August 01, 2006

Green Blog 1-Spicy Cucumber Salad/Curry


Summer is special for me. As the temperatures soar, my annual amateur vegetable garden shows an energetic growth spurt and starts bearing fruit. The vines would start scrambling to climb everywhere, the tomatoes look for a support while the beans lean onto the fence,and the backyard is a mass of different leaves and flowers.
Every year one vegetable gets a better foothold (since I am an amateur)and I end having more than I can use. Last year was the Snake gourd(Padavalanga)and the Bitter gourd (Kaipaka).
The highlights this year are the cucumbers. When I let it grow, it grows to be almost a foot long but I prefer the flavor at six to seven inches for a salad . The longer ones are good to cook with as asummer squash.
Very easy to plant and maintain and it doesn't expect a lot from you. A happy surprise, they are producing more than I expected. Each morning, there would at least one hiding under the rambling vines, the dark green skin peeking through the palm shaped lighter leaves.
Oye cucumber, I counted in how many ways I can eat you? Salad, Soup,Raita, Tsatziki, Juice, Pachadi, or just plain chopped up and sprinkled with salt and pepper.
So when I came across this spiced up salad recipe from the Culinary travel book, Mangoes and Curry leaves, I had to promptly make it. And then took it one step forward by making a no-cook curry out of it. With hot white rice and a spicy fish/beef fry, this cold curry is perfect for the heat wave. This is my entry for LG's Green Blog project.
You will need:
Cucumbers- 1/2 lb
Sesame seeds- 1tbsp
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Yogurt-2 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds- 1/8 tsp
Nigella seeds- 1/8 tsp
Green chilies- 2
Red chili powder-1/4 tsp
Turmeric- 1/8 tsp
Coriander leaves- 2-3 tbsp minced
Lemon Juice-1tbsp
Salt to taste (use sea salt preferably)
Oil- 1 tbsp

Preparation:

1. Cut the cucumbers lengthwise in quarters. Slice off the seeds if they are very big cucumbers. Cut lengthwise again if the pieces are thick. Place in a colander; sprinkle 2 tbsp salt and set over a plate to drain of excess water.
2. In a heavy skillet, dry roast the sesame seeds until golden. Transfer to a plate and then dry roast the cumin seeds till fragrant. Dry grind the sesame and cumin, place in a small bowl and add the yogurt to make a paste.
3. Rinse the cucumber with water and squeeze excess water. Add the cumin paste and coat the cucumber well.
4. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and add the fenugreek, nigella and chili and stir till the spices release their flavor. Take the pan off the heat and add the cayenne and turmeric.
5. Stir and pour the flavored oil over the cucumbers. Add the lemon juice and let it sit for 10 minutes. Add the coriander leaves and salt if needed.

My cucumber curry:
Double the quantities of the ingredients of the spices( double cucumbers too is if you like a lot of vegetables)and follow all the steps. In the end, after taking it off the flame, add 2 cups plain yogurt blended smoothly with one cup water. Adjust the salt.

7 comments:

Inji Pennu said...

Wow! Thank you so much! I have never grown cucumbers. Should try next time. What type is it?

Kalyn said...

Hi,
Thanks for linking to my cucumber salad. It led me to your blog and this great sounding recipe. I love cucumbers from the garden and it reminds me I must get my own post done for Green Blog project.

Annita said...

What a beautiful garden u've got?And those cucumber curry looks delicious..have to try it out soon..

indosungod said...

Shaheen love your cumcumber plant and the delicious salad. Do post more pictures of your garden.

I am waiting patiently from my snake gourd plant to fruit, I am seeing tons of flowers but no fruit?

Shaheen said...

Thanks inji penne.. try growing it, you won't need to buy cucumbers for the whole summer.its called japanese cucumbers.
Kalyn, thanks for visiting, I like your varied recipes.
Annita, i had your cucu.juice yesterday.. yum.My small garden is grinning from side to side.
Indu, i will post more pictures soon.. th esnake gourd will fruit in sept middle, after a full 3-4 months of fun. in the north east, by the time the second crop came last year, frost hit and it started tasting of water("vellam pulikya").so be patient.

RP said...

Amazing!! Your plant looks beautiful. Thank you for sharing this, and thanks to injipennu for starting this project. I came to know about all these easy to grow veggies...can't wait for next summer to try it all out.

indianadoc said...

You guys are amazing...have great patience to grow the vegetables too...I'm a very poor farmer...never felt the garden bit...too lazy too.Your plants look lovely...BTW which place in calicut r u fr?