Kosambari, and it was a revelation!

While I don’t claim to have the traditional recipe, after that experience, I created my own version based on memory. Believe it or not, it turned out even better than the one I had at the wedding, and it’s become my go-to ever since. It’s a refreshing and healthy option that’s sure to change your mind about salads. Give it a try and let me know what you think!


  • 4 tablespoons grated carrot
  • 4 tablespoons grated raw mango
  • 4 tablespoons raw or steamed sweet corn
  • 2 tablespoons grated cucumber
  • 3 tablespoons grated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons soaked moong dal
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste

For the Tadka:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon urad dal (whole mung beans)
  • A few curry leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 dried red chili pepper, crumbled (optional)
  • A pinch of asafoetida


  1. Soak the urad dal: Rinse the moong dal in water. Soak it in enough water to cover for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  2. Prepare the salad base: In a large bowl, combine the grated carrot, mango, sweetcorn, cucumber, coconut and the soaked moon dal
  3. Season: Season the salad with salt and lemon juice to taste. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Make the tadka: Heat the oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, crushed garlic, dried red chilli and fry it for a bit till the garlic and urad dal turns a nice brown. In the end add asafoetida and turn of the heat.
  5. Combine the tadka with the salad: Pour the hot tadka over the prepared salad. Mix gently to distribute the flavors evenly.
  6. Serve 🙂 


  • For a spicier salad, add a chopped green chili pepper to the salad base.
  • You can adjust the amount of lemon juice depending on your preference for a tangier flavor.
  • If you don’t have asafoetida, you can omit it without affecting the recipe significantly.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a day, but the salad may become watery as the cucumber releases moisture.

2. Papaya Tom Sum Salad (Indian Twist)

This vibrant salad offers a refreshing twist on the classic Thai papaya salad, using familiar Indian flavors.


  • 1/2 cup grated raw papaya (use a grater for long strands)
  • Optional Vegetables (choose any or all):
    • 1/4 cup grated long beans
    • 1/4 cup grated raw mango
    • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • Seasoning:
    • Tamarind paste (soaked to extract juice) – to taste
    • 1 red chili pepper, crushed
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • Salt to taste


  • Roasted peanuts, chopped


  1. Grate the papaya and any chosen vegetables.
  2. In a mortar and pestle, crush the red chili pepper and garlic.
  3. Add the tamarind juice, salt, and crushed mixture to the vegetables.
  4. Toss well to coat the salad in the dressing.
  5. Garnish with chopped roasted peanuts before serving.


  • Adjust the amount of chili pepper and tamarind juice for your desired level of spice and tanginess.
  • For a richer flavor, add a drizzle of sesame oil or coconut oil or olive oil

3. Protein Power Salad

This recipe is all about customization! Create a protein-packed salad that suits your taste and dietary needs.


  • Veggie Base (choose any or all):
    • Grated seasonal vegetables (purple cabbage, peppers, green apple, carrots, beets, broccoli, sweet corn, etc.)
  • Protein Power (choose one or mix and match):
    • Slightly roasted tofu, crumbled
    • Soaked and boiled peanuts
    • Chickpeas
    • Black-eyed peas
    • Rajma (kidney beans)
    • Other cooked beans 
  • Fruit and Nut Garnish (choose any or all)
    • Soaked almonds, sliced
    • Walnuts, chopped
    • Dried cranberries
    • Raisins
  • Dressing:
    • Salt
    • Black pepper
    • Peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
  • Dijon mustard


  1. Prep your veggies: Grate your chosen vegetables.
  2. Cook your protein: If using tofu, roast it lightly in a pan or oven until slightly golden. Otherwise, cook your chosen soaked beans in a steamer or a cooker till they are soft.
  3. Mix: In a large bowl, combine the grated vegetables and cooked protein.
  4. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together salt, pepper, peanut butter, and Dijon mustard. Adjust the amount of each ingredient to your taste preference.
  5. Dressing and top-ups: Drizzle the dressing over the salad, add desired fruit and nut garnished. Toss to coat. Enjoy!


  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • You can use a pre-made vinaigrette or another dressing of your choice instead of the peanut butter dressing.
  • For a heartier salad, add cooked quinoa or brown rice.
  • Get creative with your toppings! Chopped fresh herbs, a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, or a drizzle of olive oil are all great additions.

– Contributed by Bhavya Vatrapu, Senior Campaigns Manager, India & Vietnam, Vegan Outreach.

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