The cucumber pickles that I’ve been familiar with are bread and butter pickles (and gherkins of course) so it was great to find a new recipe to try. This is an East Indian-style cucumber relish recipe that uses cumin along with mustard seeds to give a different twist on the familiar. You can serve it just as it is with fish or chicken. If you mix it with yoghurt it becomes raita, a salad that is served with Indian food as a cool counterpoint to spicy dishes.
6 cups diced peeled cucumber (about 8 medium cucumbers)
2 cups thinly sliced onions
1 tbsp pickling salt
2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp whole cumin seeds
2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
2 tsp black mustard seeds
You can decide how big you want the pieces of cucumber. I did them a bit chunkier this time and I remove the seeds. Place cucumber and onion in a non-reactive bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Drain vegetables in a sieve, rinse twice and drain thoroughly.
Combine vinegar, sugar, cumin seeds and mustard seeds in a very large stainless steel saucepan or preserving pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the drained cucumbers and onions. As soon as the liquid boils remove from heat and transfer to sterilised jars, leaving 1cm gap at the top. Screw down tightly with sterilised lids and store in a cool place.
I recently swapped some preserves (including this relish) in return for a nice snapper that my friend Barbara had caught. She made a raita with it and it was so successful that her husband said that they would have to swap more fish with me.