Monday, April 28, 2008

Rediscovering An Old Faithful

Friends who know me well will attest to my reluctance to try the same dish twice. I’m known to order the newest or most peculiar-sounding dish on the menu (often to be told it’s not available) and appreciate it heartily. It’s not unless I go home or to a relative’s house or read the blogs that I realize I only rarely make traditional favourites at home.

That’s because I’m always looking for something new to make my meals more interesting, and often, the “Oh- it’s-just-that-routine-old-thing” attitude kicks in when I spy these vegetables on the shelves. But sometimes, something propels me to make it, and going back to old faithfuls to me is as good a new venture as eating strange and fascinating stuff, as it’s been ages since I’ve eaten any of these.

Yesterday, at an aunt’s house, I had some really spicy scrambled eggs, a dinner staple when I was still living at home. That really prompted me to get on with this post – I’d made this a week ago but haven’t made the time to post it due to other new-age distractions, DVDs being one of them.

Where I live, I don’t get very good specimens of this vegetable, but I try and make do. This dish, dosakaya koora (melon cucumber curry), is light and uncomplicated; I also think it’s a perfect accompaniment to a bowl of fresh curds/yoghurt if you want a low-calorie one-pot meal.

Dosakaya/melon cucumber – 2, peeled, de-seeded, diced/cubed (taste and make sure they aren’t bitter)
Onion – 1, chopped
Green tomato/red tomato – 2, chopped
Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seed – ½ tsp
Cumin seed – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – a few
Red chilli powder – ½ - 1 tsp
Turmeric – ½ tsp
Salt, to taste

In a pan, heat the oil and temper with the mustard, cumin and curry leaves.

Add the onion, fry it till translucent.

Now add the cucumber, fry for about 30 seconds. Add the turmeric and fry some more.

Now add the salt and chilli powder, about ¼ cup of water and simmer covered.

It cooks very easily so make sure it’s not all squishy before you add the tomatoes.

Once you’ve added the tomato, cover it again and let it simmer. You can add a little more water to hasten the cooking process.

It’s generally eaten with rice but also as I described above.

Bon appetit!

Another dosakaya recipe from my blog here

This is my entry for this week's WHB started by Kalyn, and hosted by Anh.


  1. seen this veggie but never tasted it. Looks like sunshine & pineapples


  2. I haven't tried this veggie too...looks very pretty :-)

  3. What is an old faithful to one is completely exotically new to another! I have seen something like this in Indian grocery stores here but never knew what to do with it or what to expect in terms of taste. I might have tasted a pickle made out of it by an Andhra friend, but don't recall exactly.

  4. I guess we get carried away with something that looks fancy. For the past weeks, all I cooked was old favourites. I too realised that I am not revisiting 'em as I used to.

  5. looks delicious. lovely picture.

  6. Nice recipe, i might try it with another vegetable, becaus ehaven't seen dosakayas here. Old faithfuls are, well, old faithfuls :).

  7. I am exactly the opposite... I have my favorites in every restaurant and end up ordering the same dishes every time... It is different dishes from different places, so it is not too bad, but sometimes I have to force myself to try something new from a restaurant I frequent...

    It is a beautiful picture btw!

  8. oh..that looks beautiful sra...yeah I know abt that your attachment to new dishes..:)

  9. whaen i saw e pic, i was cabbage. am so glad it's on. i love dosakaya.

  10. I've never made this nor have I ever tasted it because for no reason at all I am averse to certain vegs. THis is one among them...

