Kachumbers (or Kachambers) are the freshest of salads, crispy and crunchy, in the Indian cuisine. They dispel the myth that Indian does not use fresh, raw vegetables or include salads. Kachumbers are very easy to make, although some can take a little chopping. With a good food processor, the shredding or chopping is made even easier and quicker.
This salad is daikon radish, carrot and coconut – a fresh and lively taste for late Autumn and into Winter in our part of the world. However, daikon and carrots are available year round, so the vivid salad can grace your Summer table too. Yamuna Devi, in her book Lord Krishna’s Kitchen, has a number of these type of salads in the Little Salads chapter.
Mooli Kachamber | Daikon Radish, Carrot and Coconut Salad
0.5 cup shredded radishes
0.33 cup shredded fresh or frozen coconut
0.33 cup shredded scraped carrots
0.25 tspn paprika or cayenne pepper
1 green chilli, chopped (or to taste)
2 Tblspn chopped coriander leaves
1.5 Tblspn ghee
0.25 tspn ajwain seeds
0.25 tspn fennel seeds
0.25 tspn cumin seeds
sea salt to taste
squeeze lime or lemon juice
0.5 Tblspn Indian small peanuts, unroasted, toasted
Combine the shredded radishes, coconut and carrots in a strainer and press out the excess liquid. Place them in a bowl and add the salt, paprika or cayenne, the green chilli and the fresh herbs. Toss, add a small squeeze of lime juice and mix again.
Heat the ghee or oil in a tadka pan or small saucepan over moderate heat. When it is hot but not smoking, add the ajwain, fennel and cumin seeds and fry until they darken a few shades. Pour the seasoning into the salad and toss well.
Chop the peanuts roughly and scatter over the top of the salad.
Serve and enjoy.
recipe notes and alternatives
Very finely chop about 1 – 1.5 tspn white onion and mix through.
Omit the peanuts for a variation.