Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Lemon Cucumber Dal (Budamkaya Pappu)

Produce from Pike Place Market: Pear, Budamkaya, Poluru Vankaya(Asian Pear, Lemon Cuke & Brinjal)

For the last 3 weekends, we were going to pike place market (one of the tourist attractions of Seattle, famous for 3 F’s: fish, fresh produce and flowers. This place is like our ‘ritu bazar’ but in a grand scale.) just to browse and also for a walk. It’s about 15 to 20 minute walk from my home. Going there is easy, it’s all downhill but the return walk, oh boy, it’s steep almost 90 degree uphill, sweat inducing, power workout type of walk. Why walk, why not take car, you may ask. Of course we could, but there is a parking fee and we really should do some exercise. Particularly me who gained some weight during moving time. I have been checking out the stalls in pike place market and what I have noticed is it can be a tourist trap. But if you know where to find, you could get some good deals also. I was looking for such stalls and found two, so far. They sell some Indian vegetables like Asian pears, budamkaya (lemon cucumber or lemon cuke) and Poluru Vankaya (Thai Brinjal), along with some other farm-fresh produce. Last weekend I bought these vegetables and prepared a meal – a dal with budamkaya and a curry with brinjals and dessert is the plain fruit.

You know what we call pretty, plump babies affectionately in Telugu“Budamkaya”. See the middle one in the photo above – this adorable, yellow colored, shot put shaped vegetable is called ‘Budamkaya‘ in Telugu and here sold as lemon cucumber or lemon cukes. Tastes mildly sweet with just a tiny hint of tanginess, like cucumber with lemon juice sprinkled on. Great on its own, lightly peel the cuke, cut into cubes, sprinkle some salt and pepper for a delightful healthy snack. We also prepare raita with yogurt, pickle (beautifully blogged by Sailaja of Sailu’s Kitchen) and dal with it. This vegetable with toor dal and in combination of rice makes an easy lunch and one of my favorite meals.

Budamkaya, peeled and cut into cubes, Onion and Green Chillies


4 fistfuls (¾ cup) of Toor dal:
Budamkaya: peeled and cut into cubes about 2 cups
1 medium onion and 8 to 10 green chillies – all cut into small pieces
Small marble sized tamarind
½ tsp of each – turmeric and salt or to taste
For popu or tadka:
1 tsp of peanut oil
½ tsp of each – mustard seeds, cumin, urad dal, minced garlic and
Few curry leaves, dried red chilli pieces

Take toor dal, budamkaya(lemon cuke), onion, green chillies, tamarind and turmeric in a pressure cooker.

Add one glass of water. Mix the ingredients and close the lid. Pressure cook until 3 whistles. Turn off the heat and wait 10 to 15 minutes for the pressure to get released. Open the lid, add salt and with a wood masher or whisk, mash the dal to smooth consistency.

In a vessel, take 1 teaspoon of peanut oil. Heat and do the popu or tadka. Add and toast garlic, curry leaves, red chilli pieces, urad dal, cumin and mustard seeds- in that order. When the seeds start to splutter, immediately add the mashed dal to the tadka. Mix and cover with a lid.

Tastes great with rice or with chapati.

Vankaya Kura, Budamkaya Pappu and Annamu (Brinjal Curry, Lemon Cucumber Dal and Rice)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Budamkaya (Lemon Cuke),Toor Dal (Monday October 9, 2006 at 8:49 am- permalink)
Comments (25)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

25 comments for Lemon Cucumber Dal (Budamkaya Pappu) »

  1. I am way to excited to comment for your first recipe post from Seattle. I have not even heard of this cucumber, hope i will find it somwhere here. Thank you for the recipe.

    Comment by Archana — October 9, 2006 @ 8:54 am

  2. We actually grew this cuke this past year. They were great, but weren’t quite sure what to do with them. I will definately grow them again next year.

    Comment by Marie — October 9, 2006 @ 9:10 am

  3. Archana: Me too! Very much excited to blog again. COmpared to Boardman, Seattle is heaven in terms of variety and price of vegetables. I can now get all kinds of Indian vegetables whenever I want and I am psyched to blog about them.:)

    Marie: Cucumber sandwich, cucumber salad, raita with yogurt are the other preparations I like to prepare with this vegetable.

    Comment by Indira — October 9, 2006 @ 9:41 am

  4. Hi Indira –
    I’m so glad to see you post after a brave and tiring move across the country, you were missed, and now that you’re back we’ll have to make up for lost time! Welcome back!

