"Simple ol' kheera
Had a facelift today,
It joined the list
Of fancy salads on a tray.
Healthy & crisp
This childhood summer bowl,
Showed up one evening
On a 29. menu roll...
And believe you me
People swooned in wondrous awe,
How these simple strands of green
Are barely a recipe at all!"
When I served this at one of my events, I really didn't expect for people to ask me the recipe. Had the plain ol' cucumber salad cut un-laboriously for every childhood meal, suddenly become mainstream? Or was it that in an effort to appreciate complicated food, one had forgotten how simplicity tastes? Either way, I couldn't help but remember those summer days when mum used to serve this alongside a Rajma (kidney bean curry) Chawal night, and we always tried not to look at it (as though it would magically disappear!) - not that we didn't like it, but as kids, who wanted to have anything green!
Quick and easy, not to mention nutritious, I now whip this up very often. This time round, I even went a step further and put my spiralizer to use. Had to make it look fancy after all. After many consistent swoons, I decided to post the recipe ...that is, if you can call it a recipe at all!
How do you eat your cucumber? Tell me your tasty tweaks in the comments.
1 cucumber, spiralized or finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp light olive oil
8-10 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp paprika (more if you like it hotter)
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp dry mango powder
Pinch of black or rock salt (Kaala Namak)
(Note: You could replace all the above dry spices in italics with a tsp of Indian Chaat Masala - available at any Indian grocery)
Salt & cracked black pepper to taste
Let the cut cucumbers rest on a kitchen towel for a few minutes to drain excess liquid. Mix in the lemon juice, mint & olive oil. Give it a good toss and refrigerate for 10 minutes. When ready to serve, stir in all the spices, mix well and serve immediately. Can be eaten as a meal, or served in little cups for a fresh, healthy appetizer.