Kachumber is the most popular kind of salad that we have with our meals in India; something extremely basic and easy to make.
Usually any kind of raw vegetables are sliced very thin and tossed together with some salt and good drizzle of lemon juice to make what we call a Kachumber (kach- ooom-bur). The most commonly used vegetable is the cucumber, onion and a bit of hot green chili peppers. However anything that is available and you like can be combined together.
Only this time everything (well almost) for this salad came from our back yard!! This is one happy summer salad. We are having a cucumber big enough to make a good salad for four every few days, tomatoes to sustain and mints growing wild.
The basic salad may be adapted to the way you want – change the combination of the ingredients or the herbs or the dressing or all of them
If you are familiar with the Pico de Gallo in Mexican cuisine or Shepherd’s Salad (Coban Salatasi) of Turkey, you would know what I am talking about. This simple salad is something my children has grown to love and they never ever refuse to have. More like a relish or fresh salsa – lovely and versatile in every way.
It serves many purposes: it is great as a side salad, a wonderful accompaniment with any meal, or with grilled and skewered meats or on crusty bread or chips.
Kachumber: Quick Indian Cucumber, Tomato and Mint Salad
- cucumbers, peeled and chopped in small pieces – do not have to peel if using English cucumbers or the ones with tender peel
- tomatoes, chopped into little pieces
- some onion, very finely chopped
- hot green chili pepper, very thinly sliced (remove membrane and seeds if you do not want the spice)
- salt to taste
- a small pinch of sugar
- a pinch of cumin, slightly crushed
- freshly squeezed juice of lime/lemon
- a couple of tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint or fresh green cilantro/coriander
- a tiny drizzle of pure mustard oil (optional – this adds a beautiful flavor but only for the ones who are familiar with the flavor of mustard oil and likes it. You can skip this without missing anything is you do not have the oil)
Note: I have had this salad in some homes and they had used light vinegar instead of fresh lemon juice, which was different but really good in its own way. If you want, you may give that a try too.
There is not particular rule to how much of each ingredient one should use here. After all it is a salad. The way I like to do it is use cucumber and tomato almost in the same amount, less of the onion and chili pepper to taste.
Combine everything together and toss well. Adjust salt and lemon juice (or vinegar). Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes and serve.
Preparation Time: less than 15 minutes
Cooking Time: None
Serves: as a salad
Level of Difficulty: Very Easy