  11. hmmm... sounds quite ez! and like you said, it would go really well with curd rice. WIll try it sometime.. tx :)

  12. Sandeepa, that sounds just beautiful!
    Sunita, we make an interesting raw chutney out of it too!
    ET, if it's a perfect speciment, it will be tangy. And yes, we do pickle it, not as much as we do mangoes, and not as long-term, but we do.
    Suganya, I certainly get carried away. Except for dal and greens, I don't usually make old staples.
    Divya, thanks, welcome!
    Uma, thanks, I WAS wondering about the picture quality!
    Musy, you said it! I'm going to make it more often.
    Sig, thanks. I'm quite adventurous, never eat the same thing twice if I can help it.
    Valli, thanks. Yeah, have to come up with something new next!
    Bee, I eat cabbage but am not crazy about it. We make a great dal with this too!
    Rachel, hmm ... I used to be like that before I went to hostel. In fact, I ate some veggie for three years in hostel thinking it was this before I realised it was something else altogether!!!
    Ramya, you don't even need the rice - it tastes great with plain curds too!

  13. Wow...looks delicious.Perfect for summer.

  14. This sounds so very delicious. I am a cook who never cooks the same thing twice also. Well, only occassionally.

  15. have tasted this but never cooked with it. is it the same consistency as chow chow? looks delicious.

  16. "Where I live, I don’t get very good speciments of this vegetable"

    Where I live, I don't even get this vegetable :-)

  17. I've never seen round, golden cucumber before (no surprise, here).
    Quick and tasty, Sra. A ? though: what do you do if the cuke is bitter, leech with salt then rinse?

  18. Homecooked, yes, it's really ideal for summer!
    Vegeyum, join the gang! :)
    Arundathi, it's even more 'waterier'!
    Raaga, yeah, it's fairly difficult to find outside AP, I think.
    Susan, Indian store! And er ... I just throw it out, I guess, but I've never had to - dunno what they do at home, tho'.

  19. i think i've seen this veg in the store, who knows might hv also tasted it at someone's house ;)

  20. Wonderful entry for WHB! Yum!


  21. nice photo and nice recipe. it is boring to make the same vegetable twice in the same way. is this dosakaya similar to the green pumpkin or is it firmer?i think i have seen it here..never paid to much attention to it.:)

  22. Hi sra, hope you are doing well. I had a allergy shot yesterday,so I am doing okay today!:D

    For the first I saw and bought Dosakaya was last year! Never knew it existed. It tastes good, little firmer than cucumber!:)

  23. Have never cooked with this vegetable before , but have seen it in indian shops..
    Read ur telephone conversation with ur dad and really enjoyed it.. LOL...

  24. yum! dosakaya takes me to my best bud's place when i was in college..her mom use to make an awesome chutney with it..drooling really!!...

  25. thanks for the recipe .its really nice that u have post some really good foods recipe.

  26. I tend to stick with my favourites at restaurants, but will try anything at new places! Yeah, can be peculiar too :)

  27. I know the feeling sra, I connected with lauki after a long time and it was like meeting an old friend ;)

  28. Wonderfully simple and faithful recipe. Does melon cucumber mean what we call Lau in Bengali?

  29. Ah, so these cukes are naturally not bitter, but would be if they were "off." I'm going to my Indian grocer next week. Hope they have them in their produce department; their stock varies by the week. Thanks, Sra!

  30. Richa, you may well have, esp if she was Telugu.
    Paz, thank you.
    Mallugirl, about the same consistency, I guess. Maybe a little squishier than green pumpkin.
    Asha, yeah, more firm than green cucumber, which seems to go to pieces in a curry! ;)
    Prema, hi, how are you? Thanks.
    Rajitha, glad you know the chutney, really droolworthy!
    Datenrettung, welcome!
    Jyothsna, to me the more peculiar the better! (but "within reason")
    Mandira, I've been reconnecting with lauki too!
    Mallika, am off to research lau - there's a link in the post to a picture somewhere else on my blog!
    Kalai, thank you!
    Susan, oh no no! The bitterness is inherent sometimes, not because it's off - just like the odd rotten egg in the midst of good ones, so you have to taste it before using it. This also happens with ridge gourd, snake gourd and a few other vegetables.

  31. I got it in plenty in Madras and Bangalore... dosakkai is a konkani favourite!!

  32. A beautiful entry! Thanks for participating in WHB!

  33. Sounds just wonderful! I don't think I've had this type of cucumber.


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