Most of the fresh ingredients used in today's subzi came from my own kitchen garden: the cucumbers, mint, curry leaves and green chilies. And that makes this recipe very special to me. That, and the fact that it tasted pretty darn good.
Now I'm not a great gardener, but I love it anyway. Every summer I try my hand, with help from Desi, at growing at least a few vegetables and herbs. In recent years I've planted, and reaped, tomatoes, eggplants, okra, beets, zucchini, cabbage, broccoli, basil, mint, thyme, rosemary, sage and a few other goodies. Some were half-eaten by bugs before I could get to them, but I had good luck with most.
This year, I planted a cucumber vine because I'd heard it's one of the easiest garden veggies to grow, and before I knew it, it threatened to take over the entire vegetable garden. I've already harvested quite a few cucumbers. I had two on hand yesterday and was a little tired of eating them in raw salads. But I had never cooked a cucumber subzi before.
Roshani, my friend, suggested a classic Gujarati recipe that her mom, Pratima Kothari, makes. I modified it slightly, adding some curry leaves at the beginning and some mint at the end, as well as a sprinkling of coconut.
I loved this dish. The cucumber did not break down into a mush as I had expected, but held its shape beautifully. I cooked it until it was just tender. The mint (cucumber and mint do sound so right together, don't they?) added a wonderfully fresh flavor.
This is one recipe I will be making all summer long. Thanks, Roshani!
2 medium-sized cucumbers, cut into a small dice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 sprig curry leaves, separated
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 green chilies like serrano, slit down the middle
¼ teaspoon turmeric (optional)
Salt to taste
3 tablespoon mint, cut into shreds
2 tablespoon coconut shreds
Heat the oil.
Add the mustard seeds and when they sputter, add the curry leaves and green chilies
Within seconds, add the turmeric and then the cucumber pieces. Stir well to coat thoroughly with the oil.
Allow the cucumber to cook for about 15-20 minutes over a medium flame, stirring occasionally.
Once the cucumber is tender, add more salt if needed and turn off the heat.
Sprinkle with the fresh mint and coconut.
Try these cucumber sandwiches next! Or this vegan cucumber cake.
Did you peel the cucumber or not?
Very interesting,never tasted cucumber in a sabzi,but your recipe and pics are really tempting:)How nice that you are able to grow so many of your own herbs and veggies,I grow just a couple of herbs and some tomatoes at this time,hope to expand that a little more
Andrea, Thanks! Curry leaves are used quite profusely in the Indian kitchen, particularly in south India. They have a strong, spicy fragrance that really kicks up the flavor of any dish. One can usually find them in Indian grocery stores. I was lucky enough to get a little plant from a friend, so now I grow my own!
Andrea's Recipes (Grow Your Own)
Welcome to Grow Your Own, Vaishali! Your recipe looks simple and delicious. What are curry leaves? Sounds like something I need to add to my garden?
TBC, I'd love to see your cucumber dal subzi sometime- is it on your blog? Now that I am cooking with cucumber, there's no going back for me 🙂
Cham, Thanks. I have a tiny vegetable patch in my yard that I could expand if I were less lazy 🙂 This year, because of my trip to India, I limited myself to cucumber, eggplant, yellow and red peppers and tomatoes, and herbs like basil, mint and thyme. Plan to do more next year. I had hoped to plant okra because I did last year and it gave the most gorgeous pods all round the summer and into fall. But I ran out of time- maybe next year...
Vegetable Platter, Thanks!
Madhavi, Thanks. I hope you do.
Swati, Welcome, and thanks. I hope you visit again.
Swati Raman Garg
hey... my first time here and u have a good page rolling.... it must b so great to have ur own garden... lovely.. hope to drop in now n then to check out new things in ur blog...
Oh this subzi looks mouthwatering, and love that pic too!!!! Will try soon!!
never used cucumber n mint in a subzi .. looks yummy
Never cooked cucumber but my Andra friend makes a subji... Looks delicious...
Tell me you ve a little nursery too...I ve only tomat and okra and few herbs...:) Would love to visit ur garden!ed
How nice to have your own little garden! Hey, you changed your profile pic, Vaishali! 🙂
That's an interesting subzi- never used cucumber in a subzi though I have made a dal with it.