Indian Yellow Cucumber, also known as Mangalore or Madras Cucumber, is a curry cucumber that is low on calories and is a good source of Potassium. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol and is known for its diuretic properties (Source: https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cucumber.html). Unlike other cucumbers, this yellow cucumber does not fall apart when it is cooked.
In Coorg, we make a delicious fry using the yellow cucumber. Once upon a time, this was grown in the backyard of most homes. It was stored for months together in a cool dry place for use when other vegetables were in short supply.
In this recipe, the yellow cucumber is cooked in a mix of spices, coconut and jaggery. The end result is a sweet and spicy dish that is finger licking good. Here, the cucumber is used with its skin. The best way to eat this is by biting off the flesh from the skin and enjoying the gravy coated pieces and the profusion of flavors that accompany them.
Here is how to make the Indian Yellow Cucumber fry (Bollari Bartad).
1 medium-sized Indian Yellow Cucumber/Madras Cucumber
½ tsp. Turmeric
½ tsp. Chilli powder
½ tsp. Coriander powder
½ tsp. Jeera powder
Salt to taste
½ tsp Jaggery powder
¾ cup Coconut, ground to a fine paste
For the seasoning:
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
½ tsp. Mustard seeds
1 medium-sized Onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of Garlic, crushed
10-12 Curry leaves
- Clean the cucumber and remove the core which contains the seeds. Cut it into thin slices of 2” each and slit each slice as shown in picture above.
- Add the turmeric, chilli, coriander, jeera and salt. Toss so that the spices coat all the slices. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- In a pan heat the oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds and let it sputter. Add the onions. When it turns pink, add the crushed garlic and the curry leaves and fry for a minute.
- Now add the sliced Mangalore cucumber and mix well. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook on a medium flame till the cucumber turns transparent.
- Add the ground coconut and the jaggery. Keep stirring from time to time till the cucumber is well cooked and the gravy coats the pieces. It should be completely transparent and firm to the touch.
Bollari Barthad is ready!
This is best served with hot rice or akki vottis.