1-3 green Serrano chilies (to taste based on size and desired “hotness”)
1/2 bunch green coriander leaves washed and cleaned
1/4 cup of a fresh coconut OR 1/3 cup unsweetened desiccated dry coconut
1/4 cup roasted channa dal*
1/8 to 1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2-3/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 red chilies
2 sprigs curry leaves (optional)
3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1” wide pieces
1 1/2 cups of plain yogurt** (natural style without gelatin or other additives)
Salt to taste***
1 tsp oil for tempering
*You can use chenna dhal soaked in hot water for 15 mins. if you don’t have roasted channa dal.
**The amount of yogurt can be adjusted to taste based on spiciness.
***Cucumber water has salt in it, so taste before adding more salt
Peel the cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and cut in half again lengthwise. Then cut into 1” wide pieces.
Boil in salted water until tender (about 10-15 mins.). Cover for the last 3-4 minutes. Drain but retain about 1 cup of the water and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in a blender container add the following ingredients in the following order: roasted channa dal, coconut, green chilies, coriander leaves, turmeric, cumin seeds, and leaves from 1 sprig of the curry leaves. Now slowly add the cup of cooled cucumber water and blend to a smooth paste – add just enough of the remaining cucumber water as needed to keep the blender blades moving.
Whisk the yogurt to a smooth consistency and add the blended mixture to it. Continue to whisk until well blended. Taste to adjust salt. Add the cooled cucumber pieces and stir to mix.
In hot oil, fry the mustard seeds till they pop (use lid to prevent spattering). Immediately reduce the heat, add curry leaves from the remaining curry leaf sprig and the red chilies. Heat for about 30 seconds. Immediately add to the yogurt mixture and mix well.
This can be served either cold or at room temperature.
Other vegetables that can be used: boiled potatoes; boiled Chinese winter melon (ash gourd); stir fried okra pieces; or stir fried Japanese eggplant.