Kachumber Salad with Lentils

Kachumber salad with lentils is more than just a healthy and delicious dish full of fresh, vibrant ingredients. It’s perfect for summer barbecues, light lunches, or as a refreshing accompaniment to your favourite Indian curries.

chopped Indian salad with lentils in a dish with a spoon

I love the little cucumber, tomato and onion salad you get served in Indian restaurants, but there is never enough for me. SO i learnt that this is called a Kachumber salad and after a little investigation wanted to see if I could improve this delicious salad to make it a satisfying meal and side dish.

Kachumber salad, also known as Hinganacha Khatta in some regions of India, is a classic chopped salad featuring a symphony of crisp vegetables like cucumber, tomato, and onion. It’s a staple accompaniment to curries, bringing a welcome coolness and a burst of fresh flavour.

But this refreshing salad goes beyond your typical cucumber salad. Think juicy tomatoes, crisp red onion, with the earthy nuttiness of lentils, all mixed with fresh herbs, a little earthy spice and a simple zesty dressing. It’s a mouthwatering side dish that complements any curry, grilled protein, or even shines on its own as a light lunch.

With its versatility, ease of customisation, and abundance of health benefits, this salad is sure to become a staple in your diabetic-friendly meal plan too!

tomato cucumber and onion salad in a dish

The Power of Plants in this Indian Salad

This Kachumber salad isn’t just about its amazing taste (which is mindblowingly good). It’s a nutritional powerhouse too. Here’s why:

  • Fibre – Lentils are a fantastic source of fibre and a key player in blood sugar management. Fibre slows down the absorption of carbohydrates, helping to prevent blood sugar spikes. Plus, it keeps you feeling fuller for longer, reducing the urge to snack. In this recipe, I opted for an easy and convenient lentil pouch which I am a bit of a fan of as you can tell from my other lentil recipes:
  • Protein – Lentils are a complete protein source for vegetarians and vegans, helping to keep you feeling fuller for longer and aiding in portion control.
  • Vitamin Powerhouse – Cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions are all packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, and K. These vitamins play a crucial role in overall health and well-being, which is especially important for those managing diabetes.
  • Low Glycemic Index – All the ingredients in this kachumber salad boast a low glycemic index (GI). This means they have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels, making them a great choice for a diabetic diet.
kachumber salad with lentils

What type of lentils can I use?

Any type of lentil will work in this recipe. Brown lentils are a popular choice because they hold their shape well, but green lentils, red lentils, or even black beluga lentils can be used for a different texture. I use a convenient pouch by Merchant Gourmet in this recipe switching between either their delicious puy or beluga lentils.

Can I use canned lentils?

Absolutely! Canned lentils are a convenient option. Just be sure to rinse them thoroughly before adding them to your salad.

Ingredients Needed

ingredients for kachumber salad with lentils

Cooked Lentils

  • Great source of protein, fibre and B vitamins
  • I like the convenient packet lentils by Merchant Gourmet

Cucumber

  • 95% water this is a super hydrating vegetable
  • Good source of Vitamin K and antioxidants
  • Adds a delicious crunch

Tomato

  • Adds a juicy sweetness
  • I use large vine-ripened tomatoes as they are easier to deseed

Red Onion

  • Adds a delicious punch to this salad

Ground Cumin

  • Has a lovely earthy flavour

Fresh Mint & Corriander (Cilantro)

  • Gives the Indian salad a wonderful freshness

Lemon

  • Adds a wonderful zesty hit complimenting the earthy lentils and cumin

Olive oil

  • A healthy fat which makes this a perfectly balanced meal and great for blood sugar management

Equipment Needed

Chopping Board

Sharp Kitchen Knife

Spatula / Mixing spoon

Measuring Spoon

Fine Zester

Large Mixing Bowl

Weighing Scales

How to Make Kachumber Salad with Lentils

The beauty of this kachumber salad with lentils lies in its simplicity – just chop, combine, and enjoy an amazing Indian side dish in under 15 minutes!

