Dosakaya / budamakaya in telugu and lemon cucumber or lemon cuke in English is from the family of cucumber similar in taste except for being very firm and sour in taste. You can even eat it raw like cucumber ( but we usually peel off the skin ). They look like either small round or oval shaped yellow skin with green scales or viceversa and usually very firm to touch.
I remember how hard it was to find this cutie in the Indian grocery near by. I looked for this veggie at every farmers market, groceries and i could say almost every nook and corner but went in vain. Finally i found a very good local farmer grocery with some common Indian vegetables but couldn't get lemon cuke there, one day i went up to the grocery owner and asked if he would be able to get this vegetable for me, he was so nice and to my surprise from the very next week this veggie has become a regular item in the list.. Finally my quest was over..
This is my favorite vegetable. Mom makes an array of dishes like Dosakaya talimpu, dosakaya pachadi, dosakaya ooragaaya, dosakaya pappu, dosakaya pulusu, dosakaya sambar and dosakya perugu pachadi( yes a lot right!!) I love this talimpu and pulusu a lot!! Here's is one of my favorite recipe from Grandmas kitchen.
1 dosakaya / lemon cuke
10 curry leaves
1-2 tsp red chilli powder
1 garlic pod
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp chana dal / Senaga pappu / bengal gram
salt to taste
- In a coffee grinder or blender grind red chilli powder, salt ,garlic and 5 curry leaves to fine powder. You can store this vellulli karam ( Garlicky and curry leaves chilli powder ) in refrigerator for up to a month or longer and tastes so good with idli or dosa.
- Peel the skin off the cucumber( dosakaya / budamakaya ) and chop into pieces as shown in the picture. Chop onions and keep aside.
- In a saute pan / kadai add popu / tadka with oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and chana dal. once they start to crackle add curry leaves followed by cucumber pieces\, turmeric and salt. Mix everything together and cook with the lid in low flame( heat ) stirring occasionally.
- To check for doneness, dosakaya mukkalu / lemon cuke pieces turn into transparent and should still have that crispness. At this time add the prepared garlic chilli powder and mix everything together.
- Adjust salt to taste and finish it off with cilantro.
- Pick the lemon cucumber that is very firm and has no soft spots, and should be free from any wrinkles
- Check if it is bitter by tasting a little, sometimes only the seeds could be bitter, if so you could discard the seeds and use the rest.