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Overhead shot of kachumber salad with tomatoes, onions, zucchini, cilantro and jalapenos.
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5 from 4 votes


A kachumber is a versatile Indian salsa that testifies to the many similarities between Indian and Mexican cooking. Tomatoes and onions are tossed together with a simple dressing of lemon or vinegar, salt and spicy chili peppers. You can add more vegetables, like cucumbers or zucchini or bell peppers or avocados, as well. The resulting salad is tasty as can be and it does perfect justice to any Indian main dish you serve it with, especially one like a vegetable dhansak.
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Kachumber
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 15kcal



  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 medium tomatoes (finely diced)
  • 1 small zucchini (or half of a large zucchini, finely diced)
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper (minced. Deseed and remove ribs if sensitive to heat)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (finely chopped. Mint is a fine substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or lime juice, You can replace with a tablespoon or two of white vinegar)
  • Salt to taste


  • Chop all veggies to roughly the same size--a small dice is preferable. You should have roughly a cup of onions, a cup of tomatoes and a cup of zucchini, although it doesn't really matter if you go slightly over or under with one.
  • Add all vegetables to a bowl followed by the minced jalapeno, cilantro, lemon juice and salt.
  • Toss well to mix. Let the Kachumber stand 10 minutes for the flavors to marry, then serve.



  • You can use any veggie that can be eaten raw to this salad. Cucumbers, avocado, zucchini and bell peppers are perfect. Avoid leafies, however, except herbs. 
  • If you use carrots or cabbage grate them or chop them really fine.
  • Mint makes a fine substitute for the cilantro, offering a nice, cooling contrast to the chile pepper.
  • A kachumber can be as mild or as spicy as you like. When serving it with a mild dal like a dhansak make it spicy, if possible. With a more fiery dal or curry make it milder.
  • Fresh green chili peppers are ideal in this recipe but if you don't have any you can add a dash of red chilli powder.
  • Kala namak, used instead of regular salt, can add a nice complexity. You can also skip salt altogether in this recipe, it is so vibrant.
  • You can add a dash of cumin powder--½ a teaspoon--to add some earthy flavor to the salad. Or add a pinch of ground black pepper for more spice.
  • Kachumber leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a day. If using avocado, however, it is best to use it up the same day as the avocado can discolor. This can be avoided by dousing it with the lemon juice right after cutting and adding the avocado to the bowl but it is not foolproof.
  • Don't drain out those delicious juices that the veggie mixture expresses--they are delicious mixed into the dal when you eat. 


Calories: 15kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 312IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg