Kids Corner

Cuisine

Cool As A Cucumber

by PUSHPESH PANT

 

 

Who wants to eat a heavy, sleep-inducing lunch on a hot summer day?

The throat is parched and the tongue dry, the appetite is sluggish and what the body and the mind hanker for are cool delights. A splash in the pool or the puddle, if not a shower at least, followed by a tall cool drink and, then, only something to bite into can be considered. Even a sandwich seems a burden.

A salad is ideal but then most of us seldom venture beyond kheera, mooli, gajjer, tamater-pyaaz and nimbu routine and that tends to become a bit boring.

This is where the recipe created by a friend’s resourceful wife took our breath away.

Though the lady modestly admitted that her inspiration was a foot-long in a sandwich chain, we think she deserves full marks for creativity. The children at home make absolutely no fuss about this salad on their plate.

She fashioned two neat looking boats out of time-tested coolant and refresher kukkrri and scooped out the seeds. She packed the hollows with hung yogurt seasoned lightly enriching it with a spoonful of healthy oats, and garnished it with olives and sweet pepper bits.

We thought there was a hint of fresh ginger, grated horseradish and chips of tender coconut kernels. And wasn’t invisible mint playing hide and seek?

We immediately fell in love with the dish and are delighted to unveil it for our readers. Refrigerate it and enjoy it as a teatime snack or working lunch.

You can incorporate diced apples too.

What the heck! Don’t feel deprived. Prepare a bed of crisp iceberg lettuce, garnish the kukkrri with toasted almond slivers and grapes - a little goes a long way and live the moment like a real nawab.

EDITOR'S NOTE:

1   What is the difference between yogurt and hung yogurt? Yogurt is regular old yogurt. "Hung yogurt" is yogurt that is strained through usually a coffee filter or a fine cheesecloth, so that all the liquid (whey) drains out and you are left with a very thick "yogurt cheese". This is used a lot in Indian desserts. [Courtesy: Yahoo]

2   The cucumber in Punjab comes in a variety of forms and under different names: kukkrri, kheera, tar, etc. You may want to experiment and adjust to taste with each one.

Thundi bharwa(n) kukkrri

Ingredients
Cucumbers (medium-sized) - two
Red sweet plump chilli peppers (long variety) - one
Green sweet plump chilli peppers (long variety) - one
Black olives (stone less, chopped fine) - 2-3
Hung yogurt 100 gm
Oats (cooked) - 1 tbsp
Fresh ginger (diced very small) - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Method
Wash the cucumbers. Don’t peel. Slice neatly in halves lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Blend yogurt with salt, ginger and the oats. Pack the hollowed cucumbers with this and garnish with chilli pepper and olives. Refrigerate for an hour and enjoy.

 

[Courtesy: Tribune]

May 30, 2011

Conversation about this article

1: S.T. (U.S.A.), May 30, 2011, 5:32 PM.

Sounds great! I'm going to definitely try this recipe -but will try to mix the scooped-out cucumber seeds right into the yogurt mix, so there's no waste. Thanks!

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