Kachri (Cucumis pubescens) is a protein rich wild cucumber found in hot, arid regions of western India such as Rajasthan. Kachri powder is used extensively in rural Rajasthani cuisine and is also known locally for medicinal properties of soothing gastrointestinal pains. It is also used as a meat tenderizer, and gives a tangy taste to kebabs and other traditional dishes such as khud khargosh. Whole dried kachri can be stored for long periods, and the ground powder can be kept for a few months.
The vegetable is a variety of cucumber, and is brownish-yellow in color, resembling a small melon. It grows wild in desert areas, and is seldom cultivated as a crop. Kachri is initially bitter, but sweetens to have a sour, melon-like taste as it ripens. It is sometimes eaten straight from the fine, but can also be pickled or cooked in everyday dishes like other vegetables. Sun-dried kachri is used in stir-fries or ground into a powder to add flavoring to other dishes or chutneys.
Kachri is still harvested in very small quantities by the indigenous people of rural western India; however, rapid urbanization of large parts of this area has adversely affected both the eating habits of local communities and the habitats in which their native foods grow, making vegetables like kachri increasingly rare.