Yes, you heard that right – Raw food – Indian (our very own desi style) complete with the uses of spices like coriander powder, cumin powder and the use of VERY Indian vegetables like tindora, bottle gourd, even bitter gourd!! Yes Bitter Gourd!!
A lil’ bit of history!!
My father-in-law has headed the local Satsang group in his neighborhood in Vishakapatnam for the past 15 years or more. The group consists of 8 -10 families who meet every Saturday for an evening of prayer, bhajans and group preparation and distribution of raw food meals.
My mother-in-law has primarily developed these recipes over the years, all through trial and error and perfected them over time. All credit for the creativity of these recipes goes to her. I am just a lucky transcriber, who gets to document and share these wonderful recipes that she has created to the rest of the world.
Secret behind the recipes
I have given the step-by-step photos for these recipes. But these recipes have no exact measurements. My mother-in-law constantly tastes the dish (popping it in her mouth w/o touching it) throughout the steps and keeps adjusting the ingredients. She adjusts depending on the number of people present that day, the tenderness of the vegetable, the tang of the yogurt, and various other factors.
I have given additional notes along with the recipes to give as much guidance as possible. But this is such an art rather than a science that you just have to try it out and improvise by yourself.
5 Indian Raw Salad recipes
There are 5 main recipes I wish to share in this post. I have also noted any vegetable substitutions that can be made to some of the recipes.
- Carrot and Coconut Sweet Salad
- Bottle Gourd (Anapakayya) Yogurt
- Tindora (Dondakayya) and Peanuts Salad
- Beetroot Sweet Salad
- Pickled Bitter Gourd (kakkarakayya)
Recipe #1 – Carrot Coconut Sweet Salad
Grated carrot and fresh coconut makes this sweet, cruncy salad laced with pomegranate seeds and a bunch of nuts and dry fruits
- Thinly shredded Carrot (Can substitute yellow pumpkin)
- Pomegranate seeds
- Sprouts (sprouted moong beans)
- Freshly Shredded Coconut
- Raisins, dates, tutti fruity*
- Cashew nut, Almond pieces
- Crystal Sugar (Indian style is bigger and has a crunch)
- Elaichi Powder
*Tutti Fruity is Cherries sweetened in sugar syrup
Recipe #2- Bottle Gourd Yogurt Salad
You won't believe it is made from Raw bottle gourd!! - So creamy and delicious!!
- Thinly shredded bottle gourd
- Shredded coconut
- Jeera powder cumin powder
- Dania powder coriander powder
- Pepper (pinch)
- Roasted peanuts
- Finely chopped curry leaves - a few (or coriander leaves)
- Salt, Sugar
- Raisins, Tutti fruity
- Yogurt (Full fat is tastier)
- Lemon Juice (If yogurt is not tart)
- Thinly shredded ginger (optional)
Grate tender Bottle gourd finely. Manually squeeze out most of the water.
To pulp, add other ingredients. Mix
Can substitute cabbage for bottle gourd. Add a little extra sugar for that recipe.
Recipe #3 – Spicy Tindora Salad with Peanuts
Raw tindora with crunchy peanuts - Yum!
- Thinly Grated Tindora (should be green/unripe)
- Sprouts (Mung bean sprouts)
- Shredded coconut
- Shredded carrot (Less, mainly for color)
- Jeera Powder cumin powder
- Dania powder coriander powder
- Roasted Peanuts (Lots)
- Lemon Juice, Salt
- Finely chopped Curry Leaves, Coriander Leaves
- Can substitute Potlakayya (Snake gourd, podalankkai in tamil) for this recipe.
- Can substitute Beerakaya (Ridge gourd, peerkanga in tamil), but with tomatoes.
Recipe #4: Sweet Beetroot Salad
Grated beetroot with coconut and other ingredients makes this taste like a healthy halwa
- Thinly grated Beetroot
- Shredded coconut
- Elaichi powder (Cardamom powder)
- Nuts - Cashewnut, badam, pista, pecan
- Mashed Bananas
Mash the jaggery well with the honey and then add to the rest of the ingredients if it is soft. If the jaggery is hard, make a thick syrup and proceed.
Recipe #5 – Pickled Bitter Gourd
Raw bitter gourd tamed by juice of lemon and marinated overnight.
- Thinly sliced Bitter Gourd
- Lots of lemon juice
- Turmeric Powder
Marinate the bitter gourd overnight in the above ingredients. Serve
You can substitute this recipe with tender okra (ladies finger). Marinate 1/2 inch okra slices in lemon juice and salt for 10 minutes. Eat!!
In all honesty, when I first attended the satsang meeting, I went to the meal with a little skepticism. Dondakayya, potlakayya, bitter gourd raw – say what?? But, after tasting it, I was blown away by the simplicity and deliciousness of the meal.
The key for a great meal is to grate these vegetables finely. Yes, prep time is high. Which is perhaps why this communal meeting is the best way to quickly divide labor and prepare them.
Another tip – is not to just have lots of single type of salad. The refreshing changes in taste and texture by having 5 varieties of salad makes this meal very exciting.
They usually finish the meal with a glass of buttermilk and fruit-salad, the recipe for which I will post soon.
I wish to thank my in-laws, Nagamanni aunty for hosting and all the satsang members for being so patient while I photographed the recipes.
A special thanks to my mother in law for patiently dealing with all my constant questions (annoying no doubt!!) regarding the recipes.
Hi Swetha, this is Sujana. I know your mother in law, she is my sister’s sister in law, other that I don’t know this side. Thanks for sharing. Convey my regards to them. Me too I love to eat raw food, but I don’t like to add extra sweet. I never try this adding jaggery like that.
Thank you once again.
Thank you Sujanaji. Very happy to hear your comments..i will pass on your wishes to my in-laws.
Happy to hear that you like raw food too..Warm regards!!
Wow! Nice recipes indeed. I am a raw foodie myself (90% of my day all year is raw food; ever since I got rid of some chronic deceases permanently with raw food in 3 months). I take some cues from Western Raw Food recipes and adopt or adapt them to my liking. So I am also constantly creating new foods. But I was looking for some change in my foods to have some spicy/savory ones, a typical Telugu person’s food. I am glad I came across this site which gives me some more ideas. Keep up the good work. Eat Healthy, Be Happy!
Hi Mallik, Happy to hear that you found the post useful!! Thank you for posting your comment.
Thank you so much for sharing your mother in law’s recipes..Sincere Thanks to her. I have recently transitioned to raw vegan lifestyle and am always searching for recipes..One request to you, can you please post more of Indian style raw vegan lunch n
dinner recipes ? It would be really helpful for people like me.
Hi Shriti, Happy to hear that you found these recipes useful. In the future, I can try to post raw vegan; but since I have 2 growing children in the house, the probability of these dishes are rare – I feel that their protein needs are not met with the raw veggies alone.
However, I appreciate your comment and will try to add similar recipes whenever I try them. Thanks and wish you the best!!