This festive Maharashtrian salad makes the most of locally grown peanuts and is served at celebrations and weddings. The fragrance of peanuts and coconut along with curry leaves and mustard elevates the simple flavor of cucumber, making it a perfect accompaniment to the many vegetables, rice, and dal preparations that make up a Hindu vegetarian feast. The coconut is optional in the interior regions of Maharashtra, away from the coast where it grows, so leave it out if you prefer.
- 1/2 cucumber, very finely chopped, skin on
- 2 Tablespoons toasted peanuts, coarsely crushed
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 Tablespoon freshly grated or dried coconut
- 1 Teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 Teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 6 fresh or 10 dried curry leaves
Combine the cucumber, peanuts, cilantro, and coconut together in a bowl.
Heat the oil in a small skillet over high heat and add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add the curry leaves (standing back from the pan if using fresh leaves, as they will splutter), then pour the oil over the cucumber mixture.
Add salt to season just before serving.