Monday, September 23, 2013

Vellarikkai thayir kuzhambu - Cucumber in Spiced Yogurt - Vellarikka Pachadi

Are you eating too much fat lately? It might not be your fault but the defeat of your favorite sports team that is putting you on a bad and fatty diet. Redskins our local NFL team has a history of bad performance - I do not watch too much football so I might wrong here about the record but I am pretty sure there have been fewer and fewer good days for the Redskins fans. So if you live in the DC area and have been eating too much junk you are excused! Anyway I am not making this up. Yes people do research these kind of things and it is fun to know - Diet Of Defeat: Why Football Fans Mourn With High-Fat Food.

DH's cousin brought over a huge cucumber. His aunt suggested I make kootu with moong dal. We are fond of eating cucumbers and could have eaten it as is or used in a salads but the mature ones have too many seeds. The ones with no seeds or with tiny seeds like the English Cucumbers or Persian Cucumbers where the skin is thin and edible is the one I prefer for salads and raw eating. The American cucumbers on the other hand require peeling of the skin and scooping out the seeds and a huge mature cucumber usually has a slightly bitter taste. So I was sitting on it for a couple of days whens I saw this recipe for cucumber kichadi on Sharmi's Passion. Thanks to her I now have another vegetable I can add to my favorite spiced yogurt recipe.

It was very similar to how my grandmother cooks white pumpkins but only we call it thayir kuzhambu like this recipe. In Kerala I have learned it is called Pachadi. So whatever the name the combination of coconut and green chilies in yogurt makes it tasty curry.

My friend Linda over at Out of the Garden has a lot of cucumbers and I thought I'd give her a hand in deciding what to do with them.

This would be perfect pairing for adai doasai or arism paruppu saatham (spiced dal rice) but we had them with steamed rice and that is a good combination also.

Some of the other vegetables besides white pumpkin and Cucumber would be the white rind of watermelon, bottle gourd, brinjal and even okra.

Vellarikkai thayir Kuzhambu - Vellarikka Pachadi
Preparation Time:10 minutes
Cooking Time:15 minutes
  1. 1 big cucumber peeled seeded and diced about 1 1/2 cups
  2. 2 cups of curd/yogurt whisked
  3. 1/4 cup chopped onions (optional)
  4. seasonings: cumin, mustard seeds 1/4 tsp each, 2 red chilies broken and seeds removed, curry leaves
  5. For the paste
  6. 1/4 cup grated fresh/frozen coconut
  7. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  8. 6 green chilies
  9. Blend the coconut, cumin seeds and green chilies to a fairly fine paste with a couple of tbsp of water
  10. salt to taste
  11. oil 1 tsp
  1. In a pan heat oil and add the seasonings cumin first followed by mustard seeds and then red chilies and curry leaves
  2. Add the diced cucumber and let them cook for 2-3 minutes (a little longer if you want it soft, I wanted them a bit crunchy)
  3. Add in the blended coconut paste and let cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  4. Turn the flame to low and add the yogurt to the cucumber mixture, add salt, mix well and in another couple of minutes turn off the heat.
Serve with steamed rice, adai or dal rice.


  1. This is one of my favourite vegg mom used to make variety of dishes with this usinf coconut and aslo curd base gravies. Shyama love them too and when ever we are in my sis place in India she make it for her and when S was little she asked sis what the vegg is and sis said it is sea cucumber and the name sticked with her

  2. Trust you, ISG, to come up with a way for me to use my surplus produce :):) And so deliciously too! This kuzhambu (pachadi) looks so delicious, I have no question what I am going to do tomorrow :):)

    Thank you dear friend!

    And if you peek in at my blog you'll find a couple of pics just for you, too :)


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