Khamang Kaakdi (Cucumber salad)
Summers in Pune are really scorching hot and what's better than a cucumber salad to cool your senses and perk up your taste buds at the same time! Today, I am going to share with you a simple recipe of Khamang Kaakdi that barely requires 5 minutes to assemble. You don't want to spend too much time in the heat of the kitchen, right? Also, this is another dish from the culinary repertoire of my childhood memories...
Khamang Kaakdi is typically a Maharashtrian koshimbir recipe almost always served on auspicious occasions. I had eaten it as a kid many times in some or the other Marathi household or in a pangat in some function. It used to be served in small portions on the left side of the plate along with salt, lemon and chatni. I had to keep asking the caterers/servers for more and more till my satiety was reached :)
Khamang is a Marathi word which cannot be translated into English. It is somewhat like Umami when all the flavours of food, especially a tadka, overpower your senses :) I am sure every Indian language would have such words which are difficult to translate or explain to anyone else unless of course, they experience it!
Kaakdi stands for cucumber and koshimbir means a salad. Pangat as I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, refers to a seating arrangement in rows where the caterers serve food to the guests as per the traditions.
2 Cucumbers, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp of pomegranate pearls (optional - I like pomegranate in my salads)
4 tsp of peanut powder
1 tbsp of chopped coriander leaves
1/2 tsp of lemon juice
1 tsp sugar/sugar powder
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 green chillies, finely chopped
A pinch of hing
7/8 curry leaves
Check the cucumbers for any bitter taste before you use them. Mix all the ingredients together except salt and allow it to marinate for 5 minutes so that the sugar melts. Prepare the tadka and add it to the salad. Now finally, add salt and mix well.
Khamang kaakdi is ready!