Spiced onions salad is the simplest way to dial up the flavors of your everyday meal! In this recipe, onions are thinly sliced and mixed with spices. This spicy-tangy condiment is vegan and comes together in 10 minutes. Make it, your family will love you for it 😊
Qn Indian meal is incomplete without a condiment or a relish - be it a pickle, salad, or just some onion rings with a wedge of lime on the side.
This salad, in Hindi, is called lacha pyaz (lacha means layers, and pyaz means onion).
If you have been to North Indian restaurants, chances are that you have had this red onion salad with your meal.
My girls love this salad for its flavors and I love it for its simplicity! A regular feature on our Sunday lunch table, this onion salad is our "go-to" side for biryani, pulao, and flatbreads.
Recipe Ingredients for Onions Salad
Onions: I use red onions for this recipe because the sweetness and the crunch work well with this recipe.
Red Chili Powder: I use Kashmiri red chili powder for its bright hue. Paprika is a good substitute if you cannot find the Kashmiri variety.
Fresh Cilantro: I use leaves and (tender) stems for that extra crunch.
Lime juice: Lime or Lemons? It is lime for me! Lemon juice works well too. Just remember to give it a taste - you may have to adjust the quantity of it to get the desired level of tanginess.
This recipe is the definition of simplicity! Let's make this Indian onion salad:
- Peel, wash and cut onions into thin slices or rings (I cut them into slices).
- Thinly slice the green chilies. Chop the cilantro (or mint, if using), finely.
- Place the onion slices/rings in a large bowl. Give them a good rub with your fingers. This will separate each layer of the onion.
- Add the chopped green chilies and cilantro (or mint).
- Add the spices - salt, paprika, ground coriander, and paprika. Give it a good mix. In a matter of literally seconds, the salt will start drawing out the juice of the onions, helping to bind the spice powders. Perfect!
- Add the juice of the lime and mix it again. The salad is ready! You can eat it straightaway or if you have the time, let it rest (preferably in the fridge) for 10 - 15 minutes. This will allow the onions to soak up all the lovely flavors.
Tips and notes
Slicing the onions: Slice them evenly - not too thin, not too thick. Thinly sliced onions will lose their crunch too soon while thick slices will not absorb the flavors fast enough.
Onions: I do not recommend using white or yellow onions for this recipe as they can be quite pungent. If you cannot find red onions, use shallots instead.
Cilantro: Not a fan of of it? No worries - skip it! Tear up some mint leaves and add them instead.
This salad does not store well, sadly!
At the most for 1 day in the refrigerator, in an airtight container.
Make ahead: Ideally, make this as close to your meal time as you can. Raw onions do not stay (or smell) fresh for too long after they are cut. If you do have to make it ahead, I suggest that you keep the onion slices in cold water till it is time to make the salad. Drain and pat dry the slices before adding in the spices.
This simple condiment can be part of any meal that you can think of! However, being an onion salad - dhaba style, it tastes sublime with a hearty North Indian meal.
I love serving this with some dal makhani (black lentils cooked gently in creamy gravy and spices) and mixed vegetable pulao.
Another combination that I love is spinach paneer and gluten-free naan - it is such a perfect meal!
This salad tastes great as a filling for your sandwich or as a relish in your burger.
And as a topping for your crunchy poppadums! 😋
Frequently Asked Questions
Red onions work best in a salad as they are sweet, and mild and have a delicious crunch to them. If you do not have red onions with you, you can use shallots instead.
Red onions or shallots are the best and most bearable to be eaten raw. They are milder and sweeter than other types of onions.
Peel and wash the onions before cutting them up for a salad. Washing them will reduce their pungency and make them easy to cut.
If you have made this simple and delicious onions salad recipe, please take a moment to leave a comment and /or a rating below. This will make me super happy and motivate me to create more good content for you! xx Padma
Indian Spiced Onions Salad Recipe
- 1 salad mixing bowl
- 1 mixing spoon
- 2 medium sized onions
- 1 green chili
- 8-10 cilantro (coriander) leaves
Spices and seasonings
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder/paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- Wash, peel and cut the onions into slices or rings that are not too thin, neither too thick.
- Slice the green chillies. Chop the cilantro leaves.
- Place the onions, green chilies and cilantro leaves in a bowl. Mix them with your hands to separate each ring/slice of the onions.2 medium sized onions, 1 green chili, 8-10 cilantro (coriander) leaves
- Add the spices and mix well.In a matter of literally seconds, the salt will start drawing out the juices of the onions, chilies and cilantro. These juices will help the spices to coat them. Perfect!2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1 teaspoon chaat masala, 1 teaspoon red chili powder/paprika, ½ teaspoon salt
- Add the lime juice and mix well. That’s it, done!You can eat the onions salad straightaway or if you have the time, let it rest (preferably in the fridge) for 10 – 15 minutes. This will allow the onions to soak up all the lovely flavors of the spices and lime juice.3 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Note: The nutrition information is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.