sea creature? maxixe!

I loved all the guesses! πŸ™‚

I found these maxixe or “Brazilian cucumber” at the farmers market. Although I have been picking cucumbers all summer, I couldn’t resist the look of them.

Shammi’s delightful Food In The Main was one of my first favorite blogs, and it remains a place I return to time and again for a healthy dose of delicious cooking (complete with step-by-step photos!) and dry wit. I can really relate to one recent post in which Shyam so eloquently struck a familiar chord in my little foodie heart:

“. . . I like having well-stocked kitchen cupboards – I have more things than I know what to do with, all of which I’ve bought on the off chance that I might need it for a recipe – because it would be a disaster if I didn’t have it when required. Sometimes I think I should just live in a supermarket . . . ”

Upon reading this, all I could think was “oh, ME TOO”!!!

things like this speak to me from grocery shelves…

Case in point — this little treat found in a Latin American market earlier this summer. I had passed the place countless times when I worked in the area, but never ventured in. I caught sight of this gen-u-ine imported-from-Peru anji panca sauce for only $1.09, and of course I had to have it. I was sure I had read a hundred recipes calling for it, and would need it soon.

thick and rich anji panca sauce

Of course it’s been sitting on the counter for weeks now — not yet relegated to the pantry where myriad similar ‘necessities’ find themselves banished.

Since I had the Brazilian cucumbers, I thought I’d flavor them with the Peruvian pepper sauce. Those green spines had me a bit nervous, and they were chock full of seeds, so I decided to pressure cook the cukes with some dal.

Anji panca sauce is on the salty side, so I didn’t need salt.

Maxixe Dal with Anji Panca

Pressure cook the following:

1/4 c each toor dal and whole moong dal
1/2 c chopped onion
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
5-6 maxixie, chopped
1 small piece of tamarind
2-3 red chillies (anji panca is *not* spicy)
drop of oil and pinch of turmeric

When done, mash the dal and stir in
1/4 c anji panca sauce

A simple tadka of cumin and curry leaves can be added.
Swirl in a little extra anji panca and it’s ready to serve.

maxixe dal with anji panca

While this tasted fantastic, I’m not sure I’d go for the maxixe again due to the millions of seeds. Anji panca on the other hand, is sure to find its way into many more meals!



  1. Sra said

    Looks delicious – love the swirl of sauce in the dal! We have a veggie like this called aakaakarakai which appears only in the rainy season, but the protrusions aren’t that big.

    Maybe it’s related, Sra – I will look it up. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  2. indosungod said

    It is a cucumber! I love the color the chili sauce imparts to the dishes. Can you eat those cukes raw?

    Every recipe I saw (not many) was for a salad. There were so many seeds I didn’t dare eat them raw, though I did taste it. The camera doesn’t do that sauce justice, imho πŸ™‚

  3. shyam said

    Cukes! They’re cukes? Wow! Weird little things πŸ™‚ Do they taste the same as normal cucumbers?

    Also, Linda, thank you ever so much for your kind words about my writing – what a surprise to see myself mentioned like this! And of course it’s always a pleasure to know that I manage to amuse more than just myself πŸ™‚ Thanks once again.

    I always have a great time reading your posts, Shammi! The weird cukes tasted pretty much the same yes, but I was put off by the texture of so many seeds, and tiny, fibrous ones to boot. That’s what I get for cooking sea-creatures, I guess! πŸ˜‰

  4. Vani said

    Loved the way you’ve so creatively mixed flavors from different countries and made it your own! Looks and sounds great, Linda! I would NEVER have guessed those were cukes!! πŸ™‚

    I couldn’t guess either Vani, was surprised when I found out! All I heard at the farmers market was ‘maxixe’. It was tasty… too bad about the seeds. Maybe I’ll try it with a regular de-seeded cuke instead.

  5. bdsn said

    Good I learnt a new vegetable today…Cool!!
    And a new chilli paste too…the peruvian name sounds funny!!!

    Funny but tasty, BDSN! Nice to see you πŸ™‚

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