Kachumber - An Indian salsa from Parsi cuisine
While Kachumber can mean any Indian salad, essentially a few salad vegetables, finely sliced and served with a wedge of lemon, the Kachumber recipe here is a quintessentially Parsi salad or salsa that is served along with a main dish like dhansak and rice. Kachumber consists of finely chopped cucumber, tomatoes and onions, tossed in some salt and vinegar and allowed to marinade in this for at least 2 hours before serving. It provides a much needed freshness and zing to the heavy main course dishes like a Dhansak.
I serve this along with a Vegetable Dhansak and a Parsi Brown Rice to make an elegant main course for a lunch or dinner party or a leisurely weekend brunch. I use Cider Vinegar for this Kachumber, but you can experiment with whatever vinegar you have handy.
- In a large bowl, add all the vegetables.
- Finely mince the green chilli and add to the vegetables.
- Finely chop coriander leaves, and add to the bowl along with vinegar, salt and pepper. Using a spoon, toss well until everything is well combined.
- Cover and keep aside for a minimum of 2 hours, or for longer in the refrigerator.
- Serve along with a Dhansak and Rice, or as a condiment to accompany any Indian meal.
The addition of vinegar and allowing the flavours to develop over a couple of hours is what differentiates it from other regular Indian kachumber salads that are just mixed and served immediately. It is not very different from a Pico De Gallo in Mexican cuisine that uses lemon juice instead.