Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dosaavakaya - a deserving alternative for mango avakkaya

Back with another pickle, this time with lemon cucumbers or dosakayi(Telugu) or banna soutekayi(Kannada). I had no idea there could be so many dishes with this golden beauty until I got married. This is not a very frequently used vegetable in Mysore regions, while we had the green cucumbers regularly, yellow cucumbers were largely used in Huli/sambars and rottis. But when you get married into a family that makes and eats umpteen number of pickles and pachadis, you will soon discover the joys of many hitherto unknown varieties of them. Here is my dosakaya pachadi blogged earlier.

While the traditional mango pickle or mango avakkaya is held at the top of the pickle chain, this no fuss and faster to make dosaavakaya doesn't fall behind in the race. Amma tells me it is a favorite with wedding menus as it can be prepared in a jiffy and used immediately unlike the mango avakkaya which needs some settling time before you can enjoy the real taste. What is more, dosakayi is available almost through the year and you don't have to wait for Summer like in the case of mangoes.

South Indian pickles essentially are either mustard based or fenugreek based. Both have their unique tastes and enhances the dining experience. I have noticed Kannadiga pickles to be more fenugreek based while Andhra pickles have mustard as the focal point.

A good dosakayi is slightly tangy and imparts the right amount of pulupu (tanginess) to the pickle. But these cucumbers can also be deceiving and be bitter sometimes. I really do not know how to tell if it is bitter by looking at it. If someone has tricks up their sleeves to make out a bitter dosakaya in the grocery isle, please share your gyan. However, I have some tips to select a good dosakaya for the pickle at the end of this post.

And btw, dosakayi in telugu is the lemon cucumber and aavaalu is mustard which is the primary ingredient for the pickle. The name dosaavakaya is the combination of the two.
What do you need to make Doasaavakaya? 
2 small sized, tender firm dosakayis - to make 3 cups of chopped pieces
1/2 cup mustard
1/2 cup red chili powder
1 cup cooking oil - traditionally sesame oil or gingelly oil is used but I used my regular sunflower oil
1/4 cup salt - adjust based on the saltiness of the salt :-)
1/2 Tsp good quality asafoetida
How do you make Dosaavakaya?
  • Wash and pat dry the dosakayi ensuring there is no trace of water anywhere on the surface. 
  • Take the mustard to your blender and make a fine powder of it. 
  • Remove the stem end of the dosakayi by chopping a thin round slice of it.
  • Slit the dosakayi in half and taste a small piece of it to ensure there is no bitterness, it has to taste a little tangy or just bland. 
  • If the seeds are tender and do not carry any bitterness (do a taste test on them), go ahead and add them in the pickle. If the seeds are hard to touch, discard them.
  • Chop dosakayi with the skin intact into small pieces. The size of the piece is your preference. I have seen really thinly chopped pieces served in weddings, we cut it into normal bite sized pieces at home. 
  • Mix asafoetida, mustard powder, red chili powder, salt and half of the oil into the chopped dosakayi pieces and mix well till everything incorporates homogeneously. 
  • Add the remaining oil and  gently mix it in. 
  • Set aside for a couple of hours, you will see the dosakayi being a watery vegetable would have released water on contact with salt and the oil comes to the top of the bowl.
  • Scoop spoonfuls into a dry jar and enjoy it with your breakfast, lunch or dinner. 
  • This doesn't have a very long shelf life compared to the mango avakkaya but stays well for a month if preserved properly. 
  • Thumb rule proportion for the ingredients is 3 cups dosakayi pieces:1/2 cup red chili powder: 1/2 cup mustard:1/4 cup salt. I learnt my salty lesson some time back and the table salt is generally saltier than the sea salt version. 
  • Look for a dosakayi that is firm to the touch, no blemishes or soft spots on the surface. Golden colored skin all over the vegetable indicates it is wine ripened.
  • Do not use store bought mustard powders in pickles, use fresh ground mustard for the best flavor. Smaller mustard are more flavorful than the big seeds. 
  • As with any pickle making, ensure the cutting board, knife, dosakayi, mixing spoon and the preserving can are all completely clean and dry. 
  • Giving a couple of hours of settling time to the pickle helps the dosakayi pieces absorb the flavors well.
  • See the last picture to get an idea of how the pickle turns out in consistency after 2 hours of mixing the ingredients. Oil, mustard powder and dosakayi water blend together to produce a heavenly taste you won't be satisfied with one spoonful :-)


NamsVeni Pothas said...

dosavakayi is a real pickle to enjoy with hot rice . thanks Sattva for this nice pickle

Prathibha said...

Dosa avakaya is my fav too..we even make pacchadi out of it..if u r interested I hv recipe in my blog..n regarding to find the bitterness in simple thing is carry a small knife and make sure nobody sees u..just cut a small portion n taste it and if u like it take it otherwise simply turn it n keep n move from that place..just kidding..;)

Tina said...


Nagashree said...

Thanks ladies.

Prathibha - thanks for the tip, hahaha :-), yes, we make dosakaya pachadi too, i have one version posted earlier, will check out yours.

Prathibha said...

n yeah..we will b getting upto starting or mid of august...the last variety

Paaka Shaale said...

I never knew dosakai could pickled either. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe :)

Prathibha said...

Naga---even my pacchadi should be chunky..a mix of pacchadi and mukkal pachhadi as u said..looks like I ran it for long that day...he he..:)

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

I have tasted the dosakai avakaya...but somehow I prefer the one with mangoes...And also I love Vellam avakaya..But the pic looks very tempting

Shanthi said...

Nice recipe. Looks wonderful and delicious.

Shanthi said...

Nice recipe. Looks wonderful and delicious.

Priya said...

I rarely get this veggie here..Slurp,fingerlicking and droolworthy dosa avakaya.

Kannada Cuisine said...

Bannada saute uppinakayi? first time keltirodu..super agide photos