Curried Cucumbers with Fenugreek Greens

Preparation info

  • Serves

    4 to 5

    as a side dish
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

Crunchy crescents of cucumber turn bright yellow-green in this quick sauté. Sweet-salty and ever so slightly curried, they are subtly altered by the light bitterness of chewy chopped fenugreek leaves, which suggest pea vines with power. A natural complement for seafood and jasmine rice.


  • 2 pounds cucumbers, preferably not waxed (6 medium)
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ pound fenugreek greens
  • 2 large shallots
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or other vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper or teaspoon ground hot pepper
  • A few drops of mild vinegar
  • Optional: chopped salted peanuts or toasted coconut


    1. Peel cucumbers and halve lengthwise; scoop out seeds. Cut into ¼-inch slices and toss with salt and sugar. Drain in a sieve about ½ hour, tossing often, while you clean the fenugreek.
    2. Cut roots and heavy stems from fenugreek; discard. Wash greens in many changes of water, lifting out so debris sinks. Chop medium-fine. Mince shallots.
    3. Drain cucumbers and pat dry. Place large sauté pan over moderately high heat. Add oil and shallots. Stir frequently until shallots are translucent, a few minutes; do not brown. Stir in curry powder and pepper.
    4. Add cucumbers, raise heat to high, and stir often until cooked but still somewhat crunchy, about 2 minutes. Add fenugreek. Toss just to “melt” slightly, less than a minute. Season with vinegar. Serve hot, with optional nuts.