Go Back

Tomato, Cucumber and Onion Salad (Kachumbar)

Recipe from Asian Salads by Maki Watanabe, reprinted with permission  from TUTTLE Publishing.

Kachumbar is a standard salad in India.  Picked with spices, it exemplifies Indian cuisine.  Cucumber and tomatoes are usually used, but there are also recipes that add celery or beans, so you can vary the ingredients to your taste.  Chili powder would be a great addition to make this spicy-hot.  Scented with lemon and cumin, this is a very refreshing, crunchy salad.  This is an excellent side dish for curries, and also works well as a cold pasta topping.

Servings 2
Author Rachael Hutchings, www.lafujimama.com


  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 4 stalks fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Ground cumin, to taste (optional)


  1. Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.  Cut it in half lengthwise again, and then chop it into 1/3-inch (1-cm) pieces.  Cut the red onion into 1/3-inch (1-cm) dice.

  2. Mix the chopped cucumber and red onion with the salt in a bowl.  Leave for 10 minutes, then drain thoroughly.

  3. Cut the tomato into 1/3-inch (1-cm) dice.  Put the tomato, the 1/3 teaspoon ground cumin, and the fresh lemon juice into the bowl with the cucumber and red onion and mix thoroughly.

  4. Drizzle in the olive oil and toss quickly.  Transfer to serving bowls and optionally sprinkle with ground cumin.