[Photograph: Prasanna Sankhe]

This salad of crisp cabbage, carrots, and coconut is one of those Indian dishes that takes minimal effort, doesn't involve a whole range of spices, and is ready in minutes. Dressed in an infused oil, it's the perfect side dish for a meal of rice and chicken, like Kerala-Style Chicken Curry, Easy Pressure Cooker Chicken and Chickpea Masala, or Chicken Tikka Masala. With grilling season kicking in, the salad would also make a great accompaniment to any number of grilled dishes, especially kebabs. Think of it as a slaw.

At its simplest, the dressing calls for olive oil in which you've cooked down some mustard seeds, serrano chili, and curry leaves, but you can also use a more flavorful oil like mustard, sesame, or coconut if you'd like. Crushed roasted peanuts, lime juice, and a touch of sugar round out the flavors. Leftovers make a great filling for a sandwich—just add a few boiled, sliced potatoes, stuff it into some bread, and you've got lunch.

About the author: Denise Dsilva Sankhe is a writer & creative director by profession. But that's only when she isn't eating her way across India. She recreates this delicious cuisine in her Mumbai home, which she shares with her husband, who has long since given up his determination to have salads for dinner.


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