This dish brings back memories of food from our family temple. Each Konkana Family has a family temple & their family God/Goddess. Our family temple is in Kerala, it’s a small village in the border of Karnataka & Kerala. An hours drive away from Mangalore. Most of the major festivals are celebrated together by the people who belong to each temple. Most temples serve food during a Puja related to any festival. Of course there is a trust, people donate money, there are members who are part of the temple trust who are in charge of getting the events conducted smoothly etc. If you are still wondering what I’m talking about then, it’s very similar to a group of people belonging to a particular parish among the Christians & you celebrate festivals by attending service/mass together.
My first memories of eating this is at the temple. My dad is very sensitive to cucumbers, & hence anything related to cucumbers was never prepared at home. He catches a cold the very next day if he had cucumbers. I love cucumbers.. guess you always end up liking something that is rarely prepared at home. A chilled cucumber salad on a hot summer day is just awesome, wouldn’t you agree?? I, always looked forward to eating this dish in the temple & I always made sure I never wasted and ate every bit of it.
Taushe refers to Cucumber in Konkani. I don’t know what’s Ullel :P, maybe its just another name. Whats in a name.. ?? Anyways, this dish is very flavourful, is crunchy from the cucumbers, hot from the green chilli’s, red chilli’s & ginger added. Coconut adds its sweetness. It’s perfect for hot summer afternoons. I usually prepare this with chilled cucumbers. :).
I have used English cucumbers here for the recipe, hence the seeds would not bother you much. Indian cucumbers have larger seeds & they do bother you a bit when you eat this. So I would suggest you to throw away the seeds if you are using Indian cucumbers.
Please be informed that this has to be eaten in about an hour or two after its put together.Else it can go bad very soon. The cucumbers let out lots of water when they come in contact with salt. So always prepare this just before your ready to have your meal. Also just make the amount that you know you will consume, it’s a shame to waste something as tasty as this.. 🙂
Cucumbers have so many health benefits. They are high in water content & Vitamin B, the skin is high in Vitamin C. They are an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promote joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. They are also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels. Cucumbers are also known to be good for people who are diabetic since it aids insulin production. Also known to reduce cholesterol & helps regulate blood pressure.
Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cucumber – half of a medium-sized cucumber, chopped into small pieces, skin on, It is traditionally prepared this way… & I prefer it that way, you can opt otherwise
Ginger – half an inch piece, finely chopped
Green chilli – 1 or 2, finely chopped, use according to the type/your tolerance level
Coriander leaves (optional) – 1-2 sprigs, finely chopped
For the fresh coconut paste:
Freshly grated coconut – 1/4 cup, I used desiccated coconut soaked in some water..
Dried red chilli’s – 2, roasted in a wee bit of oil
Tamarind – Half a marble-sized ball, make sure there are no seeds
Mustard seeds – half a tsp
For the tempering:
Oil – half a tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Take a mixing bowl & add cucumber, green chilli’s, ginger & mix well. Keep this aside.
In a mixer/blender jar, add the ingredients mentioned for the fresh coconut paste – oil roasted red chilli’s, tamarind, coconut, the mustard seeds & grind to a nice coarse paste. Add just a bit of water to help you grind the ingredients to a smooth paste. Once the paste is ready, you can begin to smell the lovely ground mustard seeds in the paste…
Add salt to the paste when ready. Keep aside.
Just before you are ready to serve this dish, heat oil in a tempering vessel. When the oil is heating up, add the coconut paste to the cucumber in the mixing bowl & mix well. Add the mustard seeds when the oil is hot. Let them splutter for a minute, now transfer the tempering over the cucumber. Mix well.
Garnish with coriander leaves if required. I did.. 🙂
Serve as a side dish with your regular Konkani meal, i.e. with rice, dal & some vegetable.
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