Dosakai, the round variety of cucumber, lends itself beautifully to all kinds of pickle recipes. Here is an instant pickle recipe that is low on oil, without compromising on flavor, authenticity and taste.
Ingredients (fills an 8 oz bottle):
- Sesame oil (2 tbsp) (you can reduce this to just 1 tbsp as well)
- Dosakai/dosakaya/round cucumber (2 medium sized ones)
- Fenugreek seeds (methi) (1 tsp)
- Mustard seeds (1 tsp)
- Turmeric (haldi) powder (1/2 tsp)
- Red chili powder (per taste)
- Asafetida (hing) powder (1/4 tsp)
- Salt (to taste)
- Dry roast/toast the mustard and fenugreek seeds on medium heat separately, stirring continuously to avoid burning the seeds.
- Let the seeds cool slightly and powder them using a mortar and pestle.
- Wash the dosakai/cucumber well and chop them into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Heat oil in a wide pan on medium heat.
- Add asafetida, turmeric, powdered mixture of mustard and fenugreek seeds and saute on medium heat for a few seconds.
- Add the dosakai cubes, salt and chili powder and saute on medium heat for a couple minutes. The vegetable pieces should be tender, but still crunchy and retain their bite.
- Your yummy pickle is ready and when cooled down, you can transfer it into a clean, dry glass container. Due to the natural preservatives used in this recipe like oil and salt, this pickle should last for a week without refrigeration when stored under clean and dry conditions. If refrigerated, it can stay even longer – up to even a month.
Sweet (oil), sour (none), salty (salt), bitter (fenugreek, mustard), pungent (chili, mustard), astringent (asafetida, dosakai).
Pickles by their very nature are pitta aggravating in excess. The sour, pungent and salty tastes that are predominant in any pickle are all tastes that increase pitta. Adding bitter and astringent ingredients help balance out those tastes a little. In general, pittas should consume pickles strictly in moderation. Kaphas can enjoy their pickle with a little less guilt, but they shouldn’t overdo it since the oil in pickles is kapha aggravating. Vatas can consume pickles in moderation. In general, pickles can stimulate the digestive fire/agni (deepana) and even enhance digestion (pachana) to some extent, when consumed in small quantities.
Pickles are rajasic in nature, since they are strongly flavored and stimulating to the taste buds.