Kachumber (cucumber & tomato salad)

By DK on Jun 18, 2010
Kachumber (onion cucumber and tomato salad) Recipe
May be few of you can relate to me when I say this - I hate coking for myself. The one common logic that's applied is, if you are passionate about cooking enough to blog about it constantly, then how can you hate cooking. Period. I dunno! When it comes to making anything for myself, I can be the most laziest bum around. My better half will run away at the sight of whatever I throw in if  only I have to eat it! Its so boring, what else can I say. For a long while, I was content with pasta - but it can get very monotonous, don't you think? Sometimes, I made use of canned beans to make myself a burger. At times when I am in the middle of my work, to go and cook something  can really get frustrating. (I work from home). Most of my kitchen disasters happen then since I keep something on the stove and forget about it in the middle of breaking my head over some code. Then the new and improved version of me arrived - where I started taking care of balancing my meals which made it almost hard to keep up my lethargic attitude. That's when I started making simple adjustments - Couscous, Semolina, Brown rice pilaf's, savory wholegrain bread pudding , soups, salads - started making their way into my lunch plate. They were v simple, got done in a jiffy and I could still afford to be my lazy self :) But most of the time, they lacked that color and depth in flavors, I so needed. That's when this salad started making its regular way into my table. My mom has always been making this (but sliced thinly not chopped this way)- but only last year or so did I come to know that it actually has a name - its called Kachumber.
Kachumber (onion cucumber and tomato salad) Recipe
One site tells me that: "In Hindi, Kacha means 'Raw or uncooked'. Kachumbar is literally small tiny pieces of raw vegetables. In the olden days, Kachumbar consisted of finely chopped onions and Kakri (English Cucumber). Sometimes, grated Mooli (Indian radish) was added. The chopped raw vegetables were allowed to rest so that the flavors would blend in. A dressing of Sugar cane vinegar, or Lime juice was used." And yes - If from the looks of the picture, "Mexican Salsa" came to your mind - you are right. It mimics the same. I always knew that Indian and Mexican cuisines share food boundaries and this simple salad goes on to vouch for it even more. Its ridiculously simple and adds a great accompaniment to your entrees - be it rice, pilafs, rotis etc. And yes - a good deal of consuming raw vegetables will provide you a good nutrition kick. I sure know that I need that!
Basic Information
Prep Time: Under 15 min
Serves: 2 people
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeno chillies (optional, as per taste)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2-1tsp roasted cumin powder (as per taste)
  • juice of 1 lemon along with zest, as per taste
  • some cane sugar for sprinkling
  • salt to taste
  • few sprigs of cilantro for garnish
Note: The measurements are ap;proximate since all out taste buds differ. I love lemon flavor hence add more. You can use little, do taste testing and add more. Same goes for sugar, cumin and salt. It will also vary depending on the size of your vegetables
Add all the vegetables together. Squeeze the lemon juice.
Kachumber (onion cucumber and tomato salad) Recipe
Add the spices (cumin, salt and sugar)
Kachumber (onion cucumber and tomato salad) Recipe
Toss them well together.  Do a taste test to see if the seasoning is right for you. Better to start with little seasoning and build it along the way. Cover with plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator. This sitting time helps the flavors to blend.
Kachumber (onion cucumber and tomato salad) Recipe
Serve it chilled. I enjoyed mine with herbed couscous. Kachumber (onion cucumber and tomato salad) Recipe
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20 Responses to “Kachumber (cucumber & tomato salad)”
  1. Marlene

    I have whole cumin seed and ground cumin seed. I don’t have roasted cumin powder. Can roasted cumin powder be bought in health food stores—or can you give me instructions on roasting either the whole or the ground cumin seed?

    If you have ground, just use that. You can make roasted cumin powder at home as well. JUst dry roast them until aromatic – few minutes will do and then grind it into fine powder. –DK

  2. Annette

    Can you please explain sugar cane vinegar. Is it simply white vinegar? You didn, t mention vinegar in your recipe, was that a mistake? If so how much vinegar should I add. Thank you.

    This recipe does not use Vinegar at all. Indian salads are mostly just raw vegetables. Cane sugar is derived from sugarcane. You can use regular sugar instead. –DK

  3. desi

    I think you missed the key ingredient: vinegar
    It ‘cooks’ the onion

  4. Susanna

    tried this and it came out great! i added chopped pineapple to the mix and it complimented the other flavors perfectly! thanks for posting!

  5. Henna Khan

    If you add little olive oil and bit of black pepper to it, it will look shiny and I like it that way. This salad is always present whenever we make rice. You make it with yogurt, black pepper and salt as dressing as well…

  6. Hena

    I TOTALLY related to what you said. I thought I was the BIGGEST bum around when it came to cooking for myself although I love cooking for a group! :-P Good to know I am not alone.

    By chance came across your website and loving it. I have my very first after-marriage dawat planned at the house this weekend,(*beams*) and I will be using some of your stuff. and saving others for later. love your website design, with the pictures and flair in telling the recipes. Keep ‘em coming.. :lol:

  7. mbeltram

    We ake this all the time but i add celantro and avacado.yummy.

  8. an all time favorite of mine for sure… one question though… wats cane sugar?

  9. Sarni Madhan

    I made this today and it was light and refreshing. I added some chopped raw mango and nuts and replaced sugar with raisins. You website is real good, would love to try all recipes.

  10. latapkishnani

    Use this as a filling for grilled sandwich, just add a bit of red chilli powder to it, it tastes yum..If you like cheese, add cheese to the filling,its healthy…

  11. Hey DK!! I just moved to my own domain..do drop by whenever you get time :)

  12. thats our favourite accompaniment for dinner. almost everyday we have this with Dal Roti and egg curry. looks very refreshing and love that info on kachumbar.

  13. this looks so refreshing..filling yet so light..very nice clicks..

  14. This has been a staple in my Gujju household for as long as I can remember. I always thought “Kachumbar” was a gujju word..blame it on the gujju in me..
    I normally avoid the chillies, but load up on the coriander and there’s always a pinch of chaat masala to give that tang!

  15. SD

    In my version I love to add little bit of thick drained yougurt and roasted skinned crushed peanuts . they provide good crunch (just before eating) . Also once in a while i indulge on ghee tadaka to this Kachumbar…..

  16. You just make simple and healthy recipes!! Whats more we can ask for? Thanks DK

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