Cucumber in Bengali & Indian Food: Things to Know

Cucumber is a popular green vegetable that belongs to the family of watermelon and pumpkin. Like them, cucumbers are high in water content and so, keep you cool and hydrated and detoxify your body.

Cucumber is eaten both raw and cooked. It is widely popular as an ingredient for salad.

However, you may be surprised to know that apart from making a comforting summer treat, cucumber is a good choice for preparing a variety of recipes from soups, sandwiches to dal, curries, cocktails and many more.

This versatile, thin-skinned, green plant product is not only tasty but also healthy as well. It has an interesting and impressive profile of health benefits.

In India, many states prepare one or more signature dishes with cucumber and I’ll explore some of them in this article.

From now on, cucumber will cease to be a boring veggie; rather you will find many ways to incorporate it in your diet.

Cucumber in Bengali and Indian food

Use of Cucumber in Bengali and Indian Cuisines


Sukto is a traditional dish in Bengal. It is usually served at the beginning of a Bengali meal. Shashar sukto is a summer delight.

It is a light dish and usually served with steamed rice. However, it also goes well with roti or paratha.

Sukto is prepared with a variety of vegetables. Neither onion nor garlic is used in its preparation. It is a pure vegetarian dish.

Cucumber is the main ingredient in shashar sukto. A special kind of spice mix (radhuni) is used to prepare sukto. It is usually finished with cow or coconut milk.


Cucumber and boiled potatoes along with tomato slices make a super easy and quick salad. Toss the vegetables with salt and pepper. For spiciness, you can use chopped green chillies.

In salad, cucumber is used in different ways. To prepare a no-fussy salad, slices of cucumber, onion, tomato are tossed with chopped green chillies, salt and black pepper.

It works well with steamed rice and pink lentil (masoor dal). This salad is also served with vegetable pakora, egg pakora, Mughlai paratha and even biryani.

Kakdi Chi Koshimbi is a popular cucumber salad in Western India. It absorbs the rustic flavour of cumin seeds roasted in ghee and explores the goodness of cucumber while green chillies add spiciness.

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The dish is topped with cilantro and peanuts. This cooling, crunchy and easy-to-make salad is a perfect side dish to be served with rice, dal and curries. It also goes as a good accompaniment with roti.

Kachumber salad is another popular salad dish prepared with cucumber. The low-calorie recipe is a medley of many vegetables and perfect for a great, quick nutritional kick.

The refreshing salad uses tiny pieces of tomatoes, onion, carrot and cucumber flavoured by some herbs and topped with pomegranate seeds.

Dressing with lime juice and black pepper powder makes the dish more refreshing and delightful for a crunchy, cool summer bite.

Kosambari is a delicious South Indian salad prepared with grated vegetables (carrot, cucumber, raw mango coconut and chillies), chana dal and a flavourful tempering of urad dal and mustard seeds.

It is one of the must-serve dishes at any major festival. Serve it with rasam rice and poriyal for a complete South Indian flavour.


Small cucumber pieces slow cooked with mung dal and seasoned with a handful of spices makes a sumptuous dish.

It has all the signature of Bengali-style cooking. The thick texture and flavourful tempering make it a perfect accompaniment with both roti and rice.

Dosakaya Pappu is an Andhra style cucumber dal. Yellow cucumbers are gently cooked with toor dal and served with rice or roti.

Both dal and cucumber soak in the flavours of the seasonings added in times of cooking. This flavourful delicacy will bring a healthy and tasty twist to your mundane meal.


Shashar tarkari is another Bong special. It is a very light dish to keep yourself full and cool in summer. Sometimes, a few potato cubes are used along with cucumber.

Only turmeric and coriander powder are added to the preparation. Sometimes, cumin powder is used for added flavour.

Thouthe kodel is an authentic Mangalorean dish. It is prepared with a different kind of cucumber native to Karnataka. Dry byadgi red chillies, used for the preparation, give the dish a lovable rich red appearance.

You can replace these chillies with easily available red dry chillies. The flavoursome curry absorbs flavour from coriander, cumin, fenugreek as well as garlic and coconut.

Pulissery is a traditional dish from Kerala. It presents a nice mix of fresh vegetables and cucumbers that generously soak in the aromatic flavours of Malabar spices.

Cucumber masala with black chickpeas is a Goan curry locally known as taushem tondak.

This coconut based spicy and tangy curry, when served with steamed rice, makes a wholesome meal for any weekend dinner or lunch.