    Comment by Monisha — October 9, 2006 @ 10:05 am

  5. I love Pike Place. There is a running trail too somewhere close to the market. Check it out. I have heard it’s great.
    Did you check the first Starbucks Coffee shop there?

    I am glad you are having so much fun in Seattle. And btw great recipe too 😀 😀

    Comment by Mythili — October 9, 2006 @ 10:11 am

  6. Hi Indira,

    I am one of the newbee who got entangled in the blog-web during your absence. Infact, I have been looking through your site for quite a while now and needless to say, I love your recipes and pictures. Glad to know you are settled and cooking again. One of my first few recipes was your Hyderabadi mirchi bajjis. Do drop in when you have the time. Nice recipe. Never heard of lemon cucumber before!

    Comment by Hema — October 9, 2006 @ 10:20 am

  7. Hey Indira,
    Welcome back!
    Nice recipe!I love this vegetable.
    We call it Nakka dosakaya at home,never knew it was called budamkaya.
    I thought budamakaya was a nickname for short,plump, cuties:-).

    Comment by kiran — October 9, 2006 @ 10:24 am

  8. Dear Indira, I am ardent fan of your blog, you blog with so much love and attention. We missed you a lot during your move.. Hppy to have to you back. BTW, I am looking out for a tadka pan like yours, what is the size of yours (in inches), saw one in Mahanandi selections, is that the same one as yours, though i feel the one in selections is little bigger than yours…
    here is the link,
    please let me know. Thanks.

    Indira replies:
    Hi Poorni: Thanks for your nice words. Appreciate it.
    The tadka pan I use is about 2 1/2 inch in diameter, very small one. The close I could find in amazon is 4 inch diameter cast-iron skillet. I think this size also works well to do our tadka. Not too small, not too big. Here is the link, please check it out:
    4 inch skillet
    Hope this helps. Thanks.

    Comment by poorni — October 9, 2006 @ 12:03 pm

  9. Hurray Indira! back again.Happy to have you back after your wonderful road trip adventure.So nice to see posts again and wonderful pics too. Hope Vijay and Kittaya are fine too.Missed you alot.Coming to the above post,i’ve never known about this cucumber before,but the daal looks delicious as our maamidi kaaya pappu. gotta give it a try soon.Thank you for this nice new recipie.

    Comment by Bharghavi — October 9, 2006 @ 2:37 pm

  10. Hi Indira,
    Welcome back!! I missed you, used to browse your site just like that for your old recipies and made them while you were away..
    Thanks for all the recipies..
    I wish you and Vijay a happy and warm stay.

    Comment by Lalitha — October 9, 2006 @ 2:57 pm

  11. Good to see you back Indira! You were very much missed. Hope you have settled down nicely in Seattle.
    For Poorni who asked about a cast iron tadka pan; I use this one by lodge. Hope this helps!

    Comment by monalisa — October 9, 2006 @ 3:53 pm

  12. Hi Indira — how neat that lemon cukes are an Indian vegetable. My grandmother used to have these in her garden; now my mother sometimes does. They are tastier than regular cucmumbers, in my opinion. Now I am anxious to try them in this dish — thanks!

    Comment by Linda — October 9, 2006 @ 4:07 pm

  13. Hi Indira! It’s good to see you made it to your new home safely and comfortably. Seattle is a lovely city and I’m sure you will thoroughly enjoy living on the west coast. I can’t wait to read all your new recipes featuring vegetables and fruits that weren’t available to you in Pennsylvania. I expect I’ll learn a lot, as usual. For example, I never knew that lemon cucumbers were available in India.

    Comment by Brett — October 9, 2006 @ 6:06 pm

  14. Hi Indira – you can ‘bargain’ at pike’s place. they just need to understand that you are a regular and not a tourist :). Try it.

    Comment by sandhya — October 9, 2006 @ 6:38 pm

  15. Hi Indira,
    Welcome Back..Iam a newbie too and came into blogging inspired by you.. u must have heard this from many but its true..
    Tried many of ur recipes and they are wonderful.
    Thanks for the recipe..
    Will be happy if u visit me..

    Comment by prema — October 9, 2006 @ 7:56 pm

  16. I love your marketplace stories, and coz its just a walk away, Im sure there will be many more…

    Kootu is our all time favourite, whether with bottle gourd, snake gourd or pumpkins. Can these cukes be eaten raw too like the regular ones?

