Kachri is a wild variety of cucumbers. Fresh kachri resembles a brown yellow small melon, which grows wildly in the desert areas and is seldom cultivated as a crop. Dried kachri powder, when used in cooking, adds a tangy taste. Since fresh kachri is rarely available outside Rajasthan, the use of kachri powder is popular. It is the real earth food … growing wild, and becoming a protein rich vegetable for people living in the harsh arid areas of Western India, where it is hard to grow conventional vegetables. Kachri powder is used extensively in Rajasthani cuisine.
How to select
Avoid purchasing pre ground or crushed kachri, because its volatile aromatic notes quickly dissipate and what's left is single-dimensional tartness. However, if you are unable to access fresh kachri, you may opt for kachri powder. Dried kachri should be heavy, compact and free of any blemishes. While buying packaged kachri powder, check the expiry date and feel for lumpiness( sign of moisture inside the packet.)
· Marinate the chicken with salt, ginger-garlic paste and kachri powder
· Kachri chutney is popular in Marwari cuisine, more as a substitute for amchur powder.
· Bitter tasting to start out, the fruit sweetens (faintly sour with a melon-y taste ) as it ripens. Right off the vine it a great nibble for rural kids.
· It may be pickled or cooked conventionally into an everyday- subzi.
· It is also sun-dried for later use in stir fries, or ground into a powder to flavour chutneys and veggies
· Kacher Maas (Meat with Kachri) and kachri ki chutney (a tart condiment) are two of the trademark dishes.
How to store
Crushed kachri powder should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place. Whole dried kachri will keep almost indefinitely, while kachri powder will stay fresh for about three months.
· It has a triple benefit of being a coolant, tonic & stimulant.
· Regular use of kachri Powder may help to cure minor skin diseases like boils, bed sores, lice, manifestation, prickly heat, itching, earache, etc.