Growing up in a multicultural suburban town, I was introduced to people from various parts of India and their food. However I hardly ate anything that was cooked outside my Mom’s kitchen. But occasionally we did get to taste food that were made by our neighbors and friends. Like the Rasagullas from Kolkata, Egg curry made by my friend’s mom, lip-smacking Kerala fish curry, Puran poli (Sweet flatbread stuffed with lentil) made by my Mom’s Gujarati friend et all. And those days eating out in a restaurant was luxury. So we hardly visited any restaurants. Even if we did, my parents took us to the most famous South Indian restaurants. You won’t believe I didn’t even have a know-how about pizza and burgers until I started going to college. Yes my culinary knowledge on the world cuisine was below average. But that didn’t last for ever. One of my good friend from college is a total foodie. She took me to different restaurants around the city. We used to bunk classes just to eat out in a restaurant. LOL. That is how it all began and there was no looking back. Work and marriage brought me to “The New York city” where I got an opportunity to taste food from all over the world. This is how I got enlightened about various food cultures . It is so fascinating to see how the food religion has evolved around the world.
You might wonder why I have come up with another post with cucumber in just a matter of two weeks. It was definitely not intentional. This post is written specifically for the Summer fest event happening in the food blog world. It was initially started by the most talented people I know Steamy Kitchen, A Way to Garden, White on Rice Couple, What’s Gaby Cooking and Pinch My Salt and now Food Network has decided to bring it back. Every fortnight, a Summer fruit or vegetable is chosen and we all cook something delectable. This week pick is Cucumbers. I don’t use cucumber beyond Cucumber Raita and salads. So I wanted to make something different from what I am used to. Like a flash flood hundreds of idea came in to my mind. Now I had to decide between sweet and savory. And undoubtedly my choice was the later. So I decided to whip up this Mexican Cucucmber Cherry Salsa for y’all.
Sukaina is a very talented person which reflects in her photographs, recipes and the stories interwoven to it. I can never stop drooling at her pictures. Hop on to this most beautiful blog to see what I mean.
How it tasted?
I am not so fond of tortilla chips. This is the first time I have finished half a bag of tortilla chips, just in one sitting. Thanks to this most refreshing and cooling Salsa. Humble cucumber marries well with this bold and beautiful cherries. The heat from Jalapeno, the aroma of cilantro and the hint of lemon act as a catalyst for this successful marriage. The Jalapenos and cilantro stem paste does add a zing to it. If you are planning to offer tortilla chips when I visit you, do not forget to make this salsa. You can also stuff this salsa in Quesadilla or tortilla wrap or better serve it as a side with your favorite meat or fish.
And yes the other half a bag of tortilla chips is just lying around in my pantry. Now I have to make another bowl of this scrumptious salsa
You might want to wear a glove while handling Jalapeno. If you are not comfortable grinding them, then just make a paste with cilantro stem.
South Beach Diet Adaptable
If you are looking for a refreshing and summery salad and if you are in Phase 2 you might not want to miss this one.
A glimpse from my kitchen
- Wash all your veggies and fruits in running water.
- Remove the Cherry stem.Using a pairing knife make a cut in the center around the seed. Gently twist the cherries by holding it in two hands to separate the two halves. Now you will have the seed sticking to one half. Remove it gently using a knife or your hand. You can avoid all these hassle if you own a cherry pitter. Slice them into 4 cubes.
- Peel the cucumber skin, add cut them into cubes.
- Chop the onions.
- Cut the tomato in to half, remove seeds and the inner flesh. Cut them into cubes. Chop spring onions.
- Remove the head and slice them into halves. Remove the seeds and Chop 2 Jalapenos into tiny cubes. Reserve 1 Jalapeno for grinding.
- In a pestle and mortar or your blender add 1 Jalapeno, cilantro stems and 1 tsp of lemon juice. Grind them coarsely.
- So this is what you have at the end of chopping and grinding
- Now in a big bowl add all the chopped ingredients.
- Squeeze some lemon juice for that refreshing taste.
- Add the jalapeno-cilantro paste, and handful of chopped cilantro.
- Add salt.
- Toss it.
- Cover it with a cling wrap or a towel and let the flavors mingle with each other.
- If you are impatient like me then pick up a tortilla chip, dip into the salsa and enjoy.
Enjoy the hot summer evening with a bowl of salsa, toritlla chips, rosewater lemonade and a good old friend.
Please see what others have brought to the Summer Fest table
Pinch My Salt: Chilled Cucumber, Kefir and Avocado Soup
What’s Gaby Cooking: Cucumber-Basil Gimlet
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Radish-Cucumber Crostini
Big Girl Small Kitchen: Spicy Cucumber Salad with Shallot, Ginger and Mint
Grecian Kitchen: Summer Cucumber Salad
And Love It Too: Cucumber, Mint and Watermelon Salad
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Cucumbers Coolers with Agave Simple Syrup
Cooking With My Kid: Cucumber Limeade
FN Dish: Summer Fest: Cucumber Recipes
CIA Dropout: Relishing Cucumbers
Healthy Eats: Cool Cucumber Soup
Food for 7 Stages of Life: Cucumber Cherry Salsa
Cooking With Elise: Green Tea Cucumber Pops
Glory Foods: Cucumber and Shrimp Boat
Virtually Vegan Mama: Fire-Roasted Tomato and Cucumber Gazpacho
Cooking Channel: Cucumbers Stuffed with Crab-Mango Salad
Recipe Girl: Bread and Butter Pickles
Taste With the Eyes: Spicy Pickled Cucumbers with Wakame and Garlic Blossoms
Virtually Homemade: Cold Thai Cucumber-Mint Soup
Add a Pinch: Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
The Cultural Dish: Ahi Tuna with Cucumber Sauce and Salad
Daily*Dishin: Cool n’ Zesty Cukes: 7 Minute Summer in a Jar
Daydreamer Desserts: Cubanita Margarita
Purple Cook: Cucumber Gazpacho with Indian Flavored Shrimp Relish
Indian Simmer: Cucumber at its Best with Chaat Masala
Big Apple Nosh: Quick and Easy Homemade Pickles
Sweet Life Bake: Agua de Pepino
The Sensitive Epicure: Tzatziki with Grilled Gluten-Free Pitas and Fresh Cucumbers and Peppers
Zaika Zabardast: Cucumber Gazpacho
A Way to Garden: Cucumber-Growing Q&A and the Best Pickles
Cooking with Books: Summer Fest: Cucumbers