Cucumber Peanut Salad or Khamang Kakdi or Kakdi Chi Koshimbir is a staple in our home. It’s something I grew up on, and thankfully, loved even when I was a child. Yup, I was the kind of child who gorged on salads and greens. Veggies have always been a big part of any meal for me.
There are generally two kinds of salads or koshimbir in Maharashtrian cuisine, my native cuisine. Salads made with yogurt and those made without yogurt. The ones without yogurt often have crushed peanuts and lemon juice added to them. So this Cucumber Peanut Salad is more of a method you can use for anything. Traditional salads are onion-tomato, carrot, beetroot etc. Combining many vegetables together in a salad is not common.
The recipe for this cucumber peanut salad is simple, and it is vegan. Crushed roasted peanuts give a nice crunch and heartiness to the dish. The nuts also balance out the salad, increasing the protein count. If you do not like peanuts, try the same recipe with roasted almonds. They should taste equally good and do the job. Sunflower seeds may also be an option.
This cucumber peanut salad is frequently paired with sabudana khichdi, another Maharashtrian staple made with sago or tapioca pearls.
Traditionally, a peculiar method is used to cut the cucumber for this salad. The cucumber is peeled and held vertically in one hand. Then, using a paring knife in the other hand, you rapidly make vertical slashes about an inch deep. Then you repeat the process to make horizontal slashes. Then you snip off thin layers to get finely chopped cucumber pieces. The slashing process is repeated until you work through the whole cucumber.
Sound complicated? You can just use your cutting board and regular old method to chop the cucumber. If I am using an English cucumber, I leave the skin on. But if I am using the small Indian cucumbers with a light colored skin, I peel the skin because it is often bitter.
The recipe for this cucumber peanut salad is quite simple. Pair it with any Indian meal, with curry and roti and rice, or serve it with anything really. The flavors here are simple, they won’t clash with any particular cuisine. You can use it in tacos or wraps like a salsa, or just eat a small bowl as a snack.
Cucumber Peanut Salad – Khamang Kakdi Recipe
- 4-6 small cucumbers or
- 2 cups cucumber chopped
- 4 Tbsp crushed roasted peanuts
- 1/4 green jalapeno or serrano chopped finely
- 2 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
- 1-2 tsp sugar
- salt to taste
- cilantro or coriander for garnish (optional)
- Peel and chop cucumbers in a small dice.
- Crush unsalted roasted peanuts in a small plastic bag, or powder them coarsely in a food processor or spice grinder.
- Add the peanuts to the cucumber.
- Add green chili, salt, sugar.
- Squeeze in the lemon juice.
- Mix well to combine.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serves 4 as a side dish.
Traditionally, we mix the lime and chili and peanuts into the cucumber. The salt and sugar is sprinkled on top but not mixed in until you are ready to serve. This is because they draw out the water from the cucumber.
Sound good? Well, I hope you try out this super simple cucumber peanut salad. You have to agree even a child can do it!