Kosmari (South Indian cucumber salad)

Preparation time: 20 minutes + 2 hours refrigeration

Cooking time: 1 minute

You need: 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped very, very small; 1/3 cup moong dal; 1 tbsp chopped cilantro; 1 green chili, minced; 1 tbsp lemon juice; ½ tsp mustard seeds; a pinch of hing (asafetida); 1 tbsp shredded coconut; salt to taste

How to: Wash and drain the moong dal. Mix dal, cucumber, and salt. Cover and refrigerate for two hours before serving. (This won’t keep for more than a few hours).

Heat some oil and add the mustard seeds. When they start sputtering add the green chili and the hing. Mix well with the cucumber. Add the lemon juice, coconut, and cilantro and mix well.

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cucumber raita

This is the best. Raita is basically yogurt with vegetables in. Usually. Anyway.

1 lb. yogurt; 1/2 a slicing cucumber or 1 small one; salt and pepper to taste.

Peel and grate the cucumber into a bowl. Add the yogurt, salt and pepper. Mix well. Chill.

If you water it down a bit (raita is ideally a bit thick) you can even have it as “soup” on a hot day. With a nice salad.