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Kachumber | Tomato Cucumber Salad


Salads are usually served as a side dish in our Indian meal. An Indian curry tends to be on the spicier side and a fresh raw salad helps to balance the hot spicy flavours. Raw vegetables contain a lot of nutrients, so it is important to include raw vegetables as part of your daily diet. When I think of Indian salads, the ones that comes to my mind are simple onion-tomato salad, sprouted green gram (green moong dal) salad, carrot salad and the most popular kachumber salad. 

Kachumber is an Indian vegetable salad made with red onion, tomato, cucumber mixed with Indian spices like roasted cumin powder (jeera powder), chaat masala, herbs like coriander, green chillies and lemon juice. Kachumber is a vibrant and crunchy salad and it's light and fresh flavours help to balance the spices in a dish. 

We can make different variations to this simple salad. You can add grated carrots, chopped radish, bellpeppers or capsicums, chopped mint leaves and even lettuce to include some greens. If you serving for kids or do not prefer the spice, you can skip the green chillies and add fresh black pepper. For a twist, add yogurt and make kachumber raita (yogurt dip)!

You see how easy it is to adapt this basic salad according to your taste and the ingredients you have in your kitchen. Just throw in what you have in hand and make adjustments to balance out the flavours as you taste. I usually serve the kachumber salad with roti and curry or pulao but it serves as a wonderful accompaniment with any meal.

Ingredients:

1 medium cucumber, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
Green chillies - 1 or 2, finely chopped
Coriander leaves - few sprigs, chopped
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - a pinch
Chaat masala -  a pinch
Salt - to taste

Method:

1. Take all vegetables in a bowl and mix.

2. Then add salt, lemon juice and cumin powder. Mix well.

Serve immediately.

Notes:

Chaat masala or chat masala is an Indian spice powder mix typically consisting of dried mango powder (amchoor), cumin, coriander, dried ginger, chilli powder, asafoetida (hing) black pepper and salt, easily available in most Indian grocery stores.

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