Kachumber is a great Indian salad waiting to be discovered. Tomatoes, cucumber, onions and the bright tastes of cilantro and mint kicked up with a little green chili.
Like a Greek salad jacked up with Indian flavours. Perfect counterpoint to a curry or two.
You see bad versions of it at Indian lunch buffets. That’s probably what’s holding it back. It’s a great combination that’s worth trying out.
Kachumber salad is something you need to try
It’s a simple salad really. Like any summer salad. Except the dressing. That puts it firmly in Indian territory. Salad with spice. A bit of heat. Amazing stuff.
I like it all summer long. It’s great with tandoori chicken. Try that some time. Everybody smiles when that hits the table. A nice cold beer to wash it down. That’s good living.
A couple tips for better kachumber
I’ve added a couple of tricks to this recipe. Deflame the onions. Run them under cold water for about 10 seconds. Try it some time. It really works.
Use a bit of salt on the tomatoes and let them drain. That’s how you get rid of the big puddle of water in the bottom of the bowl. Try these two tricks next time you make pico. Better kachumber and better salsa.
The dressing is what makes it
The dressing is different. I can’t think of another salad dressing like it. Green chilies. Chili powder. Cumin. It sounds like it would be hot. Not cooling.
But it just adds a bit of zing. The oil mellows it out. And it works great with tomatoes. Try that sometime. Doesn’t have to be a kachumber salad. Try it on some sliced summer tomatoes. A bit of cilantro and mint to garnish.
Like tomatoes with basil but with a big Indian twist. Or drizzle it on some grilled chicken. Seriously. Tasty stuff.
Kachumber. Crazy name. Great salad.
kachumber - indian tomato and cucumber salad
- 1/2 white onion - coarsely diced
- 3-4 tomatoes - diced
- 1/2 large cucumber - diced
- 1/3 cup cilantro leaves - minced
- 2 Tbsp mint - minced
- 1/4 tsp kashmiri mild chili powder - or a pinch of cayenne
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 2 green finger hot chilies - or 1/2 jalapeño, minced
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice - about 1/3 of a lemon
- salt to taste
- Combine the chili powder, cumin, minced chilies, oil and lemon juice.
- Run the chopped white onion under cold running water for about 10 seconds. This mellows out the bite of the onion. A mesh strainer works well.
- Add about 3/4 tsp of salt to the tomatoes and place in the strainer over a bowl. Let stand for about 20 minutes to let liquid drain. Use these two tricks when you make salsa. It works.
- Combine the onion, tomato and the rest of the ingredients together and toss with the dressing. Taste and adjust for salt.