Here’s a classic Kachumber Salad recipe you can make in 5 minutes with whatever crunchy vegetables you have on hand. This recipe shares fun variations, add-ins, and pairing suggestions!
Salads don’t exist in traditional Pakistani and North Indian cuisine. At least not in the way we know them here.
Yet growing up, something we called a salad (often pronounced sa-laad) would be present at many meals. This salad was really just a plate of sliced veggies, namely onions, cucumbers, and carrots. Also try our TURKISH COFFEE.
Taken up a notch, said veggies would be diced up and and tossed with a snazzy ‘dressing’ of salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Now you’ve got one of the only salads in South Asian cuisine with a proper name – Kachumber Salad.
The word “kachumber”, which we pronounce ka-choo-mer, means “mince”. So Kachumber salad is a mix of minced veggies. Though an ordinary salad in and of itself, it lends freshness, vibrance, and texture to otherwise warming and hearty South Asian fare.
Depending on the region, there are many variations of Kachumber salad, and there is no wrong way to make it.
WHAT TO SERVE THIS KACHUMBER SALAD WITH
Although you could serve Kachumber with most main dishes, it goes exceptionally well with:
Fish and seafood recipes.
Soupy curries like Chicken Curry.
Rice dishes like Pulao.
All dals, especially soupy ones
- 1 bowl
- 1 medium (~130 g) Roma or vine tomato, diced into ¼ inch cubes or smaller
- ½ g regular cucumber or 1/3 English cucumber or 1 mini (Persian) cucumber, peeled (see Note 1) and diced into ¼ inch cubes or smaller (roughly the same size as the tomato)
- ½ medium (~60 g) red onion, diced into ~¼ inch cubes or smaller
- 2 tbsp cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- Place all the ingredients in a small serving bowl and toss to combine. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Serve immediately or allow the flavors to meld and juices to release before serving, about 10 minutes. Store covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Variations and Add-insHere are some common or interesting variations and add-ins:
- Add heat with 1/8 tsp red chili powder or cayenne, or a finely chopped, deseeded green chili pepper.
- Make it seasonal with crunchy vegetables like a carrots (my favorite!) or radishes in the winter or corn or bell peppers in the summer.
- For a sweet element, add pomegranate seeds, diced mango, or golden raisins.
- To enhance texture and warmth, sprinkle roasted cumin powder, chili flakes, or other spices.
- For a layer of deep flavor, add a minced garlic clove.