Onion salad also known as lachha pyaz or masala pyaz is one of the most popular Indian salads. This spicy salad goes well with almost every North Indian meal and makes them taste even better. It's vegan and gluten-free.
If you like Indian food then this onion salad recipe is something that you must try because this salad makes Indian food taste even better.
This spicy onion salad is also known as laccha pyaz or masala pyaz. Lachha is the Hindi word for ring, masala for spice, and pyaz for onion.
This salad is a North Indian recipe that can be served with almost every savory North Indian meal.
What's needed to make Indian onion salad?
Lachha pyaz is made with some very basic ingredients that are shown below:
- Onion: Use medium-sized red onions for this recipe. Choose firm even-sized onions that can give you perfect rings.
- Green chili peppers: Chop them into very fine pieces. For less heat, remove the seeds. You can also skip adding them if you want the salad to be less spicy.
- Roasted cumin powder: Don't use regular cumin powder. Roasted cumin powder tastes different and better in salads and chaats. If you don't have the roasted one dry roast the regular cumin powder in a pan on a low flame for a few seconds i.e. until it becomes fragrant and changes color to dark brown. You can also dry roast cumin seeds for a few minutes, allow them to reach room temperature, and then grind to make roasted cumin powder.
- Ice cold water: Ice cold water is used to soak the onion rings which become more crunchy and refreshing after getting soaked. It also slightly reduces the sharpness of onions.
- Chaat masala: It's a delicious tangy blend of Indian spices that's used to flavor a lot of savory street food, snacks, and salads. You can easily find it in the spice section of an Indian grocery store.
- Black salt: It's a type of volcanic rock salt mainly found in the Himalayan region of India and other neighboring countries in the region like Pakistan and Nepal. It's also called kala namak and has a pungent sulphuric taste. The whole rock appears black but when you grind it, it may sometimes turn pink too. Don't mix it with Himalayan Pink salt (sendha namak) as they both are different. You will easily find it in Indian grocery stores.
- Kashmiri red chili powder: Generally, Kashmiri red chili powder is used in salads as it's mild but gives the dish a bright red color. You can use any red chili powder depending on how much heat you want to add to the salad.
How to make (step by step process)?
Step 1: Peel and wash the onions. Cut them into around ½ cm thick horizontal slices. Gently separate the rings using your fingers.
Step 2: Put the onion rings in ice-cold water for at least 15 minutes. If you leave them for a longer period i.e. around 30 minutes, you will get better results.
Step 3: Strain the onions and discard the water. Leave them in the strainer for a few minutes to make sure that no water is left in them. You can also gently pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
Step 4: In a bowl, mix roasted cumin powder, chaat masala, black salt, crushed black peppercorns, and Kashmiri red chili powder to make a spice blend. Keep it aside.
Step 5: Put onion rings in a large bowl, sprinkle spice mix, add finely chopped cilantro, mint leaves, and green chili peppers. Squeeze fresh lime juice on top.
Step 6: Gently toss. Check and adjust the seasoning.
Your crunchy, spicy, Indian-style onion salad is ready to be served!
How to serve lachha pyaz?
You can serve this onion salad with any North Indian-style savory meal. Even a simple Indian meal of dal chawal tastes great with some lachha pyaz on the side.
It's also served with a lot of Indian snacks especially tandoori snacks like tandoori aloo.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Pick small or medium-sized onions for this recipe.
- Don't make very thin slices of onion for masala pyaz.
- If you don't want to make onion rings, just thinly slice the onions and then use them in the recipe.
- After straining, make sure there is no water left in the onion before adding them to the salad.
- Chaat masala also has salt in it so add extra salt carefully.
- Adjust the quantity of seasonings to suit your taste.
Frequently asked questions
Make this salad fresh. Once made, make sure to finish it within 4-5 hours.
Use small or medium-sized red onions for this recipe.
Yes, if you want you can skip this step. However, soaking the onions in ice-cold water gives a very refreshing and crisp onion salad. The sharpness of onions also gets slightly reduced after this step.
Yes, you can but I feel lime juice tastes better and more refreshing in onion salad.
Yes, you can.
Black salt has a very distinct pungent taste and the same result cannot be created by using any other type of salt. So, I would recommend using black salt only to get the authentic taste of this salad.
However, if you could not find black salt, use regular white salt.
Though both of them are Himalayan rock salt and sometimes look quite similar in their ground form too, they are different. Black salt has a strong pungent sulphuric taste and pink salt is milder.
Black salt is called kala namak in Hindi and Pink salt is called sendha namak.
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Indian onion salad (lachha pyaz)
- Chopping board
- 1 large bowl
- 2 medium-sized red onions
- 1 green chili pepper adjust to taste
- ½ tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves
- ½ tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
- 1-2 tablespoons lime juice adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon chaat masala
- ¼ teaspoon black salt adjust to taste
- finely crushed black peppercorns adjust to taste
- Ice cold water to soak onion rings
- Peel and wash the onions. Cut into around ½ cm thick horizontal slices. Separate the onion rings.
- Put the onion rings in ice cold water and leave for around 15 minutes.
- Strain the water. Leave the onion rings on the strainer for around 10 minutes to get rid of all the water. You may also pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
- In a bowl, mix Kashmiri red chili powder, black salt, pepper, roasted cumin powder, and chaat masala.
- Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss.
- Don't make very thin slices of onion.
- If you don't want to cut onion rings, just slice the onions and use them in the recipe.
- Make sure the water from the onions gets properly strained before using them in the salad.
- Use Kashmiri red chili powder in this recipe as it's not very hot but gives a bright red color to the salad.
- To make the salad less spicy, remove the seeds of green chili peppers before using or just skip them.
- Add salt carefully as the chaat masala also has salt in it.
- Adjust the quantity of seasonings to suit your taste.
- More recipe tips and tricks are shared in the post above, please follow them to make this recipe.