Northern India Cooking Class: Lesson 4: Indian Chopped Salad (Kachoombar)
Peggy Lampman | Contributor
Kachoombar, Kachumbar or Cachoombar — all these words mean “chopped” and refer to this classic Indian salad.
It's the simplest of the recipes we learned, but it's as important a component to our feast as the more complex dishes, such as the Chicken Biryani. It cuts the richness of the other foods served and complements, even accelerates, the flavor profiles of these more intense dishes.
Achla says this is a great healthy salad all on its own. "Absolutely no fat and delicious. I take it to work. Chop up the veggies and put in baggies — with the spices on the side. Assemble everything in the office."
Yesterday I posted a Chicken Biryani, the days prior to that a recipe for Indian Cauliflower and Green Tomato Curry. Through the middle of next week, I will submit postings for Dal (Black Lentil Purée), Cucumber-Tomato Salad, Meatballs and Chapati. If you're a fan of the kaleidoscopic cuisine of India, particularly Northern India, you may be interested in following them.
Achla diced the red, round radishes Americans are most familiar in this recipe, but diced daikon, also in the radish family, would be a good substitute.
Yield: 1 of 7 recipes comprising an Indian Feast to serve 16
Make Ahead Tips: This salad comes together quickly and can be made up to 6 hours, covered and refrigerated. Let come to room temperature before serving.
4 large roma tomatoes, diced
7 baby cucumbers, diced
1 medium-sized white onion, diced
1 cup cilantro, washed and chopped
10 radishes, diced
Three hot green chili peppers, washed
Juice from 1 large lime
1 tablespoon chaat masala (available at Bombay Grocers, Shan or MDH brand preferred)
1. In a large bowl, toss together tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, cilantro and radishes.2. Chop peppers or leave whole. (Note it's the seeds and membranes — the "placenta" — that give peppers most of their heat. Keep this in mind when deciding how much heat you want to give this salad.) Mix whole and/or chopped peppers into the salad with lime juice and masala. Season to taste with kosher salt.