Recipe: Mapillai Samba Salad

Recipe: Mapillai Samba Salad

This is a recipe we learnt from Menaka Thilak Rajan of Mannvasanai (which means “the smell of the earth” in Tamil) in Tamil Nadu. Mannvasanai focuses on growing and selling traditional varieties of rice, among other things. Menaka tells us over the phone, “Indigenous, hand-pounded varieties of rice are nature’s gift – to protect us from diabetes, obesity etc. Indigenous rice varieties are in danger of disappearing, and we are passionate about increasing awareness about them. Towards this, we conduct cooking workshops that help people understand their importance and make delicious dishes!”

Mapillai Samba or Bride Groom Rice is a native variety of red rice that is grown predominantly in Tamil Nadu. It is hardy and demands little or no fertilisers or pesticides, but is disappearing fast, as are other native varieties of rice.

Enjoy making and eating this delicious salad!


  • Cooked mappilai samba rice – 2 cups
  • Boiled groundnuts – 1 cup
  • Pomegranate – 1 cup
  • Cucumber –  1 cup
  • Sprouted moong (payaru)  – 1 cup
  • Chopped coriander – half a cup
  • Chopped green chilli – a teaspoon
  • Lemon juice – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste
  • Rock salt – to taste

Mix all the ingredients. Consume immediately!

Recipe by Menaka Thilak Rajan.

Illustrated by Shawn D’Souza

Like, Share, and Subscribe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

3 + 13 =