Kamang Kakdi is a typical Maharashtrian Cucumber salad which is very simple and easy to prepare. This dish is almost a part of any restaurant Maharashtrian buffet. Kamang Kakdi is a delicious, flavourful and a humble dish made with cucumber cut into very small pieces (draining off the moisture) and seasoned with some cumin seeds, spiced with crushed green chillies and flavoured with roasted peanut powder and little fresh coconut.
The cucumber salad is refreshing, cooling and has a medley of flavourful ingredients that compliments with any spicy dish. Kakdi in Marathi means cucumber and cucumber is an excellent vegetable which can be eaten raw just like that or adding little salt and pepper or some spices to enhance its flavours. Kamang Kakdi is a wonderful accompaniment served with Masala bhath, Dalimbi bhat, Varhadi aloo bhat, Vangi bhath or any pulaos etc.
Any time, if you ever wonder how to beat the scorching summer heat, then remember this humble crunchy cucumber which is a low calorie vegetable with more nutrients than just water and electrolytes. A bowl of Kamang kakdi is appetizing, cooling and is stomach filling too. Generally there are various ways of serving cucumber. It is generally cut into thin slices and served as green salad or pickled or mixed with yoghurt and herbs which is popularly known as cucumber raita. The Kamang kakdi is an incredible variation with very simple and less ingredients which can balance and give a cooling effect if served with Tandoori chicken or kebabs.
Usually Maharashtrian food is high in nutritional values and brings out true flavours of the ingredients used. The dishes are primarily vegetarians with lots of fresh ingredients, vegetable and minimum usage of oil and sometime mild on spices. A simple everyday Maharashtra meal consists of a healthy, nutritious Jowar ki roti or jowar bajre ki roti or any wheat based Indian flat bread, bhaaji, koshimbir (salad), bhaat (rice) and amti or varan (legumes/ lentil stews). Matki ki usal is a very popular legume dish made at least once a week.
Kamang kakdi has a great texture, pleasant and attractive light green colour and wonderful nutty flavour from the roasted peanuts and sweetness from the fresh grated coconut. The peanut powder gives a marvellous crunch and the crushed green chillies make it a bit hot and yummy. In the western countries, the cucumber is generally shredded, diced, sliced, peeled or unpeeled. Cucumber is cooked in forming a yummy sauce base, and as a flavour addition. They are hardly noticeable in the final dish as they get disintegrated into the sauce.
Amazingly, cucumber has an impressive amount of water content (about 96%) that is naturally distilled, which makes it superior to ordinary water. The skin of cucumber has a high percentage of vitamin A, hence advice not to peel off the skin and can be eaten with the skin.
Fresh cucumber may taste “bland” to some but its thirst-quenching and cooling properties are refreshing. It acts as an anti-oxidant when taken together with fried and barbequed foods. It benefits us with various ways like acidity – the juice is soothing for the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers, its cooling and helps to normalize body temperature, cucumber juice is diuretic, encouraging waste removal through urination. This also helps in the dissolution of kidney stones. The high amount of vitamin C
and anti-oxidants in cucumber makes it an important ingredient in many beauty creams for treating eczema, psoriasis, acne, etc.
To prepare this simple yet yummy Kamang Kakdi, firstly peel the skin and cut cucumber into small pieces, rub little salt, mix well and keep aside for 10 minutes. All the moisture in the cucumber would come out. Squeeze the cucumber and strain off the moisture. Heat little ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds, as they start spluttering, add pinch of hing (asafoetida), crushed green chillies and sauté. Switch off the flame. Add in the cucumber pieces and stir well. Add pinch of sugar, peanut powder, grated coconut, chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Cucumber salad is ready to be served.
Serve with masala bhath, pulaos, roti etc.
The cucumber is an excellent source of vitamin C and A (anti-oxidants), folate, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, silica, sulfur, and lesser amounts of vitamin B complex, sodium, calcium, phosphorus and chlorine.
Do try this recipe and gain its benefits. The flavours are unique and yummy to taste. Click on the below link to watch the making of Kamang Kakdi: