A summer delight, light on the tummy Bengali style meal, this Shoshar Shukto takes about 15 minutes to make. It is best served with steamed white rice, but I can see it working really well even with roti or paratha. There are various different ways you can make shoshar shukto. This is probably the simplest way with very minimal list of ingredients.
What is Shoshar Shukto?
Shukto is a classic Bengali side dish that is served at the beginning of the meal. And there are variety of shukto you can make based on what is in the season.
It's typically a medley of vegetables, and sometimes just one or two vegetables are used.
No onion or garlic is added in shukto, which makes it one of the pure vegetarian Bengali dishes. In my cookbook - Taste of Eastern India, I have shared the classic mixed vegetable shukto recipe.
I will also share a few more Shukto recipes in the future, and I am starting with the simplest of all, Shoshar Shukto.
Ingredients used in Shoshar Shukto
The ingredients used are so simple:
- Fresh Cucumber
- Black mustard Seeds
- Fennel Seeds
- Dry red chili
- Green chili
- Cilantro Leaves
I learned this dish from my Mom and have always been preparing it this way, keeping it extremely minimal spiced. You can however add few more spices to spike it up.
Here is a quick VIDEO of how to make it!
This year we planted few cucumber plants and while in the beginning we didn't had much hope because we are still quite new to gardening, the plant actually gave us a lot of cucumbers.
We have been using it almost every day, either in salad, yogurt or making this simple Shoshar Shukto.
Do you trim the edges off the cucumber ?
Some variety of cucumber can taste a little bitter and there is this thick that I have seen my Grandma doing, followed by my Ma, and now I do the same.
You would cut off one end and rub it against the remainder of the cucumber for a few seconds. You will notice that white, sticky sap forms. Discard the cut-off, and wash the cucumber.
Peel and enjoy. The bitter taste will be gone.
Is this a myth? I don't know but the variety that we are growing can taste a little bitter and once I follow this technique, it helps.
You can prepare this curry with any variety of cucumber. But an over ripe one with too many seeds will release a lot of water. Try using the tender variety.
- 1 big cucumber or 2 small ones
- 1 teaspoon mustard oil or vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 dry red chili
- fresh ginger - 1 inch
- ⅓ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- salt to taste
- Peel and finely chop the cucumber, grate the ginger and keep aside.
- In a pan, pour the oil and once the oil heats up, scatter the black mustard seeds and dry red chili. Let it sizzle for few seconds
- Scatter the chopped cucumber, sprinkle with salt and sugar. Add the turmeric and let it simmer in medium heat covered for 5 minutes.
- The cucumber should have softened by now.
- Add the ginger, and taste for salt. Add more if needed.
- Finally, add the chopped cilantro leaves and give it a toss
- Enjoy shoshar shukto warm with steamed rice.