Cook the lentils: If using dry lentils, rinse them thoroughly and cook them according to package instructions. Alternatively, use pre-cooked canned or packet lentils

Prepare the vegetables: Dice the cucumber, deseeded tomato, and red onion. Aim for similar-sized pieces. Chop the fresh mint and coriander using a Mezzaluna or sharp knife

Combine the ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the cooked lentils, chopped vegetables, ground cumin, fresh mint, and cilantro.

Dress the salad: Drizzle with olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Season with salt to taste

Serve: Toss everything gently to combine and serve immediately.

Tips

  • For a spicier salad, add chopped green chilli or a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Don’t have fresh mint or cilantro? You can substitute them with a sprinkle of dried herbs, but fresh is always best for an extra burst of flavour.
  • Looking for an additional side dish to complement your kachumber salad with lentils? Look no further than a classic Indian cucumber salad, also known as Raita. This cooling salad is a perfect counterpoint to the warmth of curries, and it’s incredibly easy to make.
    • Simply grate some cucumber, add a dollop of plain yoghurt, chopped fresh herbs like mint, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. This light and flavorful side dish adds a touch of sweetness, creaminess, and a healthy dose of probiotics to your meal.
Indian nourish bowl with kachumber salad, bombay potatoes and curry marinated chicken

Serving Suggestions

Kachumber’s versatility extends beyond its ingredients. It’s the perfect side dish for a variety of meals:

Indian Meals – Pair it with your favourite curry, like EASY CHICKPEA CURRY or my EASY CREAMY CURRY SAUCE

BBQ Delight – This salad is a refreshing accompiniment for smoky grilled meats, marinated halloumi or grilled fish at your next barbecue.

Summer Salads: Kachumber adds a vibrant touch to a summer salad and if your loking for a compleet meal then enjoy with some cooked quinoa or brown rice.

Light Lunch Option: Kachumber with some whole-wheat crackers, bread or pita bread can be a satisfying and light lunch.

Lunchtime Power Bowl: Combine cooked brown rice or quinoa with kachumber salad, grilled chicken or fish, and a drizzle of olive oil for a protein-packed and satisfying lunch.

How long does this salad keep?

The kachumber salad with lentils is best enjoyed fresh. However, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. But the freshness of the vegetables will diminish slightly over time.

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

You can prep the vegetables and lentils in advance for a quicker assembly. However, it’s best to wait to chop and add the fresh herbs (cilantro, mint) until just before serving to maintain their vibrant flavour.

DIABETES NOTE

With its combination of protein-rich lentils and fibre-filling vegetables, this kachumber salad with lentils is 100% diabetic-friendly, helping you to manage blood sugar levels and stay satisfied for longer. Plus it is a carb count free recipe!

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Kachumber Salad with Lentils

Kachumber Salad with Lentils

Recipe by Michelle

This Kachumber Salad is packed with fibre & protein, keeps blood sugar balanced, perfect for curries, summer BBQs & light lunches!

Course: Sides, SaladsCuisine: British IndianDifficulty: Very Easy
5.0 from 4 votes
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

0

minutes
Total time

15

minutes
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients

  • 250 g 250 cucumber, diced

  • 300 g 300 tomato, deseeded & diced

  • 1/2 small 1/2 red onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tsp 2 ground cumin

  • 10 g 10 chopped fresh mint

  • 30 g 30 chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)

  • 250 g 250 cooked lentils (brown, green, puy, or black beluga)

  • 3 tbsp 3 extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 medium 1/2 lemon, juice & zest

  • WHK145 salt to taste

Directions

  • Dice the cucumber, deseeded tomato, and red onion. Aim for similar-sized pieces.
  • Chop the fresh mint and coriander using a Mezzaluna or sharp knife
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooked lentils, chopped vegetables, ground cumin, fresh mint, and coriander.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Season with salt to taste
  • Toss everything gently to combine and serve immediately.

Equipment

Tips and Notes

  • For a spicier salad, add chopped green chilli or a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. However, the freshness of the vegetables will diminish slightly over time.
  • Diabetes Note – This kachumber salad is a diabetic-friendly dream, packing in fibre and protein to help regulate blood sugar and keep you feeling satisfied. Plus there’s no need to carb count for it!
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I’m on a mission to prove that eating for health and managing diabetes can be easy & incredibly flavourful.

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