I love growing and eating cucumbers and kakdi koshimbir just might be my new favorite cucumber salad recipe! Cool and crisp, salty and sweet, this salad is a delicious way to spice up everyday meals. It's perfectly refreshing and satisfying on a hot day or served beside your favorite spicy curry dinner. Oh, and it's super quick and easy with just a few ingredients!
What is Kakdi Koshimbir?
Kakdi Koshimbir is a popular salad dish from the Maharashtra region of India. It is a simple salad that is perfect on hot summer days. Made using chopped cucumbers, fresh coconut, lemon juice, and a few spices, kakdi koshimbir is a great accompaniment to almost any main dish, but especially Indian recipes. (I love it with Palak Chicken, Scallop Curry or Easy Snapper Laksa.)
A traditional Indian salad dish made with cucumbers, coconut, and a few spices. The dish gets its name from the Marathi words 'kakdi' (cucumber) and 'koshimbir' (salad). This Indian salad is easy to make and requires just a few ingredients, some are a bit unusual but there are some easy substitutions you can make if needed. The dish is also known as 'Khamang Kakdi' in some parts of India.
Kakdi Koshimbir is usually served cold or at room temperature. Known for it's cooling effect, it's a crave-worthy recipe on hot summer days. The cucumbers and peanuts provide a nice crunch to the dish and the spices add lots of flavor. This recipe is a great example that everyday meals can be easy and still interesting!
Cucumber coconut salad is usually served as an accompaniment to a main dish but can also be served as a starter or a snack.
This kakdi koshimber recipe is a fairly easy cucumber salad that's a great addition to many meals. It can be served with steamed rice, chapati, dosa, or any other type of Indian bread and it's a great side dish for curry and gravies (the Indian term for saucy dishes).
Variations of Kakdi Koshimbir
Kakdi Koshimbir can be made in different ways and each region has their own variation. Different spice mixes and herbs give it a unique flavor depending where you eat it. Some make it with only fresh cucumber, others add other vegetables to the salad. Try these easy variations once you've tried the main recipe!
- Add a ½ cup of grated carrots or radish to the salad.
- Toss ½ a cup of canned chickpeas through for a burst of protein and fiber.
- If you like more acidity, try 1 tablespoon of tamarind pulp or vinegar.
- One cup of chopped tomatoes, sweet bell peppers or ½ cup of chopped red onion add color and freshness.
Ingredients + Substitutions
Kakdi Koshimbir is a healthy and refreshing cucumber salad that's low-carb, low in calories, and a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Cucumber - Use small, fresh cucumbers for the sweetest and best flavor. Mini cucumbers work great. Locally grown cukes tend to taste best so choose what grows near you. English cucumber, mini cucumber or Persian cucumbers are all great choices for this recipe. If you're using a thick skinned garden cucumber or a store bought waxed cucumber, you may prefer to peel them before chopping.
- Coconut - This salad is good with fresh or bagged shredded coconut but using fresh is definitely better if you have the choice. Crack open a coconut and pour out the water into a cup and save for drinking or other use. Then grate the white solid coconut meat with a cheese grater.
- Asafoetida aka Hing Spice - Asafoetida is a pungent, deep flavored spice common in India, Afghanistan and Iran. It is made from the dried and ground sap from ferula plants. Most easily described as an oniony flavor, it has a strong scent that many find unpleasant when raw. Once cooked, it softens and adds rich complexity to many dishes. If you can't find it, you can substitute a pinch each of garlic and onion powder or a ½ teaspoon of minced white onion.
- Mustard Seeds, Curry Leaves and Green Chilis - Many grocery stores carry these ingredients but if yours doesn't try an Asian grocer or a health food store.
- Lime - Lemon juice and lime juice are used interchangeably for this recipe so feel free to use whichever you have on hand.
- Green Chillies - In India, there are many types of green chilis such as Kashmiri, Guntur, Byadgi, Kanthari, and Bhut Jolokia chilies. They are obviously a little difficult to find here so I use any hot, small chili that is available. Jalapenos work great as do the spicier serrano chilis or what my grocery store calls Indian chilis.
- Peanuts - I use roasted peanuts for a little extra crunch but if you prefer raw peanuts, they work just fine in this recipe.
