Rebekah Reddy has been a stay-at-home mom to her three children (two girls, one boy) since 2006, but in her former life she was a high school English/ESL teacher. She holds a BA in English with a minor in Spanish, an MA in English with an emphasis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and a California teaching credential. She is also a certified Nutrition Educator, 21DSD Certified Coach, and the author of the blog Half Indian Cook through which she shares recipes and writes about food and culture in her mixed-ethnicity family.
Rebekah specializes in adapting Indian and other ethnic cuisines to be Paleo or 21DSD-friendly as well as working with pregnant or breastfeeding women, busy families, and children. Her eBook, Building a Better Lunchbox, shows families how to create nutritious and fun lunches for kids of all ages. Rebekah’s passion for delicious, nutritious food has led her entire family to improved health and she hopes to support her fans in whatever health-related changes they wish to make.
I’ve been learning the art of preparing and savoring Indian food the last 15 years thanks to my Fijian-Indian husband and his family. One thing that continues to surprise and delight me is the sheer variety of dishes: endless ingredients, combinations, preparations, and flavors!
Indian food is known for its curries and chutneys, for its masalas and biryanis. But did you know that Indians also eat salad?
A raw Indian salad made from tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions, and dressed simply with lemon juice and salt is called katchumber. Many Indian vegetable dishes are cooked, but a simple salad made with chopped raw vegetables is a light, refreshing alternative. My husband’s family often makes this to accompany a heavy meat dish like lamb curry or as a side salad during the warm summer months.
In this version, I omitted the tomatoes, but added some sliced daikon radish to add a crisp, peppery punch; you can easily use whatever vegetables you enjoy, including chopped tomatoes, shredded carrots, bell peppers, or blanched green beans. We like our salads spicy, so I add a thinly sliced Thai chili—if you’d like it milder, use a jalapeno or Serrano chili, or sprinkle a few red pepper flakes. Omit the chilies if you are following the Autoimmune Protocol.
Also, you can add some chopped herbs to the salad for extra flavor. Cilantro and/or mint are the best choices; experiment to find your favorite combinations!
Not a fan of Indian food? It’s okay! This salad would be wonderful paired with some grilled steak or burgers, lamb chops, or even breakfast sausage and eggs. It is light and refreshing, and the flavors work with so many dishes. Enjoy!
Katchumber (raw Indian salad, AIP-friendly)
*All measurements are approximate—if you like more or less of something, go ahead and make it however it tastes good to you!
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 2 Persian cucumbers (or whatever cucumber you like; peel if it has a tough skin), diced, about 1-1 ½ cups
- ¼ cup Daikon radish, peeled, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced in half circles
- juice of 1 small lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
- ¼ tsp salt (I use Real Salt), or to taste
- Chop all of the vegetables and add them to a bowl.
- Juice the lemon and mix the lemon juice with the vegetables.
- When you are ready to serve the salad, add the salt, mix well, and taste. Adjust salt as needed. Note: do NOT add the salt until you are ready to eat the salad—the salt will draw out moisture from the vegetables and they will lose their crunch.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!