KACHUMBER – कचुम्बर सलाद (Indian Vegetable Salad)

In Indian when someone says सलाद / salaad (it is pronounced exactly the way that it is written here) it implies a bowl of salad comprising primarily onions, cucumber and tomatoes – if it is summers and radish and carrots – if it happens to be winters. Kachumber has often been mentioned by me in my curry recipes yet I somehow never shared it on the blog.

So, here is this everyday Indian salad comprising sliced or diced onions, cucumbers, tomatoes and green chillies (which is actually optional). The salad is sprinkled with some salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime to add a touch of tanginess and also to tone down the sharpness of onion. Herbs such as mint and coriander add a nice aroma and taste to it. Dare I say, it is similar to a salsa and closer to the classic Israeli salad, Pareve (sans the olive oil though); just that a salsa has finely chopped ingredients in comparison to a kachumber. Also, one or more ingredients of a salsa may be roasted but not the kachumber.

This refreshing and crunchy salad is served with all kinds of Indian curries and sabzi and also with pulao and biryani. And it makes absolute sense because this salad offers a cooling effect (along with raita or dahi) when served with hot curries or a spicy biryani. You can also use it for wraps and sandwiches.

During summers, the cucumbers are sometimes swapped or clubbed along with kakdi / kakri (long melon) for the salad. While in winter, radish and carrots are added to it. Beets are also a nice addition but in my house we prefer to have our beets pickled than in a kachumber.

You can chop salad to the size you prefer but it is preferred to be bite sized.

100 gm Cucumber

75 gm Onion

75 gm Tomato

1 – 2 Green Chillies (Adjust amount as per heat)

6 – 7 Mint Leaves, washed and pat dried

2 tsp finely chopped fresh Coriander

¼ tsp Kala Namak or Pink Salt

1/8 tsp Black Pepper Powder or Red Chili Powder

1 – 2 tsp Lemon Juice or as per taste

Wash the cucumber and pat dry it. If you are using organic cucumbers you can skip this, else peel the cucumbers and slice them vertically in four pieces and dice them to half an inch size. Transfer them in a mixing bowl.

Wash the tomato and wipe it dry. Slice the tomatoes in two halves and then dice them in similar size as the cucumber. Transfer them to the bowl. (You can remove the seeds if you wish to)

Peel and wash onion. Wipe it dry and then slice it in two halves and then dice it to the same size as the cucumber and tomato.

Sprinkle salt and pepper. Tear the mint leaves in two and add them to the salad along with the chopped coriander.

Add the lemon juice and give it all a gentle stir to mix everything together. Keep aside for two to three minutes and serve.

Serves – 3

Thank you for your visit and see you soon again, with another exciting recipe

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