Toasted Cumin and Lime Cucumber Salad


Preparation info

  • Makes

    4 to 6

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food


By Nik Sharma

Published 2018

  • About

In the summer, when I was a kid, I’d eat thick slices of cucumber seasoned with chili flakes, salt, and a splash of lime juice. It was all I needed to stay cool. This is my grown-up version of that childhood snack, which I often serve with spicy meals.


  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 large English cucumbers (1⅓ lb [605 g] total), peeled and diced
  • 1 to 2 green Thai chiles, seeded, if desired, and minced
  • 6 or 7 fresh mint leaves
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice


    Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat, add the cumin seeds, and toast until the seeds are fragrant and begin to turn brown, 30 to 45 seconds, swirling the seeds occasionally so they toast evenly. With a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, grind to a coarse powder. Transfer to a large bowl and add the cucumbers and chiles.

    Stack the mint leaves, roll them into a tight cylinder, and cut into thin strips. Add to the bowl along with the salt, pepper, and lime juice. Stir gently to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. This salad is best eaten the day it is made.