International Recipes and Cooking Around the World


Cucumbers in baskets

(Polish cucumber and sour cream salad)

Average: 4.3 (12 votes)

Mizeria is a cooling salad of cucumbers, dill and sour cream that is very popular in Poland. The name means "misery" in Polish, and legend has it that the dish was first served by poor, hence miserable, peasants.

3 to 4 servings


  • Cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed and thinly sliced -- 1-2
  • Salt -- 2 or 3 teaspoons
  • Sour cream -- 1/2 cup
  • Lemon, juice only -- 1/2
  • Fresh dill, chopped -- 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste


  1. Mix the cucumber and salt together in a large bowl and set aside for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse the cucumbers in a colander to remove excess salt and squeeze dry.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the cucumbers together with the rest of the ingredients. Adjust seasoning and serve well chilled.

Mizeria Variations

  • Substitute yogurt for some or all of the sour cream if you like.


I think it would be too much salt... Use only about 1/4 of a teaspoon or little more

The cucumber is tossed with the salt to draw extra moisture out. It gets rinsed off, so the final dish isn't too salty.

This recipe is wonderful! I've been making it like the Germans I think...adding onions and using vinegar. Not to fond of it...that's why I kept looking! When I made this up, I had a taste and WOW, that's the flavor I remember! My Baba used to make this alot, and I couldn't remember how. So simple, yet so good! Thank You for posting this. I'm making it for our Thanksgiving feast of mostly Ukrainian/Polish dishes, I know my family will love it!

You also should add chopped green onions. It gives it a lot of flavour. As far as that legend goes, I don't know... I'm very polish and I have never heard of that. Also, mizeria does not mean "misery" but it's close:)