Indian Salsa: Kachumber Recipe (Chop Chop Salad)

Indian Salsa: Kachumber Recipe (Chop Chop Salad) Recipe

Indian meals are typically composed of a starch such as basmati rice or flat breads (naan, roti, paratha), a meat dish (or fish), a lentil dish such as kali dal,  crudité-style vegetables such as horseradish and cucumbers, raita, and of course kachumber.

So, you ask, what is kachumber? Kachumber, also spelled cachumbar or kachumbar, is often referred to as "chop chop salad". It's a blend of onions, chiles and raw vegetables with lemon juice and other spices. It looks very similar to regular salsa but with a lot more onions and a lot more heat. For regular salsa, there’s usually a tomato base, whereas in the Indian version, onion and lemon form the base of the flavor. It’s wonderfully refreshing, and really cuts through the heaviness of Indian dishes.


Yields: 1 pint

2 white onions, diced
juice of a lemon
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon salt
2 ripe tomatoes, cored and diced
3 Serrano green peppers, sliced
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped


Prepping the onions:

Place the diced onions in a large bowl. Sprinkle with Kosher salt. Let sit for about 1 hour. Press out and drain all the liquid. Rinse in a water bath, then drain the liquid and pat dry.

Dissolve the sugar in lemon juice.

Assembly time:

In a serving bowl, combine the onions, lemon juice, tomatoes and green chiles. Add the red chili powder and salt. Drizzle with lemon juice. Toss well. Adjust seasoning if needed.

Let sit for about 30 minutes before serving to let all the flavors blend together. Garnish with cilantro. Serve at room temperature.

Bon appétit!


This is the version that Baji (Lulu's grandma) used to serve. Some people also add other ingredients such as cucumber, green onion, red onion, daikon radishes, mint leaves, lime juice, tamarind concentrate or ginger but I enjoy the simplicity of this version.

Salt draws the moisture out of things. Just sprinkle salt on any vegetable, then pat dry with a paper towel.

For more condiment recipes, check out the link.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on September 3, 2010.


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