Vellarikka Kichadi

August 2, 2023mayurisjikoni
Blog post

Recipe: Vellarikka Kichadi

Vellarikka Kichadi or Cucumber Raita Kerala Style is a refreshing and cooling side dish that is a part of the Onam Sadhya.Vellarikka here refers to cucumber. Kichadi is not a rice dish but a yogurt based side dish. Usually,the large yellowish cucumbers are used for this recipe. One can, however, use the green ones as well.

What Is Onam Sadhya?

Onam Sadhya is a traditional meal that is enjoyed during the Onam Festival. A full Onam Sadhya is a delightful sight. It consists of a minimum of 26 food items all served on a banana leaf. Note the word minimum, as the number of food items can go up to 64! Sadya or Sadhya actually means banquet. A trove of colours and flavours, the Onam Sadhya packs in spicy, sweet, salty and sour flavours. Sadhya is usually enjoyed on the last day of Onam celebrations.

What Is Served For Onam Sadhya?

Generally, Onam Sadhya is vegetarian but there are some parts of Kannur fish is a must and some in Malabar region serve chicken biryani with other traditional dishes.


Crispy crunchy snack like upperi (banana chips), sharkara varatti (banana chips sweetened by jaggery), pappadam.

Curry Dishes 

Like manga curry (raw mango curry), Inji curry (ginger tamarind curry), naranga curry (sour lime curry). These are not curry dishes with gravy but more like instant pickles.


Yogurt based curry usually made from pineapple, bitter gourd or just coconut.  I am made to understand that the mustard seeds are ground together with coconut, chilli for pachadi.


A coconut based curry whereby ash gourd and red beans are used.


Yogurt based curry with  yam or raw banana, plantain.


This pumpkin, red bean, and coconut vegetable dish is also called Ellisheri.


Mixed vegetables made with coconut.


Usually a dry stir fry, made from cabbage, carrots or beans.


The main part of the Sadhya, it is usually red rice. Sometimes matta rice is served.


Lentil based curry.


Is a stir fry. Can be made from beans, yam or potato.


A lentil and vegetable based curry.


A watery soup like dish.

Moru Curry /Moru Kachiyathu

Seasoned buttermilk or yogurt based curry.


A spicy side dish made from yogurt and vegetables like okra, cucumber, bitter gourd. Kichadi is similar to pachadi except that mustard seeds are not ground along with coconut.

Kootu Curry

Kootu Curry is made from raw bananas, black chana and grated coconut.

Inji Thayir 

Yogurt spiced with ginger and green chillis.


Ghee is very much a part of the sadhya.

Poovan Pazham 

Small banana, a specialty of Kerala. Generally, it is mashed and enjoyed with payasam.

Palada Pradhaman

A sweet dish made with milk, dry fruits, and rice ada. It is served in the end to help in counteracting the spices. Rice ada is rice noodles.


Palada pradhaman can sometimes be substituted for rice or vermicelli payasam. Payasam is kheer.

My Dish For Onam Sadhya

The idea of preparing the whole sadhya is an overwhelming task. I am sure with a bit of help it is doable. Perhaps one day when I am in India will make an attempt to prepare the whole sadhya. Ingredients will be more readily available and also I will find banana leaf easily. Till then have to be content that I made Vellarikka Kichadi, considering that it is so difficult to come by ingredients here in Magog. Back in India we literally take the availability of many ingredients for granted.

Why I Made Just One Dish From The Sadhya?

Priya Vijaykrishnan suggested this theme for Onam which is from 20-31 Aug this year. She suggested we make traditional Onam Sadhya meals or any one part of the sadhya. For this theme she has prepared a delicious kichadi too. Her kichadi recipe is with okra. Check out her Vendakka Kichadi.

My Partner

For this theme I have partnered with Anu who blogs at Ente Thattukada. She gave me mustard seeds and curry leaves. With those two ingredients I decided to use them to prepare Vellarikka Kichadi. I gave Anu coconut oil and cumin to use. She included them in the popular and must have Onam Sadhya dish, Avial. A mixed vegetable dish that is prepared using coconut and yogurt.


Some Dishes From Kerala Cuisine On My Blog

Usually, puttu, appam, dosa, or idiyappam are  served with Kadala Curry.

The only Onam Sadhya dish I made some years back is Kalan. And with matta rice, is super delicious.

The list is pretty small. It now going to urge me to try out more recipes from the Kerala Cuisine.


Ingredients Required For  Vellarikka Kichadi or Cucumber Raita Kerala Style

Cucumber – I have used green cucumber. Peel and cut into small pieces. Smaller pieces will cook faster.

Fresh Coconut – grated.

Plain Yogurt – should not be too sour.

Water – just enough required to cook the cucumber. Need a little to grind the coconut, cumin seeds and green chillis.

Cumin Seeds – jeera, jiru.

Green Chillis – add according to your taste. You don’t want the kichadi too hot.

Salt – add according to your taste.

Coconut Oil – for tempering/tadka.

Mustard Seeds – for tempering/tadka.

Dry Red Chilli – for tempering/tadka, one is enough.

Curry Leaves – kari patta, limbdi. For tempering.





Watch How To Make Vellarikka Kichadi



5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course condiment, Side Dish
Cuisine KERALA, South Indian
Servings 2


  • 1 large cucumber
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup yogurt thick and plain
  • ¼ cup coconut grated
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp water for the paste


  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves



  • Peel the cucumber. If it has too many seeds, remove them. Cut/dice the cucumber into small pieces.
  • Add cucumber,salt and water in a pan. Cover it and cook the cucumber over medium heat till it is done and the water evaporates. This will take about 10 minutes.
  • Check to see if the cucumber is cooked.


