Kachumber is a versatile Indian side salad that is incredibly easy to put together and packs a lot of tangy flavour and spice. It works as a perfect side for curries, as a salad on its own or in place of a salsa.
What I love about Indian curries is how rich and strong they are, but with powerful flavours you often need something refreshing to cut through the spice. Much like tabbouleh for middle-eastern dishes, kachumber is designed to perform the same role in Indian cuisine.
Another thing that’s great about putting a kachumber on the side of your curries is the crunchy texture you get from it, which breaks up the rice and sauce nicely.
Prep Time 5-10 minutes
Cook Time N/A
- 1 tomato
- Half a cucumber (or 1 whole Lebanese cucumber)
- Half a red onion
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Pinch of cardamom powder
- 1 whole lemon (juice)
- 1 small handful fresh coriander (approx. 50g)
- Sea salt
- Medium bowl
Making the Kachumber
- Start by washing all of your vegetables. Dice the cucumber and onion and deseed and dice the tomato. Try to keep the cucumber and tomato uniform for presentation and make the red onion slightly smaller so it is not overpowering.
- Finely chop the coriander and add it to the mixture. Save a leaf or two for garnish.
- Place all ingredients into a medium bowl. Add the cumin, cardamom, turmeric and garam masala, followed by the lemon juice. Mix thoroughly and season to taste.
Kachumber is a wonderful thing to have in your back pocket. It can be tough to pair things with curries as the strong flavours can simply overpower accompaniments. While this little salad is super simple, it packs a lot of flavour in its own right and doesn’t get lost — even soaked in the sauce of a vindaloo!
Another great thing about kachumber is how easy it is to alter the recipe to your liking, as it’s just a few ingredients. You can put in some radish for a bit of added sharpness, use sumac instead of cumin for a more middle-eastern flair or add chilli powder to give the salad some heat. If you aren’t a fan of the stronger red onion, you could use shallots or spring onions instead for a more subtle flavour.
One thing I like to do is be creative with my pairings. Try a kachumber with a roast lamb or chicken in the summer or spice up a steak dish with it. You don’t have to limit this to Indian cuisine! It’s so simple and uses ingredients that are in most people’s refrigerators, so you can knock it together whenever you feel like something light and refreshing!