See recipe card for quantities.
This kakdi koshimbir recipe is easy, light food that doesn't take a lot of time. Simply grate and chop the cucumber and coconut, then toss it in the hot oil and herb mixture with a little salt, sugar and lime juice.
1. Using a box grater, grate coconut meat into a bowl. (Or measure out an equal amount of pre-shredded, unsweetened coconut.)
2. Chop cucumber into even, bite-sized pieces and set aside.
3. Heat ghee (or vegetable oil) in a large pan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves.
Once the spices start to crackle, add the chopped green chilies and sauté for a few seconds. This hot oil and spice concoction is called a tadka just like the tiny, deep pan that it's traditionally made in. (See the equipment section below for an explanation.)
Note: I've chosen to use a large pan instead of a small one, so that I can toss all the ingredients together in the hot pan. If you prefer, you can pour the hot tadka over your vegetables and toss them in the salad bowl.
4. Add the chopped cucumbers and coconut to the pan of hot spices and toss gently to coat.
Immediately, add lime juice, salt, sugar and peanuts and mix together.
Turn off the heat and transfer the salad to a bowl, garnishing with bright green cilantro leaves and red pomegranate seeds. Adjust salt to taste and serve.
In India, a tadka pan is often used to make the hot spice mixture. It is a very deep, small pan, kind of like the size and shape of a round ladle. It holds the spices and a small bit of ghee or oil from spilling or splattering out while roasting.
Tips for Making the Perfect Kakdi Koshimbir
Making this healthy salad recipe doesn't take much time. With the few simple ingredients, here are tips for making the most of them.
- Chop cucumbers into small, even cubes.
- Add spices sparingly to avoid overpowering the dish. When in doubt, start with less and add more if needed.
- Use freshly grated coconut for the best flavor.
- Adjust the salt and spiciness to taste before serving.
How To Store + Make Ahead
Kakdi Koshimbir can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. It is best to eat the salad within one day for maximum freshness.
This cucumber salad can be made ahead of time (without the dressing) and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. To make the salad ahead of time, follow the steps above but do mix the spices and lime (or lemon) juice in. Instead, add the citrus juice and tadka (oil and spice mixture) just before serving the salad. This will help keep the salad fresh and flavorful.
More Easy Salad Recipes
Want more delicious recipes? Try out some of these fresh and flavorful salad recipes.
I hope you love this crunchy kakdi koshimbir and peanut salad recipe!
If you enjoy this recipe, it would mean a lot if you would leave a rating and review or save it to Pinterest or your FB friends. If you have any questions, you can leave a comment below or message me on Facebook or Instagram. I always try to reply quickly to any cooking questions.
If you have any questions or comments, you can find me on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. I try to answer any recipe related questions quickly as I know you might be in the middle of making it. Also check out my FREE PRINTABLE meal planner to make menu planning and grocery shopping a breeze. And if you like this recipe, I would love it if you give it a star rating in the recipe card.
Cheers and happy cooking, Friends! Sabrina
Kakdi Koshimbir - A Refreshing Indian Cucumber Salad
- 2.5 cups Cucumber (about 2 medium sized cucumbers)
- ½ cup Fresh Grated Coconut
- ¼ cup Roasted Peanuts, crushed
- 1 tablespoon Lime Juice
- 2-3 tablespoon Ghee or Vegetable Oil
- ½ teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- ⅛ teaspoon Asafetida
- 1 Green Chili, cut down the center
- 4-5 Curry Leaves
- ½ teaspoon Each, Salt + Sugar add more to taste if needed
- ½ cup Coriander Leaves (Cilantro), coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup Pomegranate Arils
- Cut cucumbers in to small bite size pieces and grate coconut. (Or measure ½ cup of coconut flakes if not using fresh)
- Heat the ghee or oil in a large pan on medium-high heat until hot. Add mustard seeds, cut green chili, curry leaves and asafetida. Cook until spices start to pop and sputter, then turn off heat.
- Add chopped cucumber, grated coconut and roasted peanuts. Toss to coat, then add lime juice, salt and sugar and toss again.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and pomegranate arils and mix again and serve.