This cucumber salad, is a popular South Indian dish, found at weddings and other celebrations. It is one of my favorite uses of cucumber. One aspect of Indian cuisine that makes it a protein rich diet, is their uses or pulses (beans, peas). They add this, even in small amounts, to almost every dish, from salads, to main courses and even in desserts. This is a delicious salad that has that little bit of added protein, due to the addition of mung beans.
South Indian Cucumber Salad
1/4 cup split and hulled mung beans (aka green gram)
1 cup water
1 English cucumber, split lengthwise and then thinly sliced
1/2 cup coconut, grated
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
3 Indian chiles (or 2 Serrano chiles)
1 tablespoon Safflower oil (or vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon asoefetida
15 curry leaves
salt, to taste
In a saucepan, bring the split mung beans and water to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes, until tender. Drain.
In a medium bowl, combine the cucumbers, coconut, cilantro,chiles and cooked mung beans. Add salt, to taste.
In a small skillet, heat the oil Reduce the flame to medium and add the mustard seeds. Stand back as the mustard seeds will pop. When the seeds finish popping, add the asoefetida and curry leaves to the hot oil and fry for about 2 to 5 seconds, until the leaves are wilted. Add this mixture to the cucumber; stir well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.