A crunchy chutney of cucumber with dals, and peanuts chutney best eaten with plain rice, soothing dal and also with papad. Cucumber and Bengal Gram Chutney is an awesome combination of yellow variety of cucumber and Bengal gram mixed together with few spices, nuts, and tamarind blended together to make a unique tangy and nutty fatta fat chutney. This chutney is often ground in stone pestle which brings out the natural flavors of every ingredients added in this chutney.
The cucumber and Bengal gram chutney is generally served with hot plain rice, a simple tadka dal and papad on side. Little ghee with it would add more taste to the chutney. The addition of peanuts and sesame seeds gives a slightly sweet and nutty taste to the chutney. It also makes the chutney crunchy on bite. Ground Bengal gram enhances the texture and thus makes the chutney dense and creamy. The tempering added in this chutney enhances the taste and flavor, urad dal gives a nice crunch to the chutney while curry leaves offers some earthy flavors in the chutney.
Recipe: Cucumber and Bengal Gram Chutney
- Cucumber (yellow variety) - 1 no
- Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds - ¼ tsp
- Peanuts - 1 tsp
- Sesame seeds - 1 tsp
- Green chillies - 5 nos
- Tamarind - 10 gms
- Chana dal, soaked - 1 tsp
- Salt - to taste
- Oil - 1 tbsp
- Cumin seeds - ¼ tsp
- Mustard seeds - ¼ tsp
- Red chillies - 3 nos
- Urad dal - ¼ tsp
- Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
- Cut yellow cucumber into small pieces along with seeds.
- Heat oil in a pan, add coriander seeds and roast the seeds for a minute, then add fenugreek seeds, peanuts, sesame seeds and sauté for another minute.
- Add cut green chillies, tamarind, channa dal, salt, cucumber pieces and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add coriander leaves and cook for a minute. Switch off the flame and allow the mixture the cool.
- Transfer this mixture in a blender and grind to coarse paste.
- For tempering the chutney, heat little oil in pan, add mustard seeds and when they splutter, add cumin seeds, soaked channa dal, dry red chillies, urad dal, curry leaves and sauté well for a minute until the lentil get a light color. Switch off the flame.
- Pour this tempering over the chutney and mix well.
- Serve Cucumber and Bengal gram chutney with plain rice or curd rice.
In ancient days, chutneys, idli/ dosa batter etc were ground in the stone pestle which would actually give an authentic taste and consistency to the dish. Most of the grinding of masalas etc where done in limestone which contained calcium and this benefited in giving them the health benefits of calcium which would dissolve into the food while grinding and thereby included in their daily diet. But today’s hi-tech gadgets and machinery have taken over in easing our lives in most kitchens and household works.
Chutneys, batters, and masalas are all done in a jiffy using the electric blender. If you are still using a stone pestle then do try grinding this chutney is a stone pestle (grinding stone) which will surely delight your palate with its explicit savor and zest. The cucumber and Bengal gram chutney is made with yellow cucumber or lemon cucumber commonly known as Dosakai in Telugu. This versatile cucumber is sweet, slighty tangy and flavorful, and doesn't have much of the chemical that makes other cucumbers bitter and hard to digest. Though it's often served raw, it's also a good pickling cucumber.
The yellow cucumber is the size of a baseball oval or round shaped covered with a thin skin all around. The flavor of the yellow cucumber is excellent and a bit sweeter and tangy than the normal cucumbers (green variety). The yellow cucumber is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, which includes squash, and also from the same genus as the muskmelon. Dosakai is extensively available in most parts of India and especially in Andhra Pradesh.
Andhra cuisine is special for its variety of freshly made homemade chutneys or pachadis. Name any vegetable and you can make fresh chutneys out of it that is spicy, tangy and gives a excellent taste when eaten with hot rice and ghee. For example to name a few are the Beerakai chutney (ridge gourd), dondakai chutney (tindora), tomato chutney, brinjal chutney (egg plant) and many more. Yellow cucumber (Dosakai) is generally added in sambar, soup, dal and also prepare dosa-aavakaaya pickle and chutney. The tender yellow cucumbers are nice lemony yellow color and turn a golden yellow as it ripens.
The mild, pleasant taste is complemented by a cool, crisp texture. Resembling a lemon in appearance, the flavor is more delicately sweet and less acidic than the common green cucumber. Yellow cucumbers (tender ones) could also be eaten fresh and can be pickled when they get ripen. Adding cucumbers to your menus especially during the warm summer season is really cooling and refreshing. Yellow cucumber is low in fat and cholesterol. The flesh of cucumbers is primarily composed of water but also contains ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and caffeic acid, both of which help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling.
Cucumbers' hard skin is rich in fiber and contains a variety of beneficial minerals including silica, potassium and magnesium. The silica in cucumber is an essential component of healthy connective tissue, which includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone. Cucumber juice is often recommended as a source of silica to improve the complexion and health of the skin, plus cucumber's high water content makes it naturally hydrating-a must for glowing skin.
Most of the cucumbers varieties have around 95 % of water content which is a great way to increase the fiber and water intake. There is a high content of vitamins A, B6 and C present in the flesh of the cucumber. In addition to that these vegetables are known to have a high concentration of minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and silica. Do try preparing this awesome, finger licking fatta fat chutney as it’s the fresh homemade chutneys that always add an exotic Indian touch to any meal.
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