Spicy Salad or Sambharo

Sambharo is rather like a spicy cooked salad always served up as an extra to a main meal.   It’s usually made with carrots, white cabbage and hot green chillies – stir fried in oil, mustard seeds and turmeric. It can be served hot or cold.  I tend to make sambharo with the usual three vegetables but also add raw papaya and raw mango when available. When I was at school in Kenya – my favourite lunch used to be sambharo filled sandwiches. My mum used to make sambharo using just raw mangoes and green chilies. It’s still one of my favourite sandwich fillings.

A lot of Indian takeaways serve a small portion of Spicy Salad or Sambharo with ganthia.  Most gujarati thali’s will have a serving of  sambharo. Spicy Salad or Sambharo is always made hot and spicy and served in a very small portion as it’s usually served  to give the main meal a hot spicy taste.


  • 1 cup white Cabbage -chopped finely
  • 1 large carrot – chopped in slices or grated
  • 8-10 small hot green chillies (you can use peppers or jalapenos)
  • 1 small raw mango chopped in small slices(optional)
  • 1 cup chopped in small long slices papaya
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil (or any cooking oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teasppon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon (you won’t need this if you are using raw mangoes in your recipe)


1.  Heat Oil in a saucepan.

2. Add the Mustard seeds.    When the mustard seeds stop popping, add the cabbage, carrots and chillies and the rest of the chopped vegetables.

3.  Stir fry the vegetables.   Add the salt, turmeric and sugar

4.  Keep stirring the vegetable.   The vegetables should be kept crunchy and not too soft – keep them almost  el dante.  The sambharo should be dry  and cooked like a stir fry so don’t cook it with the lid on.

5.  If you have not added raw mango to the sambharo  – then add the lemon, stir and transfer the sambharo to a serving dish.

6.  You do not add garlic or  ginger or chilly powder to this dish.  Nor do you serve it with any garnishings such as coriander.  You usually serve it as an extra with your main course or with some Indian snacks such as Ganthia


7. It’s such a tasty dish that you would be forgiven for eating it as a sandwich filling.


You may wish to check out all the variations of sambharo recipes which are in this blog:

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