A childhood favorite

Maharashtrian cuisine features a vibrant array of dishes, with the fresh and flavorful koshimbirs, or side salads, being a standout. These refreshing salads are essential to the cuisine and offer a healthy addition to your meals. Among the various Maharashtrian-style raitas, Gajarachi Koshimbir, a classic carrot slaw, was a favorite of mine during my childhood. In my opinion, it is one of the most delicious and nutritious slaws or salads. It perfectly complements any main dish, adding a burst of freshness, color, texture, and flavor to the meal. Quick and easy to prepare and rich in essential nutrients, this carrot slaw is not just delicious but is also healthy!

Gajarachi Koshimbir

Gajarachi Koshimbir

My recipe for Gajarachi Koshimbir is a family recipe that I learned from my mom. It is a delightful medley of flavors, textures and also colors, if made with rainbow carrots. The crispy grated carrots, the sweet fresh coconut, the crunchy roasted peanuts, the fresh cilantro and spicy green chilies, all come together to create a harmonious blend of tastes. Finished off with a nice squeeze of lemon or lime juice, it helps soften the carrots slightly while adding a tangy and refreshing note to the overall flavor of this carrot slaw. While many recipes include “phodani” or ‘tadka’—hot oil seasoned with mustard seeds, asafetida, turmeric and curry leaves—I prefer to keep it simple and omit it from my recipe.

Gajarachi Koshimbir

A healthy addition

Carrots, the star ingredient of this classic Maharashtrian slaw, are packed with essential nutrients such as vitamin A, fiber, and antioxidants, making this salad a healthy addition to any meal. Whether using colorful baby carrots or opting for a single hue, grating fresh ones or choosing convenient pre-shredded options from the produce section of your grocery store ensures convenience without compromising freshness.

Gajarachi Koshimbir

A perfect accompaniment

Gajarachi Koshimbir is often served as a side dish as part of a traditional Maharashtrian thali (meal), alongside dishes like amti (split pigeon peas stew), bhaji (vegetable main dish), bhaat, and chapatis. The refreshing and crunchy texture of Gajarcachi Koshimbir provides a pleasing contrast to the richness of the main course, making it a perfect accompaniment. This versatile dish not only enhances nutritional value but also offers a vibrant burst of flavor and texture to complement various main courses.

Gajarachi Koshimbir

You can elevate the flavors by mixing in shredded cabbage to create an Indian, mayo-less twist on the popular American coleslaw. This variation pairs perfectly as a refreshing slaw for your BBQ and complements dishes like chicken tikka banh mi beautifully! For added depth, consider incorporating grated daikon radish (mooli) for a peppery kick. Additionally, tossing in sliced or diced red onions not only adds crunch but also enhances the slaw with a sweet and tangy flavor profile. Experiment with these ingredients to customize your Gajarachi Koshimbir to suit your taste preferences and dishes.

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Gajarachi Koshimbir (Indian Carrot Slaw)


  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: 23 servings 1x

Description

An Indian-style carrot slaw with fresh coconut, crushed peanuts, green chilies in a lemon dressing.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups or 4 small rainbow carrots, trimmed, peeled and grated (see FAQs & Notes + Variations)
  • 1 Thai or bird’s eye green chili, thinly sliced (see FAQs & Notes)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp turbinado sugar, optional
  • 1 tbsp crushed roasted peanuts
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated coconut, frozen thawed
  • 1/2 small lemon/lime
  • 45 sprigs of cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, combine grated carrots and sliced green chilies.
  • Season with salt and sugar, if using.
  • Top with crushed roasted peanuts and grated coconut.
  • Squeeze the juice of the lemon/lime over the bowl.
  • Finish off chopped cilantro/coriander leaves.
  • Using a spoon, toss everything to combine well.
  • Let it sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Keywords: Quick & Easy, Maharashtrian Recipes, Raw Foods

Step-by-Step Details

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

Which side of the box grater should I use for grating the carrots?

Use the largest shredding holes to grate the carrots for the koshimbir.

Thai/ bird's eye chilies too spicy?

Skip them or use milder chiles like Serranos or jalapeños or dried red chili flakes for adding heat.

Recipe Variations

If you can’t find rainbow carrots, you can use regular or baby carrots of any color that you can find.

Add in shredded cabbage, grated daikon radish, sliced or diced red onions into the mix for a few variations.

Happy cooking
Vasanti

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.



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Gajarachi Koshimbir (Indian Carrot Slaw)

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