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An Introduction
Cucumber is a long, green and cylinder-shaped edible fleshy fruit of a creeping plant (cucumis sativus). A native to India, these plants have been cultivated for thousands of years. This fruit is used primarily for pickling and for slicing as a salad. In India, salad is incomplete without this green fruit. Cucumber raita, (Mixture of cumber and card) is another popular recipe in India.

Besides being widely used for culinary purposes, cucumbers are also used in facial creams, lotions, and cleansers. This anti-inflammatory agent is known for its astringent and soothing properties.


Plant Description
Cucumber is a warm season annual vining plant that produces stiff hairs on the leaves and stems which can be irritating to human skin when touched. Since this plant is herbaceous, it is easily susceptible to moisture stress. Its triangular leaves are simple, alternate and lobed, located at the base of the main axils. Perfect flowers are rare in cucumbers. Most cultivars produce separate male and female flowers on the same plant. For pollination, insects are required. Honey bees are the primary pollinators in the field.

Cucumber plant requires a well drained light friable soil for maximum yield. It prefers hot climate, i.e.

a daily temperature is 65-75 °F. The plant requires proper irrigation for its vigorous growth. It needs water during blossoming and fruiting. The fruit is roughly cylindrical, elongated, with tapered ends, and may be as large as 60 cm long and 10 cm in diameter.


Names in other Languages:
Cucumber, the long green cylindrical fruit, is known by different names in various languages such as:

  • Assamese - Teoh
  • Bazilian Portuguese - Pepino
  • Hindi -Kheera
  • Hungarian - Uborka
  • Marathi - Kaakadi
  • Tamil - Vellarikkai
  • Russian - Ogurets.

Brief History
Cucumbers originated in India 3000 years ago between the Bay of Bengal and the Himalayas. It was one of the oldest crops which have been cultivated by humans. The cucumber was mentioned in the Bible, and was being grown in North Africa, Italy, Greece, Asia Minor, and other areas at the beginning of the Christian era. It was introduced in England in the 1300s. In Haiti, cucumber seeds were planted by Columbus, and in year 1539, cucumbers were grown in Florida by the natives, reaching Virginia by 1584.


Nutritional Value
Cucumber, the edible fruit of cucumis sativus is a member of the gourd family. It contains 95% water; a 50-g portion provides 0.3 g of dietary fibre and supplies 5 kcal (20 kJ). It is very good for skin and contains anti-inflammatory properties.

Popular Cucumber Recipes
Cucumber is popular everywhere, right from the small shanty hut of an Indian village to the five star restaurants of New York. It is the basic ingredient of a salad. Following are the popular cucumber cuisines of India:

  • Cucumber Soup
  • Cucumber Salad
  • Curd Pachadi
  • Vegetable Raita
  • Cucumber Sandwich
  • Kachumber
  • Ranch Salad
  • Vellarikka Pachadi
  • Tzatziki
  • Curd Curry
  • Low Fat Salad
  • Cucumber Mint Raita
  • Cucumber Achar, to name a few.
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