SEEMA Cooks: Raw Yellow Cucumber Pickle

Sep/24/2021 / by Malathy Chandrasekhar
Image credits: Malathy Chandrasekhar

Yellow cucumber is not a vegetable you’re likely to find in the produce section of a regular America grocery. You will need to go to an Indian and East Asian store. This is not only my favorite pickle, but also one of my favorite recipes. There’s no cooking involved, and it is ready in a jiffy. My sister made this for me on my recent trip to India and it turned out perfect!


I’d like to take a moment to give a quick background on South Indian pickles, especially from the Andhra region. Let’s start with the term avakaya. Ava means mustard and Kaya means vegetable. Avakaya is a raw pickle made with mustard powder as the main ingredient along with a specific vegetable or unripe fruit. Green mango pickle, for instance, is the most popular pickle in Andhra Pradesh. It is called mamidikaya avakaya there. Yes, a tongue twister! In this case green mangoes are sun-dried to ensure all moisture is gone and the pickle can last for years at room temperature. These are stored in a beautiful ceramic container called a jaadi, which comes in different shapes and sizes.

Picking the Right Cucumber

This step is key. The cucumber should be hard, yellow, and have no blemishes or soft spots. The skin is not peeled for this dish, but you need to ensure that the cucumbers are washed and completely dry before you start this recipe.

You can try our Raw Dosakaya or Cucumber Salad, or Cucumber Dal (aka Dosakaya Pappu), if you love this gourd.

Dosavakaya: Raw Yellow Cucumber Pickle

This is my dad’s favorite pickle as well. He enjoys it when it is freshly made. His tip (to anyone who listens), is make this in small quantities, and consume it within a week to 10 days. That makes sense. When fresh, the cucumber is crunchy; as it gets older it softens and loses its freshness. While the seeds are not used, they are filtered out and discarded, so the juice can be put back in the pickle.

Why is this healthy?

With vitamin K, B vitamins, copper, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese, cucumbers can help you to avoid several nutrient deficiencies. Mustard seeds are a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, copper, and vitamin B1.

The recipe

This spicy, tangy pickle made with mustard seeds powder and yellow cucumber is delicious! Enjoy it with steamed rice or top it on your sandwich.

Course: Pickles

Cuisine: Indian

Special diet: Gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, no added sugar, raw, vegan, vegetarian

Prep time:10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Serves: 30

Calories: 23kcal


  • 3 cups yellow cucumber (dosakaya)
  • 2 tbsp mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp dry mango (amchur) powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp sea salt — or to taste
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil


  1. Wash the dosakaya and dry them thoroughly. Cut cucumbers in half, lengthwise. Leave the peel intact. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and run them through a sieve to collect the juice. Discard the seeds in your compost.
  2. Cut cucumbers into small pieces.
  3. In a large bowl add cucumber, juice collected from draining the seeds, mustard and avocado oils, mustard, chili, turmeric, mango powders and salt.
  4. Once sure they are dry, mix well by hand to ensure pickle sauce is evenly spread.
  5. Transfer to a pickle jar (jaadi) and enjoy the dosavakaya. This pickle can be stored at room temperature for a couple of weeks, but is best enjoyed within 10 days. Refrigerate later.


It is great with steamed rice and organic ghee, or with your favorite sandwich.

*Use organic ingredients wherever possible

For the full recipe, go to

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For more by this author, be sure to check out her Masala Dosa recipe

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