Desi Kheera to Dosakaya: Cucumber Varieties Used In Kitchens

Cucumbers hold a prominent place in Indian cuisine, offering a refreshing and crunchy contrast to the often fiery and spicy flavours. Cucumbers, cut into slices or cubes, add a refreshing crunch to salads when combined with tomatoes, onions, and a variety of spices. They are essential in making raita, a cooling yogurt-based complement to spicy curries. Cucumbers, with their mild flavour and crisp texture, are also a popular sandwich addition. Their slightly bitter flavour adds a new dimension to Indian pickles and chutneys, particularly those made with Desi cucumbers. South Indian Dosakaya curries, for example, utilise cucumbers as an ingredient. 


Desi Cucumber 

The Desi cucumber, also called "kakdi" in Hindi and "kheera" in Tamil, is a popular Indian cucumber. This cucumber has a more bitter flavour and is shorter and thicker than English cucumbers. The Desi cucumber, with its mild bitterness, is best suited for usage in pickles, chutneys, and other similarly flavoured regional foods. It also enhances the flavour of Indian pickles and chutneys. 

English Cucumber 

The English cucumber is a common sight in India, especially in the cities. The skin of these cucumbers is so tender and thin that it may be eaten raw. Their freshness and light flavour make them much sought after. English cucumbers are highly sought after due to their subtle flavour and edible skin. They are a typical ingredient in salads and sandwiches, where they lend a crisp, refreshing flavour. 

Sikkim Cucumber 

When compared to the Desi and English kinds, Sikkim cucumbers are on the smaller side. Because of their crunchiness and water-retaining properties, are a staple in many salads. They're also added in raita since their crunch balances the smoothness of the yoghurt. 


Dosakaya cucumbers, native to southern India, are easily identifiable by their bright yellow colour when fully ripe and their sweet, tangy taste. These cucumbers are commonly used in curries and other local recipes. South Indians love this Dosakaya pachadi because of the distinctive tang they bring to the dish. Their sweet-tangy flavour improves the overall flavour of meals like curries, pickles, and chutneys, thus they are used liberally in these preparations. 

Poona Kheera

Originally from the state of Maharashtra comes the cucumber known as Poona Kheera. It keeps its crispness and freshness for a very long time. Poona Kheera cucumbers are versatile and can be used in a variety of ways, such as a snack on their own or with a pinch of salt, or in a variety of savoury dishes. Because of its crisp texture, it goes well with just a pinch of salt. 


Cucumbers, in addition to their culinary uses, are lauded in Indian cooking for their refreshing effects. In order to beat the heat, they are taken regularly during the summer. Many people find that drinking cucumber-based beverages, such as cucumber lemonade or "kheera pani," helps them feel refreshed and quenches their thirst.