Kachumber or Kachumber Salad is a simple Indian Salad recipe made with freshly chopped onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes and flavored with fresh herbs, lemon juice, and spices. This easy and refreshing Cucumber Tomato Onion Salad is gluten-free, vegan, and oil-free. It is a staple in most Indian homes and restaurants and pairs perfectly with most Indian curries as a side.
Indian meals are incomplete without a side of this colorful, delicious, and refreshing Kachumber Salad.
Be it at home or at a restaurant, this simple cucumber tomato and onion salad is the best and easiest way to boost your meal's nutritional value. It's an oil-free, vegan, gluten-free salad that is customizable too!
What Is Kachumber?
Kachumber is a simple Indian chopped salad made with fresh veggies like onions, cucumber, tomatoes dressed in lemon juice, and Indian spices.
This refreshing cucumber, onion, and tomato salad is similar to pica de gallo. It complements most Indian dishes making it a staple in most homes and restaurants.
There are many variations of this Indiansalad and am sure every home has its own. But for today's post, I am sharing my version.
The best part about this Indian salad is you can add more veggies to it to make it even more wholesome and serve it with a basic dressing of salt, pepper lemon juice, or jazz it up as I did for this recipe. Either way, it tastes amazing.
Personally, I like to add some heat to this salad in the form of freshly chopped green chilies or red chili powder. But that's completely optional and to your taste. Roasted ground cumin powder is my other favorite ingredient for this salad.
The veggies can be chopped as per your liking i.e. either fine, chunky or in julienne. I usually chop the salad fine if I am serving it with Dal rice as that makes it easier to mix and eat.
This crunchy, fresh, and tangy salad is a must on the side with Indian Curries and also pairs well with wraps, burgers, sandwiches, tacos, burritos, bowls, or even as a dip with chips or topping on papad.
Here are the ingredients you will need to make Indian kachumber salad :
Cucumber - Use regular, English, or Persian (mini) cucumbers. Depending on your preference and the type of cucumber used, peel (or not), and then chop the cucumber. I have used mini cucumbers and they have a thin peel so I leave it on.
Tomatoes - Use firm ripe tomatoes. I have used Roma but you can also use cherry or grape tomatoes too.
Onion - I prefer using red onions for this salad. You can use yellow, or white onions or even shallots based on your preference.
Other veggies - I have also used shredded carrots in this salad since I usually have them on hand. You can also add beets, radishes, cabbage, and bell pepper.
Green chili - I have used Thai green chili that is finely chopped, it adds a nice heat, skip it if you don't prefer the salad spicy.
Lemon Juice - Use freshly squeezed juice. It adds a nice tang and brightens up the salad. Lime juice or vinegar can be used too.
Spices - At a minimum, you need salt and black pepper to flavor this salad. To take it up a notch, add roasted cumin powder, chaat masala, and Kashmiri red chili powder (gives nice color without too much heat).
Herbs - Fresh cilantro is the perfect touch of color and flavor to bring this salad together. In addition, I prefer adding some dry mint for a fresh minty flavor that is not too overpowering. You can also use fresh mint too but I prefer dry mint.
Please refer to the recipe card for exact measurements of ingredients.
How To Make Indian Kachumber Salad (Step-by-Step Method)
1-4 Wash, dry, and chop the veggies. You can either dice them into small bite-sized pieces or cut them into juliennes. I have shown how to dice them in the video but you can also use this chopper to get equal-sized pieces.
5 - In a large mixing bowl, add all the chopped veggies (cucumber, tomatoes, onions, carrots), followed by cilantro.
6 - Next comes spices (salt, red chili powder, cumin powder, chaat masala). Crush some dry mint and add it along with green chili (both of these are optional and can be skipped).
7 - Finally, squeeze in the lemon juice and mix until everything is well combined.
Note: Add salt and lemon juice just before serving the salad or else the veggies will release their juices.
8 - Taste and adjust spices as needed. Kachumber is ready to be served!
This tangy and refreshing Kachumber salad makes a great side dish with many Indian Curries and Biryani, few ideas as below
- Lentils (dal) - Dal Fry, Chana Dal
- Beans - Rajma Masala , Lobia Masala
- Curries - Matar Paneer, Dum Aloo
- Rice dishes - Veg Pulao, Tawa Pulao
In addition to Indian food, you can also use this Indian salad in your wraps, burgers, tacos, burritos, bowls, and sandwiches. Or top it over papadums or serve it as a dip with chips. Either way, it's delicious!
Use fresh ripe and firm veggies for this Indian Kachumber salad. This way the salad will have a nice crunch.
To reduce sharp pungent onion flavor, soak it in ice-cold water for 10-15 mins, drain, and then use it.
You can peel the cucumber skin or leave it on based on your preference. If it's a mini cucumber with thin skin, I usually leave it on.
You can also use other veggies of your choice like carrots, beets, cabbage, reddish, bell pepper, or even avocado.
Add nuts or seeds for texture, crunch, and nutrition. Roasted peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are some great options.
This salad tastes equally delicious with just salt, lemon, and black pepper. So feel free to adjust spices to your liking and availability. Skip the green and red chili if you don't prefer it spicy. You can replace lemon juice with white vinegar.
If you love garlic flavor in your salad, add a garlic clove minced or ¼ to ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.
Frequently Asked Questions
Kachumber salad is best served fresh. To prep, it in advance, chop and mix all the veggies and store them in a refrigerator. Add spices and lemon juice just before serving.
Leftover kachumber salad can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. The veggies tend to leave juice and will lose their crispiness so consume the leftover salad within a day.
Yes, you can make this just as tomato cucumber salad too. Or use other veggies like carrots, cabbage, radish, and beets for that crunch and color.
More Salad And Raita Recipes
I hope you enjoy this Indian Kachumber Salad recipe! If you try this recipe, please rate it by clicking stars ⭐️ on the recipe card. Thank you ❤️! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s cooking in my kitchen!!
Kachumber Salad Recipe
- 1 medium tomato chopped
- 1 cup mini (persian) cucumber chopped
- 1 small red onion peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup carrots shredded
- ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
- 2-3 dry mint leaves crushed or use fresh mint
- 1 green chili finely chopped, optional
- ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon chaat masala optional
- ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder or ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- Wash, dry, and chop the veggies. You can either dice them into small bite-sized pieces or cut them into juliennes.
- In a large mixing bowl, add all the chopped veggies (cucumber, tomatoes, onions, carrots), followed by cilantro and spices (salt, red chili powder, cumin powder, chaat masala)
- Crush some dry mint and sprinkle it along with green chili (both these are optional and can be skipped)
- Finally, squeeze in the lemon juice and mix until everything is well combined. Taste and adjust spices as needed.
- Kachumber salad is ready! Serve it with some lentils, or curries with rice/roti or use as a dip or topping for tacos, burgers, wraps, sandwiches, bowls and more
Update Notes: This post was originally published on Jun 15, 2015, but was republished with, step-by-step instructions, new photos, tips, and a video in Jan of 2023.