1. Starchy potatoes are best suited to this dish as they become nice and fluffy when cooked. The best to use are Russet (common in the US), Dutch Creams, King Edward or Red Delight. However, great all-purpose potatoes like Golden Delight, Coliban, Red Rascal and Sebago (popular in Australia) still work great.
2. Ham can have different names depending on the country. As long as the ham does not require cooking, is not smoked, not like salami and not sweet, then you can use any kind of ham.
3. If you are running out of time and have large potatoes, then you could peel and cut the potatoes into quarters or 6 pieces to boil. This should reduce the boiling time significantly.
In this case, I would strongly recommend that you dry the boiled potatoes to remove excess moisture by placing the drained potatoes back in the saucepan over high heat and shaking the pan for 15 -20 seconds. The moisture should evaporate and the corners of the potatoes will start breaking and become mushy. Be careful not to burn the potatoes.
4. I used Lebanese cucumber the diameter of which is about 3cm (1⅛”). If your cucumber is a thick large one, I would suggest that you cut it in half or quarters lengthwise, then slice it.
5. My carrot was about 4cm (1 ½”) in diameter. If the carrot is very thin, you can just halve it lengthwise. If very large, you may have to cut it into 6 pieces lengthwise.
6. If you have an egg slicer, you can dice them easily. Place the egg long ways (this is not the standard egg slicer is designed to place the egg) and slice. Holding the egg together, turn the egg 90 degrees (the egg is still placed long ways). Sice again. Then rotate the egg 90 degrees sideways and slice.
If you don’t have a slicer, you could use a knife to chop them but the egg yolk tends to stick to the side of the knife. You can use a thread to at least slice them neatly if you want. Simply place a thread around the egg leaving the ends of the thread crossed ove each other. Then pull the both ends of the thread outward. It will make the circle of the thread placed around the egg smaller, cutting through the egg. Once the egg is sliced, then knife can be used to dice them.