Cucumber cooked in spicy gravy tastes truly delicious, with black chickpeas and kabuli chana bringing a unique twist.

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Breakfasts and Snacks

Cucumber is also used for some healthy and tasty breakfast preparations.

Thalipeeth is a healthy breakfast recipe prepared with wheat flour, rice flour, besan and freshly grated cucumber, flavoured by a handful of spices, garlic and chillies. Serve chutney, pickle or raita as a side dish with this paratha.

Cucumber idli is an instant and indulging breakfast and a favourite with the people in The Konkani and Karnataka region.

It is a delectable twist to traditional idli. Furthermore, like classic idli dishes, this one needs no soaking, night-long fermentation and lengthy preparation process.

Cucumber is used in jhalmuri preparation. It is one of the most famous street foods in Bengal and Orissa. An assortment of vegetables and spices are mixed well with puffed rice (muri).

Chanachur and mustard oil are added for the spicy flavour. Both cucumber and tomato slices along with tamarind water bring kind of sogginess to muri. So, if you are slow in eating, you might miss the spicy crunchiness of muri.

Cucumber pokora? Oh yes, this watery vegetable is used to prepare crunchy snacks. Cucumber slices, coated with spicy butter, are deep fried until they get a lovely golden colour. A perfect evening snack on a rainy or mushy day!


Who does not love healthy, tasty, flavoured, cool soups during summer? They are the best to beat the heat.

Cucumber is an ideal candidate for making soups. Cucumber with ginger makes a comforting, chilly soup that will keep you cool from within during sweltering heat.

Mint flavoured cucumber cocktails taste refreshing anytime in summer. Bring it to your breakfast table for a healthy twist to your boring menu. It is also an amazing summer special for snack time.

Cucumber and watermelon juice make an eye-catchy combo. The rich red look with green mint decoration is too tempting to resist. The taste is equally good, if not more.

Beetroot juice with pineapple and cucumber makes a delicious morning snack. The look, the taste, the healthy benefits – you cannot help but crave for more and more of it.

Only a handful of ingredients are needed to whip up cucumber soup. It is a wholesome meal that you can enjoy right out of your refrigerator.

Chilled cucumber with prawn soup is a real wonder for both your taste buds and tummy. The wholesome soup is an amazing combination of cucumber and prawns.

A few ingredients, simple cooking technique and just 15-20 minutes and it’s ready for your meal!


Raita is neither curry nor soup. It features a semi-liquid consistency. Raita is a very comforting delight usually served cool as an accompaniment with a spicy platter.

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Cucumber raita is almost a staple food in Northern India. The slightly greenish look is as tempting as its taste. Only a few ingredients and you’re ready to go.

A variety of cucumber raita is prepared with different ingredients. One of them uses both cucumber and spinach. The healthy combination is prepared in curd and its subtle taste delightfully balances any spicy dish.


Cucumber and Cake? The lesser heard delight is a reality. End your platter with the savoury cucumber cheesecake.

Grated cucumber, garlic, hung card and cheese – an unusual combination for a cake! But I can bet that you will love to indulge in it.

What Are the Best Recipes of Cucumber?

I love any kind of cucumber salad. If it comes to soup, cucumber with watermelon is a special delight for me.

As a Bong, I have a soft corner for sukto. I like different types of sukto including shashar sukto.

Moong dal diye shasha is a favourite curry for me. I have also tried Thouthe kodel and Goan style cucumber curry; they are amazingly delicious.

Please feel free to share your favourite cucumber dishes.

Do Salad Cucumbers Need to be Peeled?

Depending on the maturity of the cucumber and its taste it is peeled. If you are using English or forms like zucchini then you do not have to peel, but otherwise you can peel it.

The lighter peels taste good but when the peel is little thick it simply needs to be peeled.

Questions & Answers:

How Do You Know When Cucumber is Cooked?

Cucumbers look soggy on the outside after they are cooked well. However, they still feel a little crunchy to taste.

What Goes Well with Cucumber?

Most cucumber curries and salads go well with both rice and roti.

What Kind of Cucumber is Good for Salad?

It is better to use English cucumber for salad which gives you a better taste and habit. It is definitely giving you the crunch that you deserve while you are expecting a salad. You can use a fresh dili for the best flavour.

Is Cucumber Tasty?

Cucumber is crunchy, juicy and very much refreshing. There are organic versions and even a desi version of cucumber which is considered to be one of the best forms. It is crunchy and cool in every way.

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