Yellow Cucumber pickle- Andhra Style / Dosa Avakai

If you are under the impression that making pickle is a time consuming laborious process, then this recipe will prove it otherwise. The spicy pungent powder of mustard and chilli powder is mixed along with the vegetable and oil and left to marinate overnight and that is about it. The next day you have a finger licking, appetizing pickle ready to be consumed.

The vegetable that is used is called Dosakaya in Telegu/ Magge in Konkani (yellow cucumber). It is a small yellow colored squash like vegetable with a crisp crunchy skin and a mild sweet tart taste. This blends very well with the masala and there is hardly any flavor the vegetable left.

My colleague, who is an expert in making Andhra style pickles, makes this often and brings some for me as well. This pickle with mustard seeds powder is an acquired taste. Mustard powder has a unique tart and pungent flavor that is difficult to fathom the first time it is consumed. But once you develop the taste there is no looking back and you begin to crave for that taste of pickle.

This goes very well with daal rice or yogurt rice.

Recipe Source: My colleague and Sailus Food


  • 1 small yellow cucumber (magge in Konkani) [Dosa Avakai (Dosavakaya)][ medium size]
  • 3 Tbsp mustard powder
  • 4 Tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp oil (I used vegetable oil)


Before you proceed:

Wash the yellow cucumber and dry it out completely. Make sure that the surrounding is dry and clean and there is no moisture around. Cut the cucumber into two halves. Do not remove the skin as it gives it the crunchy texture. Remove the seeds completely and discard it. Cut the cucumber into small pieces and keep aside.

Making the spice powder

First grind 3-4 Tbsp of small mustard seeds in a grinder. Mix 4 Tbsp red chilli powder, 3 Tbsp mustard powder, salt and mix thoroughly.

Preparing the pickle

  • Take a clean vessel/box and add the chopped dosakaya pieces. Add the spice powder and mix the cucumber pieces until the spice-mixture coats the vegetable.
  • Add the oil slowly in spoonful and combine with the spices until well coated. (If you think it is a bit dry, do not worry as the cucumber oozes out its own liquid after marinating with this spice and salt mixture).
  • Check for taste and add more salt if needed. The pickle has a little salty taste.
  •  Now cover this with a tight lid and keep it aside overnight.
  • Next day when you open it you will see that it has the liquid of the vegetable that has blended very well with the oil and spice mixture. Mix well.

This stays for about a week or so. Goes well with daal rice or yogurt rice.

Gongura Pickle / Thokku Red Sorrell Chutney

While in Bangalore, we used to get different type of greens and so I grew up eating a wide variety of them. Bangalore like other cities in India is a heaven when it comes to greens and you can find them at vegetable shop, street vendors, and vendors selling them on cycles. 

 But then, I don’t recall eating these Red sorrel leaves (called as Gongura in Telugu).Over the years here in US, I have come to understand that Gongura is quite a tradition in Andhra. Be it the chutney, pickle, rice, daal it is well loved and relished. Friends and colleagues from that region have joy on their faces when mere name of Gongura is mentioned.

 What sets these greens apart is their tangy taste which is similar to that of tamarind. As a result this is extensively used in preparing chutneys and pickles. Of course, like other greens these are rich in iron, vitamins and anti-oxidants. We made this pickle/Thokku and totally loved the taste.

 Recipe Source: Adapted from VahChef


  • 1 big bunch Gongura/Ambadi/Red Sorrell leaves (fresh) [about 4-5 cups]
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5-10 curry leaves
  • 1 Tbsp urad daal
  • A pinch hing/asafetida
  • 1 tsp mustard  seeds
  • 3/4 cup oil (vegetable/peanut)
  • 2-3 red chillies (broken)
  • ½ cup dry red chilli powder
  • salt
  • ½ tsp methi seeds
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • ½ cup tamarind (soaked in water)
  • 5-6 garlic pods (peeled )
  • 5-6 garlic pods (peeled and chopped)


  • From the Gongura bunch, separate the leaves from the stem and wash them in water. Dry them, chop them before using it in the chutney.
  • Heat a pan and first dry roast methi and coriander seeds and make a powder.
  • In the same pan, heat about 2 Tbsp of oil, sauté the chopped green until it is cooked. Transfer to a plate.
  • In small sauce pan, boil water and add the tamarind, after it has come to semi liquid state grind it along with 5- 6 garlic pods. Set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat ½ cup of oil. Add the mustard seeds, asafetida, broken red chillies, curry leaves, cumin seeds, urad daal and chopped garlic pods.
  • Fry until the urad daal turns light brown and the chopped garlic cooks and browns.
  • To this add the red chilli powder, dry roast powder, salt and give it a toss. Quickly add the cooked gongura and then the tamarind garlic paste and stir for a minute. Shut off the gas.
  • Transfer to glass container when cool. Serve as a condiment with rice or rotis.


Spicy Roasted Tomato Chutney

Looking for an Indian condiment is that spicy, tangy and tasty? Then this spicy tomato chutney might work for you. This is my ma-in-law’s recipe and she used to make it often when she was here with us. She has quite a collection of chutneys, dry powders, Thokku’s etc which not only taste great but enhances the flavor of any meal. (as a side dish). 

This recipe involves a three steps process; making the spice powder, roasting the tomatoes and then seasoning it. You can make the powder ahead of time and use it while making the chutney. 

I agree, this is not an easy dish, it is time consuming but then the end product is really worthwhile. But if you make the powder in advance, then it reduces a step and preparation becomes easier. Usually when time permits I take up the task of making chutney on a Sunday. This way I have time to make it and also a week’s time to use it up. Remember a little goes a long way. This lasts for 4-5 days in the fridge and pairs well with idli, dosa, rotis and rice. 

Note: Change the quantity of the redchilli powder depending on your hotness tolerance level. I use a fiery red chili powder for this which we bought from India. 

Some more tomato related recipes: 



  • 4-7 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 3-4 small pieces of raw tamarind
  • 2 tsp urad daal
  • ¼ tsp Hing/asafetida
  • 2-3 Tbsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 cup oil (canola/peanut)


  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • ¼ tsp methi seeds/fenugreek
  • ½ Tbsp jeera/cumin seeds


  • Wash the tomatoes well and chop them into two halves (along with the skin).
  • Powder: In a small pan separately roast the coriander seeds, then the cumin seeds and methi seeds (without oil). Transfer to plate.
  • After it is cooled, powder it finely and keep aside.
  • Roasting: Heat a heavy bottom flat pan and add 2 Tbsps of oil. Place the halved tomatoes directly in the pan.
  • After the bottom part has cooked, turn it around and cook on all sides. After it has cooked it will begin to wilt and loose shape. Press it with back of the spoon, so that all of it gets cooked. Now add the raw tamarind piece in it and stir again.
  • After it has cooled, grind it in a mixer (along with the tamarind) and set aside.
  • Seasoning: Heat oil in a pan, add the asafetida, urad daal mix until the urad daal turns light brown. Now add the roasted tomato paste and keep stirring, making sure it does not stick to the bottom.
  • After it has sufficiently cooked, add red chilli powder and the ground powder to this and mix well.
  • If you think it is a bit dry then add a teaspoon of oil. Let it continue to cook, until the oil leaves the sides.
  • After it has cooled store in an air tight container and this usually lasts for about 4-5 days in the fridge.   

This can be served with rice or rotis, dosa, idli and rice.