Mangalore Cucumber Curry

MAYURI’S JIKONI – Known as Mogem in Konkani (an Indian Language), Mangalore Cucumber, Madras Cucumber or Field Marrow, it belongs to the Cucurbita family.

The beautifully yellow and green stripped fruit is tempting. The size of this cucumber is similar to a rugby ball and appears to be cross between a pumpkin and watermelon. Unlike pumpkin or watermelon, Mangalore Cucumber is cooked with the skin. The cooked cucumber neither becomes mushy or remains hard and cooks easily.

The main ingredients required for this curry is of course the Mangalore Cucumber, coconut, tamarind, a bit of jaggery, spices, curry leaves and a small amount of urad dal. As the family prefers thick gravy, I made the curry slightly thick and served it with rice.

Mangalore Cucumber Curry. PHOTO: MAYURIS JIKONI

MANGALORE CUCUMBER CURRY

Four Servings

For the curry:

One Mangalore Cucumber (approximately 500g)

Quarter tsp turmeric powder

One tbsp tamarind paste

One to one-and-a-half tsp salt

One tbsp jaggery powder

One tbsp oil

One to one-and-a-half cups water

For the Coconut Paste:

One tbsp oil

One cup grated fresh coconut

One tsp urad dal

Half tsp mustard seeds (rai)

One tbsp coriander seeds (dhana)

Half tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

Two to three dry red chillis

Quarter tsp fenugreek seeds

Four cloves of garlic, peeled

One tsp ginger paste

One small onion, peeled and chopped

For Tempering:

One tsp ghee

Two cloves of garlic

Half tsp mustard seeds (rai)

One sprig curry leaves

One dry red chili

PREPARATION OF THE COCONUT PASTE:

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.

Add mustard, coriander, cumin and fenugreek seeds. Let them sizzle for a few seconds.

Add urad dal. Stir fry till the urad dal begins to turn light brown in colour.

Add the red chilis.

Add chopped onion, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for a few seconds.

Add coconut and stir fry for one-two minute. Take the pan off the heat. Keep the mixture on the side till it cools.

Grind it to a paste.

PREPARATION OF THE CURRY

Wash the Mangalore cucumber and cut it into half.

Remove the seeds.

Cut each piece into half lengthwise.

Cut into slices horizontally about half inch in thickness.

Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.

Add turmeric powder and the chopped cucumber.

Add the coconut paste and stir fry for three – four minutes.

Add salt and mix well.

Add water, jaggery and tamarind.

Cover the pan and let the cucumber cook over low heat till done.

Pour tempering over the curry and serve.

PREPARATION OF THE TEMPERING:

Heat ghee in a small pan over low heat. Add mustard seeds and urad dal. When the dal begins to brown a bit add curry leaves.

Add chopped garlic.

Stir fry till it becomes golden brown. Pour the tempering over the curry.

Serve Mangalore Cucumber Curry with plain rice.