  • While the cucumber is getting cooked, prepare the coconut paste.
  • Add grated coconut, cumin seeds and green chillis in a food processor.
  • Add about 1-2 tbsp water and process to a coarse paste.
  • Add the coconut paste to the cooked cucumber.
  • Mix it well and cook the mixture for 1 minute. Excess water from the paste will evaporate.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Allow the cucumber mixture to cool down completely.
  • Allow the cucumber mixture to cool down completely before you add the yogurt.


  • Heat oil in a small pan over low to medium heat.
  • When it is hot, add mustard seeds.
  • As they begin to pop, add the red chilli.
  • Add curry leaves and mix.
  • Take the pan off the heat.


  • Add yogurt to the cooked cucumber mixture.
  • Mix well.
  • Add the tempering and mix well.
  • Serve immediately or chill it till required.


  • If the cucumber has too many seeds remove them.
  • Can use the Indian yellow cucumber for this recipe.
  • Make sure the yogurt is not watery or sour.
  • Add green chillis according to your taste.
Keyword cucumber raita kerala style, sadhya recipe, Vellarika kichadi

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  • Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    August 12, 2023 at 2:52 am

    5 stars
    Vellarikka kichadi is always on the side of our Sunday meals not only is it easy to make but also so tasty. infact it is so easy to make which makes it easier.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 12, 2023 at 6:19 pm

      Thanks Seema, I loved the flavour and how easy it is to make. In fact after making it for the first time, I’ve made it about 4 times within a short span. So cooling and ideal for the hot season.

  • Priya Iyer

    August 13, 2023 at 10:40 pm

    5 stars
    This Vellarikka Kichadi is so much more flavourful and hearty than the regular cucumber raita. We love this too! The coconut-chilli paste elevates the flavours so much.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 15, 2023 at 4:53 pm

      Totally agree with you Priya, it is so much more flavourful and delicious than the regular cucumber raita.

  • Archana

    August 15, 2023 at 3:33 am

    5 stars
    Ho wow! I am getting some of the yellow cucumber. I always avoid getting it because I wonder what I can make from it. This vellarika kichadi sound just right for us. Thanks adding it to my green grocer list.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 15, 2023 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks Archana. Enjoy vellarikka kichadi when you make it.

  • Preethicuisine

    August 15, 2023 at 5:47 am

    5 stars
    Vellarikka kichadi is so simple yet flavourful. One of our go to dishes at home on weekends to complainant the perfect South Indian meal . Perfect for summers.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 15, 2023 at 4:51 pm

      Thank you so much Preethi. We love it too.

  • Renu

    August 16, 2023 at 7:09 am

    5 stars
    Nice to know the difference between kichadi and pachadi. I made this recently but with carrot instead of cucumber and it came out so good. Thank you for the detailed instructions and the video.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 19, 2023 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks Renu, I will have to try it with carrot. Also want to try out the kichadi with okra and bitter gourd.

  • Vasusvegkitchen

    August 16, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    5 stars
    Vellarikka kichadi looks very tempting, love to have it as it. My MIL prepare this using yellow cucumber called guntur dosakai perugu pachadi. Loved this kichadi alot, using coconut oil enhances taste nd aroma😋

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 19, 2023 at 1:39 pm

      Thanks Aruna. Generally, if available yellow cucumber is the preferred choice. If it is not available, one can use the normal green one.

  • Jayashree. T. Rao

    August 17, 2023 at 2:38 am

    5 stars
    I often make this at home but never knew it was kichadi. It is tasty and makes a good accompaniment with meal. Looks good.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 19, 2023 at 1:38 pm

      I read that there is a slight difference between pachadi and kichadi. In pachadi the mustard seeds are ground with the coconut to make a paste whereas in kichadi it is not. Am not sure as I am not an expert on the difference.

  • Radha

    August 25, 2023 at 10:10 am

    5 stars
    YUM! This looks SO delicious. In fact, it is an easier one to make. We make this often for a side in our home.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 25, 2023 at 8:08 pm

      Thanks Radha, when I made it first time, I was surprised how easy the recipe is. We love it too and now make it often.

  • Anu

    August 27, 2023 at 6:31 pm

    5 stars
    Our family love this cucumber pachadi. Such a mild flavorful curry which elevates the taste of your meal. Like you have mentioned this pachadi tastes best with yellow cucumber but can be replaced with the green ones as well.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 27, 2023 at 7:39 pm

      Thank you so much Anu. We have fallen in love with this kichadi and I make it often. I get only green cucumber so I use that.

  • Sujata Roy

    August 29, 2023 at 7:36 am

    5 stars
    I love cucumber raita. And this cucumber raita with coconut looks so inviting Mayuri. Coconut definitely enhance the taste of the raita. I would love to try it soon.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 29, 2023 at 8:11 pm

      Thanks Sujata. Do try it.

  • Sasmita Sahoo

    September 1, 2023 at 12:58 pm

    5 stars
    Vellarikka kichadi !!!! this is so simple and flavourful. A perfect South Indian meal and perfect for summer !

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 5, 2023 at 11:06 pm

      Thanks Sasmita, it definitely makes a tasty cooling side dish for any south indian meal.

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