Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Vellarikkai Thayir Curry- Cucumber Yogurt Curry

In summer I grew Indian variety cucumbers, the thin sweet ones with the thin skin that needs no peeling, that is if they are harvested on time else they tend to grow to a really big size real soon. A couple of days is all that is required. At this point they are too hard to eat raw so had to device something that they could be used in.

The main problem was I let the vine sprawl on the ground rather than train them on a trellis which would have made it easy to spot them. So on the ground they remained hidden until they are too big. DH let them ripen and started making juice out of them and eating it with cane sugar. Tastes pretty good. I don't like it as much as he does though.

I ended up using the over grown big but not ripe ones to make a few curries. My favorite is this Kerala style cucumber yogurt curry. If you do not have cucumbers - ash gourd, bottle gourd or snake gourd can be used but the vegetables all have to be cooked. Here is a Kongu style Thayir kuzhambu recipe made with ash gourd.

I also like the white color of the curry so skipped the turmeric powder.

Recipe in pictures:
Peel and chop the cucumber.
In a wide mouthed pan add the seasonings followed by the onions and saute till translucent. Add in the cucumber pieces and let it cook.
Blend the coconut along with green chilies, coriander leaves, cumin, red chilies and pepper to a smooth paste.
Add the blended paste to the cucumber and let it cook for 6-8 minutes.
Whisk the yogurt and add it to the cooked cucumber.

Vellarikkai Thayir Kuzhambu - Cucumber Yogurt Curry
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  1. 1 large cucumber, peeled and cut into cubes (deseed if needed)
  2. 2 tbsp onions
  3. seasonings: curry leaves, mustard and cumin
  4. 1 tsp oil
  5. 1 tsp turmeric powder (optional)
  6. salt to taste
  7. 2 cups of whisked yogurt
  8. For the Paste
  9. 1/2 cup coconut
  10. 4-5 green chilies + 2 red chilies
  11. few sprigs of coriander leaves
  12. 1 tsp pepper corn + 1/4 tsp cumin seeds

  1. In a wide mouthed pan, heat oil add the seasonings (you can skip this step and do it in the end too) followed by the onions and saute for a few minutes.
  2. Add the cucumber and let it cook for 2-3 minutes in low heat. It does not have to be cooked too much just to soften a little bit. If adding turmeric add it now.
  3. While that is happening blend the For Paste ingredients to a smooth paste using about 1/2 cup of water.
  4. Whisk the yogurt and set it aside.
  5. Add the blended paste to the cucumbers and mix well and let it cook for about 6-8 minutes in low heat. Add salt.
  6. Now reduce the heat completely or remove the vessel from the stove, add the yogurt slowly while stirring. This is to avoid curdling.
  7. In low medium heat cook for a couple more minutes to heat through. Turn off the heat.

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