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Mussakka

Cucumber Curry

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Now that summer is in full swing and our CSA has kicked into higher yields, I've been looking for new things to do with cucumbers aside from salads and pickles. In several countries, they're seldom eaten raw, so I thought I'd experiment with cooking them.

 

Found this online and tried it and I have to say, it's delicious. It doesn't look or sound like much, but boy it's good.

 

Here's my version:

 

3/4 cup masoor dal (red lentils)

1 can coconut milk, well shaken and stirred

1 large or 2 medium cucumbers, cut into half-inch half-moon shapes

2 – 4 fresh green chillies, cut into half lengthwise

3 teaspoons black mustard seeds

3 tablespoons ghee (or butter with a little oil added)

salt to taste

 

Combine about 1/3 of the coconut milk and 1-1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil (it could foam and spill over, so keep an eye on it). Rinse the lentils, drain, and add to saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the lentils have mostly disintegrated. The lentils essentially become the base of the sauce.

 

Add the cucumber, chillies and salt. Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes until the cucumber is tender.

 

Meanwhile, heat the ghee (or butter, if using) over medium high heat in a separate pan and add the black mustard seeds. After a few seconds the mustard seeds will begin to pop. Allow most of them to pop (you'll know when the noise calms down) and then dump the ghee/butter/seed mixture directly into the pan with the lentils and cucumber. Stir well.

 

Add the remainder of the coconut milk, stir, and increase the flame to heat through. Don't let it boil at this point, just come to a good piping hot stage.

 

For coconut oil lovers, it would be great to use that instead of ghee/butter.

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I like mine stir-fried with Chinese Chili garlic sauce, but I would love to try THIS! Yummy. Very south Indian, no?

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Sounds interesting. I might try this IF I can. My daughter likes cucumber salad made with onions & either a sour cream dressing or an Italian dressing. I rarely have any cukes left by the time she's tired of me making these! LOL

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I like mine stir-fried with Chinese Chili garlic sauce, but I would love to try THIS! Yummy. Very south Indian, no?

 

Indeed. The original recipe called for curry leaves as well, but I didn't have any hand. Including them certainly wouldn't hurt.

 

I was thinking of making the chili-garlic stirfry as well. Any particular brand of sauce or combination of ingredients?

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Are "black mustard seeds" the thing called kalonji in India, usually called "black seed" in English al-habb as-saudaa in Arabic or is it something else?

 

Now that summer is in full swing and our CSA has kicked into higher yields, I've been looking for new things to do with cucumbers aside from salads and pickles. In several countries, they're seldom eaten raw, so I thought I'd experiment with cooking them.

 

Found this online and tried it and I have to say, it's delicious. It doesn't look or sound like much, but boy it's good.

 

Here's my version:

 

3/4 cup masoor dal (red lentils)

1 can coconut milk, well shaken and stirred

1 large or 2 medium cucumbers, cut into half-inch half-moon shapes

2 – 4 fresh green chillies, cut into half lengthwise

3 teaspoons black mustard seeds

3 tablespoons ghee (or butter with a little oil added)

salt to taste

 

Combine about 1/3 of the coconut milk and 1-1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil (it could foam and spill over, so keep an eye on it). Rinse the lentils, drain, and add to saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the lentils have mostly disintegrated. The lentils essentially become the base of the sauce.

 

Add the cucumber, chillies and salt. Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes until the cucumber is tender.

 

Meanwhile, heat the ghee (or butter, if using) over medium high heat in a separate pan and add the black mustard seeds. After a few seconds the mustard seeds will begin to pop. Allow most of them to pop (you'll know when the noise calms down) and then dump the ghee/butter/seed mixture directly into the pan with the lentils and cucumber. Stir well.

 

Add the remainder of the coconut milk, stir, and increase the flame to heat through. Don't let it boil at this point, just come to a good piping hot stage.

 

For coconut oil lovers, it would be great to use that instead of ghee/butter.

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Salim, the two are different. Black mustard seeds (Latin: Brassica nigra) really look like yellow mustard seeds (except for being dark brown) and taste somewhat similar, although they're a different genus. The "blackseed" you mention is Latin Nigella sativa, also often called black caraway. My kitchen is stocked with both so I've learned what they're called and how to shop for them. :)

 

On a related note (but another different genus) ;) I've discovered that Europeans don't use the word cumin the same way English speakers do; the word is used for caraway and you have to go out of your way to find true cumin, at least here in Slovenia where I live. I love cumin and use lots of it, so I'm always stocking up on it at international markets when I have the chance.

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Mussakka, THis recipe sounds really good! Have you counted the carbs per cupful or 1/2 cup serving?

 

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