The simplest recipes are the best. And this spicy cucumber chutney is no exception. With Caribbean roots, this chutney comes together in just minutes and is gluten-free and vegan.
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🧾Ingredients and Substitutions
This recipe is very straightforward and quick to make. But there are some substitutions so that you can vary the spice and adapt to what is available at your local grocery store.
- English Cucumber- Seedless varieties work best for this chutney. If you can only get standard cucumbers cut them in half and scrape out the bulk of the seeds before shredding.
- Habanero Pepper- Other possible chili substitutes include a serrano, scotch bonnet, bird's eye chile, or Thai chili. Not a fan of spice? Use 1 tablespoon of chopped roasted red pepper.
- Lime- Fresh lime or fresh lemon.
- Cilantro- I wrote this recipe using cilantro because it is easy to find and taste similar to the herb used in authentic cucumber chutney. Traditionally, cucumber chutney uses chadon beni, also called culantro and shado beni. Chadon beni is an herb with long thin leaves common in East Indian cooking. It is similar in flavor to cilantro but more pungent. It can be found at many international supermarkets. If you can get your hands on some only use 1 to 2 tablespoons. You need about half the amount of chadon beni as you do cilantro, it has a much stronger flavor.
This recipe has some heat so I love to pair it with our cooling avocado lime crema.
⏲️How to Make Cucumber Chutney
The key to this chutney is grated cucumber and a very fine chop on your other ingredients so that they blend seamlessly. Use the large side of a box grated or a similar size grater on your food processor.
Once your cucumber is grated you want to put it into a strainer or colander to allow the excess water to drop out. At least 5 minutes, but longer is fine. You aren't on a time crunch with this step.
Before combining with the other ingredients, you will want to gently press the grated cucumber to release any excess water.
The lime, cilantro, and habanero need to be finely chopped. I like to save my hands and do this in a food processor but a knife and cutting board work too.
Simply combine your spicy herb mixture with the grated cucumber and salt to taste. Voila!
🥘How to Serve Caribbean Chutneys
Cucumber chutney can be used as a sauce or topping and as a stand-alone side dish.
Big fan of cucumbers? Here are some our favorite recipes featuring cucumbers. Definitely worth saving for later!
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- 1 English cucumber
- 1 fresh lime juiced
- ¼ cup cilantro or 1-2 tablespoon chopped shado beni/ chadon beni
- 1 habanero pepper or serrano for milder heat
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Grate the cucumber using a large whole grater or food processor attachment. Place the cucumber in a colander and allow it to strain for 5 minutes.
- In a blender or small food processor, combine the cilantro, pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Gently press the grated cucumber to squeeze out excess liquid.
- In a small bowl, mix together the cucumber and the pepper-cilantro mixture. Salt to taste and serve immediately.
- The salt will make the cucumber mushy, this chutney is best served the day it is made.
- Other possible chili substitutes include a serrano, scotch bonnet, bird's eye chile, or Thai chili.
- For no heat, use 1 tablespoon of chopped roasted red pepper.
- Serves 6 as a chutney or 2 as a side dish slaw.