This is a traditional South Indian salad served at any happy family event. AS is with formal lunches in India, there is never any strict course by course serving like a salad followed by soup etc . Instead all the side dishes are served simultaneously (in a specific order). In South Indian lunches there are 3 courses of rice, the first being the sambar, a thick lentil & vegetable stew, followed by rice and Rasam , a flavorful lentiil & tamaring flavored broth, and the final course is rice and Yogurt meant to aid digestion.
Its only recently that one sees multicolored organic carrots so freely available in the markets today and I can't seem to get enough (especially the red colored ones that are common in India). Its an added bonus when 5 different colors are sold in a single bag. I pick these organic carrots from either Wegmans or Whole Foods. This is one of those recipes that allows plenty of flexibility in terms of how much you add of the carrots, so feel free to add more or less of each color, or even stick to one variety
Soak the mung dal in 2 cups of water after rinsing it thoroughly. Set aside for about 15 -30 minutes to soften and hydrate thoroughly.
Wash, peel and shred the carrots and add to a bowl. Drain the mung beans thoroughly and mix along with the carrots. (add in the minced chili if you wish at this point) Heat the oil in a skillet and add the mustard seeds to pop & split. Pour this scalding hot mixture into the carrots. Add Lime juice and salt as per your taste. Chill in the refrigerator and garnish with cilantro prior to serving.