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Spiced Cucumber Salad

There aren’t too many vegetables, in my opinion, that are more refreshing than a cucumber.  We eat cucumbers in some form with dinner at least twice a week, usually in a chopped salad…sometimes grated and mixed in yogurt for a nice raita.  Cucumbers pair nicely with the spicy cuisine of Pakistan that we eat so often in our little house.

I love leafing through Indian cook books looking for inspiration.  I took out the beautiful cookbook Mangoes and Curry Leaves by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid  from the library because I had heard such great things about the book. It is loaded with fantastic photography and tempting recipes from the Indian sub-continent.  If you never heard of or seen this book and are at all into cooking or learning more about Indian food, then you should track down this book!

A recipe in the book for a spiced cucumber salad immediately jumped out at me as something I had to try.  It is a salad made of chopped cucumbers tossed in a spiced mustard oil and yogurt dressing.  I altered the recipe to work with the ingredients I had on hand instead of running out and buying some additional spices.  The end result is still very impressive.

Spiced Cucumber Salad

(adapted from Mangoes and Curry Leaves)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound English cucumbers
  • 2 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard oil
  • 1 green chili cut lengthwise
  • pinch of cayenne powder
  • pinch of tumeric
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons minced cilantro

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut cucumbers into quarters lengthwise and then cut again into 1.5 inch long pieces.
  2. Put cucumbers in a strainer/colander in the sink (or over a bowl) and sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons of salt. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a heavy skillet, dry roast the sesame seeds until golden. 
  4. In a small bowl, mix sesame seeds, cumin, and yogurt to make paste. Set aside.
  5. Rinse cucumbers with cold water. Squeeze them gently to get out any excess water. Put cucumbers in a bowl.
  6. Add spice paste to cucumbers and rub all over to coat them. Set aside.
  7. Heat mustard oil in skillet over medium heat. Add the green chili and cook for about a minute, stirring occasionally. Add the cayenne and tumeric and stir.
  8. Pour the flavored oil over the cucumbers and toss gently.
  9. Add the lemon juice and toss.
  10. Set aside for 10-20 minutes to let the flavors blend.
  11. Just before serving add the cilantro leaves and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Toss gently to mix.
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Comments on: "Spiced Cucumber Salad" (1)

  1. […] reading here: Spiced Cucumber Salad « mango missives AKPC_IDS += "9919,";Popularity: unranked […]

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