    Comment by Nandita — October 10, 2006 @ 5:40 am

  17. Indira, I used to live in Seattle until recently when I had to move to Texas. I would shop at Pike Place quite often even though I lived in the suburbs… I really miss Seattle! Don’t they have the first 1 hour free parking anymore at the Pike place parking garage?
    Not sure if you know but it’s a short drive (about 2 1/2 hours I think) to Vancouver (Canada) from Seattle… you should check it out. They have a ton of Indian restaurants, grocery stores etc there which you don’t see in Seattle. Then there is Victoria too which is beautiful

    Comment by Sowmya — October 10, 2006 @ 12:31 pm

  18. Hi Monisha: Thanks for the warm welcome, appreciate it.

    Mythili: Really? I will check it out next weekend. Thanks for the suggestion.
    Yep, we saw the shop though we didn’t enter. It’s always crowded with people taking pictures, it’s like mini circus there.:)
    Have you moved to Seattle already?

    Hi Hema: I’ve just visited your site, great work, keep it up and best wishes. Also thanks for your nice words about “Mahanandi”. Appreciate it. Mirchi bajjis during thunder storms, that’s one good combination. I am glad that you tried and liked that recipe and thanks for letting me know.

    Hello Kiran: We in Nandyala, Kurnool (Rayalaseema region) call it ‘Budamkaya’. Even in Telugu, this vegetable has different names in different areas, it seems.

    Bhargavi: We miss you too! Really missed visiting you and the temple during Dasera time. Hope you had a wonderful birthday (Srujan and Vivek) celebrations. 🙂 Vijay and Kittaya are also doing great.
    May be you are familiar with the name “nakka dosakai”, no?

    Lalitha: Thanks!

    Monalisa: Thanks and also for helping out with the link. That is exactly what I have at my home.

    Linda: I agree, they taste much better than regular cucumbers and look pretty too.
    Yep, it is a common backyard vegetable in many Andhra households. Plenty of crop and quite popular during summer times because of its cool refreshing taste. Give it a try, I am sure you are going to like it.

    Brett: Thanks!
    I don’t know about north India but in Andhra Pradesh (south India), where I am from, they are quite popular vegetable.

    Sandhya: See the bag below (previous post) that I am taking to pike place. That’s my way of becoming local at the market. They may not remember my face, but they sure are going to remember my bag. that’s my plan. 🙂

    Prema: Nice blog you got there. Good luck and best wishes. Also thanks for your nice words about Mahanandi.

    Nandita: looking forward to reading similar style stories from Mumbai.:) Deal? 🙂
    Yep, they taste great raw also but pick a young one. Mature ones carry too many seeds with little flesh, not that good.

    Hi Sowmya: We lived in Texas for about 3 years.:)
    Thanks for the tips. Appreciate it.
    If you go early (before the regular opening time of market), the price for parking is little bit less. That is the only deal we found sofar.

    Alpana: Thanks!

    Comment by Indira — October 10, 2006 @ 3:30 pm

  19. Hi Indira,

    you really are the best. I become so happy seeing your website. It brings me close to India all the time. please continue the good work!!!

    Comment by alpana — October 10, 2006 @ 3:21 pm

  20. I adore this blog!

    Comment by lory — October 12, 2006 @ 3:58 am

  21. Glad you have started blogging again. Good luck in Seattle. We recently moved to Houston but it is taking me much longer to cook good meals. Kudos to you for getting it all together so soon.

    Comment by Nithya — October 13, 2006 @ 5:20 am

  22. Hi,

    I recently came to know about this site. It is a well maintained site. My posting is not food related, today I am feeling very bad after
    I read this news about an indian nanny who hit an infant brutally (a 5 month old). I just want to request everybody who leave their kids with nannys,baby sitters to be very alert and careful. Because they don’t deserve

    Sorry to post this here as I wanted to request you to post it somewhere, but I couldn’t find any ‘contact us’ info.


    Comment by pp — October 16, 2006 @ 7:10 pm

  23. I vividly remember Budamakaya pappu from my childhood days in Andhra. It is truly exciting for me to see it here. Many thanks. I will have to look in the local markets for this vegetable, Lemon cucumber, the name I did not know.

    Comment by Aswartha — April 6, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

  24. Hi,
    Thank you very much for making us rewind our childhood days. I was craving for Budamakaya vadiyalu for the last few days so much that, i ended up searching the web to know where to get this one in US. But, i knew little about this pappu. Amazing, will try if i get this vegetable here in Atlanta. Thanks again.

    Comment by Venkateshbabu — January 15, 2010 @ 9:16 pm

  25. its very taste as i tasted it from ammamma’s hands. Now i prepared this budamakaya pappu. so delicious. Everybody likes my budamakayapappu.

    Comment by sree — February 9, 2014 @ 3:07 am

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