Cucumber Pickle

Cucumber Pickle

Cucumber dill pickles may be widely popular here in the United States but the overall popularity of pickles in India is hard to match. From mango to lemon and lime to pickled roselle leaves, these condiments make an appearance at almost all meals. A spicy mango pickle in the morning with a flatbread and scrambled eggs or a cilantro chutney to dip a samosa in during lunch or dinner is considered common fare.

Here is an instant cucumber pickle, inspired by the American dill pickle, that can be eaten as a salad or in between sandwiches or burgers. It is best eaten the day it is made, when the cucumbers have a nice crunch and have not leached out too much liquid or turned soggy. The use of mustard oil may be unusual however the sharp bite of the mustard does make for a very tangy pickle. Feel free to substitute mustard with olive oil or another cooking oil. 

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Cook Time

15 Minutes



Step 1
Slice the cucumber into 1/4-inch slices into a large bowl and keep refrigerated until the rest of the ingredients are ready.
Step 2
Prepare the minced ginger, serrano pepper, dill, and salt and add to the cucumber.
Step 3
In a small frying pan over high heat, warm up the mustard oil and as soon as it is hot but not smoky, add the cumin and fennel seeds. The seeds will sizzle and pop and within seconds, take the pan off the heat and pour the oil with the seeds into the cucumber mix. Squeeze the lemon juice and toss gently. Refrigerate until ready to use.

1 large cucumber, cold

1 tablespoon peeled finely minced ginger

1 small serrano pepper, minced (optional)

1 tablespoon minced fresh dill

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons mustard or olive oil

3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds

Juice of 1 lemon

Notes & Variations

  • Mustard oil can be obtained from any Indian grocery store. An alternate is to use olive oil and instead of cumin, pop black mustard seeds. This will give the zing of mustard to the pickle.
  • Toasted minced peanuts make a nice addition to this pickle.
  • A tablespoon of sugar or jaggery will give the pickle a slightly sweet finish.

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