Chop. Toss. Serve. This classic Indian salad is all done in under 15 minutes with no cooking required. Simple everyday ingredients such as tomato, onion and cucumber make this kachumber salad a midweek favourite.
Why You’ll Love Kachumber Salad
It’s one of the easiest Indian salads to make as all you need to do is chop and toss. No cooking is required and no complex preparation.
It’s also a budget friendly salad of familiar and staple ingredients such as tomatoes, onions and cucumber. It’s similar to many Mediterranean and South American salads, with a slight difference due to spicy heat and dry spices.
It’s one of those salads that are crowd pleasers, and you can whip up quickly without having to plan too far ahead. Plus, it’s delicious, authentic and true to Indian cuisine.
What Is Kachumber Salad?
A traditional kachumber salad is a simple chopped salad of tomato, cucumber and onion. It is seasoned with chilli, coriander and has lime or lemon juice. It is a refreshing Indian salad with a hint of spice and is often served on the side as an accompaniment to a main meal.
This salad in India is one of the classics, and it’s a side dish that is well known and usually available in restaurants all over the world.
It’s also a great salad to your Diwali festivities if you’re after something fresh.
Should I Peel the Cucumbers?
It’s not necessary to peel the cucumber for an Indian kachumber salad, but if that is your preference, you certainly can too. I think that the skin enables the cucumber to retain its shape better and provides an extra crunch.
Can We Make It Without Onion?
You can definitely make a kachumber salad without onions. This is perfect if you’re a strict Jain vegetarian or perhaps are following a low FODMAP lifestyle. You can just omit it altogether without having to worry about finding a substitute.
How To Chop Vegetables for Kachumber?
The kachumber salad is typically made up of diced vegetables rather than sliced. The preference is to chop them into pieces similar in size for the onion, tomato and cucumber.
You can remove the cucumber seeds if you wish so that this Indian salad doesn’t water so much. In which case you might like to get an extra one just in case.
Be sure to get a firm tomato so that it all doesn’t turn into mush when you toss it together and so that it retains its freshness.
Flavour/Texture: Like a typical tomato salsa or even a Greek salad, the textures are crunchy, while the tomatoes help soften the overall textures. This Indian kachumber salad is refreshing and familiar.
It is also citrusy from the lemon or lime and is slightly spicy if you add fresh chillies and/or red chilli pepper. I love adding cumin powder to this recipe as it gives it warmth and nutty finishes.
Ease: Super easy Indian salad. Chop and toss. Love these kinds of salads. No cooking either!
Time: Done in under 15 minutes.
These are the ingredients you need for kachumber salad.
Tomatoes: Make sure they are firm, plump and bright red.
Onion: You’ll need a red onion for this recipe. A small one will be enough as you don’t want it to overpower the whole salad.
Cucumber: Kachumber is widely known as an Indian cucumber salad. So, the cucumber is an essential component of the recipe. A good-sized continental or garden will work. English cucumbers are great, too, as they are seedless, which means they won’t water as much.
Green chilli: Love adding some fresh green chilli, serrano pepper or jalapeño for this kachumber salad recipe. Remove the seeds if you think they will be too spicy but otherwise, chop them into small pieces.
Coriander (cilantro): Need to add some fresh herbs to this salad.
Salt, pepper, red chilli pepper, cumin powder: Necessary seasoning and spices required for this recipe.
Lime: I prefer lime juice instead of lemon juice for kachumber, but you can choose either. It will work equally well.
Step by step instructions for how to make kachumber salad.
Chop the tomatoes, onion, cucumber and green chilli.
Mix them with the rest of the ingredients.
Garnish with some coriander. Finely chopped coriander leaves can also be added to the salad if you wish.
Variations and Substitutions
Red chilli powder substitute: A good red chilli pepper substitute is cayenne pepper. If the red chilli pepper is too much, you can just add black pepper powder.
Coriander (cilantro) replacement: You can replace coriander with flat leaf parsley.
Lemon or lime? The citrus component can be lime or lemon.
Green chilli alternative: You can use serrano or jalapeños if you can’t find green chillies.
Additions: Some known variations to the recipe include adding red radish, carrots, bell peppers, cabbage, pomegranate arils and mint leaves.
Some crunch: For some crunch, you can add peanuts, walnuts or some seeds such as pepitas, sunflower seeds or hemp seeds.
Vinegar based kachumber: For a kachumber salad with vinegar, replace the lime or lemon juice with equal parts vinegar.
Great Indian Dishes for This Salad
What to serve with this Indian salad? Try these delicious Indian recipes:
Chicken tikka masala: If you are craving restaurant-style Chicken Tikka Masala, this recipe is your answer! This thick, creamy and delicious gravy will leave you licking your fingers! Serve it up with a refreshing kachumber salad for a great meal!
Mughlai lamb: This Mughlai lamb is tender and succulent with a browned exterior and has a wonderful rich flavour. To help refresh the palate, nothing quite beats a simple yet delicious kachumber salad.
Dhaba style aloo phool gobi masala: Dhaba style aloo phool gobi masala is a dry, spicy preparation of cauliflower and potato, which goes very well with a simple kachumber salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Kachumber salad does not keep well, so you can prepare each ingredient separately but only toss it all together when it is time to eat. This way, it won’t get watery, retains its crunch, and is fresh to taste.
The best onion to eat raw in a kachumber salad is red onion. It has the mildest and sweetest flavour of all the onions. It also has a crisp texture which is great when consumed uncooked. Purple is also a lovely colour.
The classic kachumber salad has evolved over time, and there are many different variations that one can adapt to. Some other fruit and vegetables that may be added to the kachumber recipe include red radish, pomegranate arils, green mango, regular mango, carrots and bell peppers.
How simple is this kachumber recipe? It’s no wonder this salad in India is so popular! I guess you can’t really go wrong with a classic combination of tomatoes, onions and cucumber. But it’s the added spices and chilli that make this unique and a fantastic side dish to have with any meal.
More Indian Side Dish Recipes
Easy to make at home Indian side dishes that taste just like the restaurants or street vendors!
- Chicken Pakora [Street Food At Home]
- Turmeric Rice Recipe [Fluffy & Fragrant!]
- Bombay Aloo [Bombay Potatoes]
- Easy Onion Bhaji Recipe
- Veg Pulao [Easy Indian Rice Dish]
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Kachumber Salad [Authentic Indian Salad]
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- Chop the tomatoes, onion, cucumber and green chilli.
- Mix them with the rest of the ingredients.
- Garnish with some coriander. Finely chopped coriander leaves can also be added to the salad if you wish.
- A good red chilli powder substitute is cayenne pepper. If the red chilli pepper is too much, you can just add black pepper powder.
- You can replace coriander with flat leaf parsley.
- The citrus component can be lime or lemon.
- You can use serrano or jalapeños if you can’t find green chillies.
- Some known variations to the recipe include adding red radish, carrots, bell peppers, cabbage, pomegranate arils and mint leaves.
- For some crunch, you can add peanuts, walnuts or some seeds such as pepitas, sunflower seeds or hemp seeds.
- For a kachumber salad with vinegar, replace the lime or lemon juice with equal parts vinegar.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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