Tomorrow, on the 8th of September we Mangalorean Catholics celebrate the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Mother Mary) and back in Mangalore the harvest feast is also celebrated with great gusto. I have written a detailed post here which I hope you will enjoy reading. Over the years I have also shared several recipes of dishes that are traditionally prepared and served on banana leaves. This meal is generally eaten as a family and sometimes extended family and friends are invited to partake of this pure vegetarian fare. We Catholics prepare vegetables in basic ways – Veggies are either curried, sauteed with bafat powder (a blend of spices unique to the Mangalorean Catholic cuisine), boiled with oil, onion, green chillies or cooked with a masala paste to which jaggery has been added. A few standard vegetables are cooked for the feast and the notable thing is that the items served are odd numbered.
One of the most simple items on the menu is the thoushyache kharam (also pronounced as ‘kharamb’) which is essentially a salad made out of cucumber and onions. To this, we add green chillies, ginger, some salt & vinegar and serve it immediately. This is the version I have grown up eating. There is another version which involves a little effort in terms of grinding coconut with some spices. That recipe will come up next. For now I hope you enjoy this uber simple cucumber salad!
A simple salad made from freshly cut cucumbers & onions that is traditionally served along with the vegetarian dishes for the Monthi Feast
- 175-200 grams cucumbers (approx 2 small ones)
- 1 small-medium onion
- 1/4 or 1/2 inch ginger
- 1/2 small green chilli
- a few drops of vinegar
- a small sprinkling of sugar optional
- salt to taste
Wash and peel the cucumbers, then thinly slice them into roundels. Sprinkle salt to taste and keep aside in a bowl
After a few minutes the cucumbers will release water which you can discard but I prefer not to.
Squeeze the green chilli into the water released by the cucumbers. This way you only get the spice from the green chilli and not the pieces if chopped
Add the ginger, vinegar and a little sugar if desired. Mix everything well. Just before serving mix in the onions so that they remain crisp and smell fresh. Serve!
Traditionally large Mangalorean cucumbers are used for this dish but you can use any variety and eyeball the quantities of the other ingredients