Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cucumber Chutney


As a kid, I remember us having at least 2 to 3 different types of chutneys or 'pachadis' at every meal. And the chutneys were often ingenious like the ones made out of gourd skin, or banana peels, and with tender shallots. While my Mom's wide variety of Mango chutneys and the coconut and tomato chutney were the biggest hits, one of my favorites was the sweet and spicy Cucumber chutney.

Now with the rains here, I barely get good quality fresh vegetables for my daily dose of salad. The carrots look emaciated and the greens are muddy. All I end up with is cucumbers. So I decided to try and recreate the cucumber chutney of my childhood from memory.

Ingredients:

Cucumber - 1 large
Tamarind juice - 1 tbsp
Raw rice - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Channa dal - 1 tsp
Whole Red chillies - 2
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Sugar/Jaggery - as desired
Asafoetida - a pinch
Oil - 1 tbsp

Cut the cucumber into small pieces. You can peel it if you wish, but it tastes good unpeeled too. Just make sure the cucumber isn't bitter. Mix it with the tamarind pulp/juice and some salt.

Heat the oil in a tempering kadhai, add the asafoetida, red chillies, urad dal, channa dal, mustard seeds and raw rice. When they begin to splutter, remove from flame and cool. Transfer this tempering to the mixer and grind it coarsely with a little water if needed. Mix in with the cucumbers and add salt. I like my chutney to have a hint of sweetness, so i usually add some jaggery or half a teaspoon of sugar. But you can skip that and keep it just spicy.

The way I like it :

I personally think it tastes great as an accompaniment with dal-rice or curd rice. But you can serve it with rotis too as a salad or as pickled vegetables. It keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days.

3 comments:

Priya said...

Very interesting chutney, never had them, thanks for sharing Swati..

The Housewife said...

I love pachadis but somehow have never have a cucumber based one. I'll try this out next time I pick up cucumbers. Sigh.. wish my mom were here to dole out tlc and dosakai pachadi for me! :P

Swati said...

@priya - do try it, its crunchy and has a nice kick to it :)
@lavanya - the cucumbers in my pic are chopped slightly bigger. when u make it chop them into little pieces. tastier that way :) and i totally agree with you... before my mom left for maldives (where she is working now) i made her stock up my fridge with at least a 3-6 month supply of tomato chutney, pulihora mix and pickles! but no substitute for the tlc :(