Kanda Kairi| Gujarati Raw Mango & Onion Salad

Kanda Kairi is a Gujarati summer specialty, the recipe for which I’m going to share with you all today.

For the uninitiated, it refers to a salad made using onions (‘kanda‘ in Gujarati) and raw mango (‘kairi‘ in Gujarati). It is a beauty, this salad, a mix of sweet (from jaggery) and sour, with a bit of spiciness (from red chilli powder). Black salt and roasted cumin goes in too, which elevates the taste of the salad to a whole new level. A proper flavour bomb this one is, for sure!

Kanda Kairi, aka Gujarati raw mango and onion salad

#SaladStories At Foodie Monday Blog Hop

Kanda Kairi is a must at least twice a week in Gujarati households, in the summer. It is believed to keep sunstroke and heat-related ailments at bay, and is served as part of a complete Gujarati thali or as an accompaniment to phulka rotis, in lieu of sabzi. I adore Kanda Kairi and, every year, I wait for the raw mangoes to come to the market so I can make this.

Over the weekend, I got home the first raw mango of the season and, of course, I had to make Kanda Kairi. It coincided perfectly with the theme for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop this week, #SaladStories.

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of passionate food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday. Poonam, the very talented author of Annapurna, suggested that we all share salad recipes this week. So, here I am! While at it, you guys must also check out the beautiful Vermicelli Salad that Poonam prepared for the theme.

More about Kanda Kairi

This is a completely no-cook salad that can be put together in bare minutes. It is super simple recipe that requires just a few ingredients.

It is vegetarian and vegan, suited to those following a plant-based diet. This is a gluten-free recipe as well.

How to make Kanda Kairi

Here is how to go about it.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 1 medium-sized raw mango
  2. 1 medium-sized onion
  3. 1/2 teaspoon black salt or to taste
  4. 1 teaspoon red chilli powder or to taste
  5. 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  6. 4 tablespoons jaggery powder or to taste

Method:

Left top and bottom: Steps 1 and 2, Top right: Step 3, Top centre and bottom: Steps 4 and 5

1. Peel the raw mango. Cut off the stem part of it.

2. Grate the raw mango thick. Place in a large mixing bowl.

3. Peel the onion and chop it thinly, length-wise. Add to the mixing bowl.

4. To the mixing bowl, add salt, red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder and jaggery powder.

5. Use your hands to mix everything together thoroughly. Your Kanda Kairi is ready. Let it sit for at least 30-45 minutes before serving.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use a mango that’s raw and firm, not too squishy. For best results, use a raw mango that’s not overly sour – like a Totapuri.

2. Black salt (‘sanchal‘ in Gujarati) works best in this salad. It adds a unique flavour to it. However, if you don’t have it, you can use regular salt instead.

3. Adjust the quantity of salt, jaggery, red chilli powder and roasted cumin powder as per personal taste preferences.

4. The colour of the salad will depend upon the type and amount of jaggery powder and red chilli powder you use. Here, I have used a bright red Degi Mirch powder and dark brown organic country jaggery powder.

5. I prefer using jaggery powder in this salad. If you are using a block of jaggery, roughly crush it with a mortar and pestle before adding it to the salad.

6. In Gujarati households, the onion is grated and added to the salad, as is the raw mango. Here, I have grated the raw mango thick and chopped the onion thin, length-wise. I have used a regular red onion here.

7. To make roasted cumin powder, dry roast some cumin seeds on medium flame till fragrant, then allow them to cool down, and then grind coarsely. Take care to ensure that the cumin seeds do not burn. I usually make this powder with about 1/2 cup of cumin seeds, store it in a dry and air-tight box, and use it as needed.

8. This salad is best mixed with one’s hands. This helps in breaking down the lumps in the jaggery, if any. Also, this helps to release the juices from the raw mango and for all the flavours to meld well together. It is supposed to be served watery.

9. Make this salad at least 30-45 minutes before serving. Allowing it to sit for some time gives a chance for the flavours to incorporate well with each other.

10. You may chill the salad for a while in the refrigerator, once it is ready. I prefer allowing it to sit for a bit at room temperature.

11. If you want to, you may add some asafoetida, turmeric powder and finely chopped coriander to the Kanda Kairi. However, this is purely optional.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

11 thoughts on “Kanda Kairi| Gujarati Raw Mango & Onion Salad

  1. Never heard of kanda kairi but it sounds super tempting. We do make a chutney with onions and raw mango but this salad sounds interesting and I can’t wait to give it a try.

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  2. Kanda kairi salad is so simple and bursting with flavors. I have some raw mangoes and would love to try this one.Even I make salad with mango , onion and corn. Adding jaggery sounds interesting.

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  3. Wow Priya my mouth is watering reading your description of this kanda Kairi. Tanginess to raw mango, flavour of roasted cumin, hotness of red chilli and sweetened with jaggery definitely taste awesome. I would love to try it sometime.

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  4. Your post on kanda kairi took me bCk to my childhood days .. during summer hols we kids used to have impromptu luncheons at our friends’ home and as south indians me and another friend would eagerly wait to gorge on this kanda kairi or chundo at gujju friend’s home while they would eagerly wait to slurp on rasam and sambar at my place.. never knew how it was made ..but now thanks to yo for sharing yhe recipe.

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  5. Kanda Kairi looks so flavorful and delicious. Love the color of the salad. Best time to try this salad as we get plenty of mangoes now.

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