Made using freshly chopped veggies, Kachumber is a fresh, crunchy Indian salad that doesn’t need any cooking and can be rustled up whenever hunger strikes. Pair it with any Indian meal for a taste lift. It is vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free.
About This Recipe
A salad is a must in our home, especially at lunchtime. To go with our Indian-style meals, we need something simple, tasty, and light to serve on the side. And those are the days, I make Kachumber Salad.
Well, you must be thinking what does Kachumber mean? Kachumber is a Hindi word, that is often used for something that is a simple mixture of two or more vegetables and this salad is made using cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes, hence the name.
Kachumber is vegan and gluten-free and this crunchy and colorful salad comes together in just 10 minutes. It is great for your clean eating menu too. All you have to do is chop the veggies and flavor them with some salt, pepper, and lime juice.
This salad is a great way to include raw veggies in your diet. Eating veggies in their raw form has many health benefits. They are loaded with fibers, vitamins, and minerals. Raw veggies aids, make the skin glow, helps in the weight loss journey, and improves heart health.
Kachumber can also be called Indian salsa as it is made very similarly to the all-time favorite Mexican Pico De Gallo or Tomato Salsa.
The best part about this salad is that it is very customizable. Add the veggies you like and skip the ones you don’t.
Vegetables – The traditional kachumber is made using tomato, cucumber, green chilly, cilantro, lime, and onions.
Try to use English cucumbers as they are seedless and are super crunchy. My second choice is Persian cucumbers which are also seedless but less flavorful than their English cousins. If using regular cucumbers, make sure to peel them and remove the large seeds.
Add more or less green chilies as per your taste. Remove their seeds to reduce the heat. You can also use Jalapeno or Serrano in place of green chilies.
If red onions are very pungent, soak them in water for 10 minutes, drain and use them in the salad.
Pomegranate – This is completely optional! I like to add it for extra crunch and also a little hint of sweetness.
Salt and Pepper – To season it you will need just salt and pepper. That’s it! If you like it to be tangier, you can add in some chaat masala powder or kala namak too.
Lime Juice – This provides the much-needed tang in the kachoomer.
- Some people add ground cumin and red chili powder to their kachumber. You can try it too.
- You can also add roasted peanuts or other nuts like almond, walnuts etc for a lovely crunch.
- Seeds like sunflower seeds, toasted flax seeds or hemp seeds are also great to add crunch.
- Bean sprouts and alfa alfa sprouts also go very well in this salad.
- To make the salad even more interesting, you can add finely chopped mixed bell peppers, shredded or sliced radish, shredded cabbage, corn, shredded beetroots, and boiled potatoes. Avocado is also a great addition. You can add other herbs like mint, basil, or parsley.
- When green mangoes are in season, add some to give it a nice tang and crunch. Gujaraties add chopped ripe mangoes to their Kachumber. It gives a lovely hint of swetneess to this otherwise spicy and tangy salad.
- You can also use vinegar in place of lemon or lime juice. Try adding different varieties of vinegar for change in taste.
- Cooked chickpea or red kidney beans can also be added. they are rich in protein and will add to the health benefits.
- If you eat eggs and chicken, then add chopped boiled eggs or grilled shredded chicken to it.
How To Make Kachumber
Start by preparing the ingredients
- Peel the onions and chop them.
- Chop the tomatoes and cucumber. You can chop the cucumbers with skin on if it’s very fresh or peel the skin using a vegetable peeler before chopping. Remove the seeds of tomatoes before chopping.
- Chop green chilies and cilantro too. If making it for kids, you can skip adding the chili. Wear gloves while chopping the chilies if you have a sensitive skin.
- Take out the kernels of pomegranate.
Note – Do not chop the veggies in a food processor. It will chop the veggies finely making the dish more of a salsa than kachumber.
Make The Salad
Add all the ingredients to a medium-size non-reactive (glass is best) mixing bowl.
Mix everything properly using a spoon or with your clean hands and serve immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make Kachumber raita or Kachumber with yogurt, just add chopped onions, tomatoes, and cucumber to the whisked plain yogurt (dahi) and flavor it up with some cumin powder and salt.
Yes, that’s it! For extra flavor, you can also give a tempering of oil, asafoetida, and red chili powder to your raita. This kachumber raita pairs very well with biryani.
It’s a personal choice. If the cucumbers are very fresh, then you can leave the skin on. It not only adds a nice crunch but it’s healthier too.
Yes, if you do not eat onion, you can simply skip adding it. Kachumber tastes great without onion too. You can add in finely chopped carrot in this no-onion version for some extra crunch.
Cucumbers taste bitter a lot of times. The best way to get rid of the bitterness is to chop off the top part and rub it against the remaining cucumber. A foam-like substance will collect around the edges of the cucumber. Wash it and it will not taste bitter anymore.
If you have already chopped the cucumber without tasting it before, then add some salt to it and keep it aside for 10 minutes. Now rinse and use.
This salad pairs well with any Indian meal. Apart from my everyday Indian meals, I like to serve it with biryani and pulao.
You can also add it to your wraps, burritos, tacos, burgers, or to a buddha bowl.
Mix it with yogurt and serve it as a dip with chips, nachos, spicy crackers, etc.
Kachumber doesn’t keep well so I suggest you make it fresh. You can chop the veggies in advance and mix them with the rest of the ingredients when ready to serve.
But if you still have leftovers, store them in a sealed container for about 2 days in the fridge. Just take a few minutes before serving, so that it comes to room temperature.
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- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes (seeds removed)
- 1 cup chopped cucumber (preferably English cucumbers)
- 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies (adjust the amount according to your liking)
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (coriander)
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Add all the ingredients to a medium-size non-reactive mixing bowl.
- Mix everything well using a spoon or with your clean hands.
- Check for salt and lime juice and serve immediately.