Making raita

This recipe of mine was originally posted on A Bit of Foodsense. Go check it out, there is some great stuff on there!

The first time I was introduced to the idea of raita, I was grossed out. It, in what I knew to be it’s most common form, was a salad of yogurt and cucumber after all. How could they go together and taste good? Then I started eating and loving Tzatziki, a different type of yogurt and cucumber dish, so decided to give it a go. One taste and I was hooked. I was glad that I took the risk, as it soon became a favourite for our Indian dining.

I was particularly happy when a friend of my sister-in-law’s offered to teach us some Indian dishes and this was one of them. She was originally from eastern India but lived in Canada for a few years before moving to the UK. This recipe is largely based on what she taught us, but I have tweaked it to suit our tastes. Though I generally like my raita thicker than what you will see Bangalore, I feel that it is authentic in taste. The one small piece of Indian cuisine that I feel I have nailed!

Now that we live in India, there is a batch of raita in our fridge at all times. We all eat it on its own all the time, but have also gained a new appreciation for this side dish. Apparently it is for more than just dipping your naan or roti in! Raita helps to cool the really spicy dishes that we eat, and adds a really neat complexity to the flavour of biriyani when mixed into it. Many of the raitas here are also way more adventurous in their prepation with an assortment of vegetables – and fruits – thrown in. I’m a little more reserved.

2 small /1 large English cucumbers, seeded and grated
1 small red onion, chopped finely
1 really ripe medium tomato, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of thick, high fat plain yogurt*
2-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp ground cumin
chopped fresh cilantro

Mix first six ingredients together. Top with cilantro immediately before serving.

*the Méditerranée yogurt by Liberté is the best yogurt for this salad. If I can’t find it, I will buy a larger quantity of a lower fat yogurt and strain it in cheesecloth for a couple of hours prior to adding it to the salad.

** This is best if made day of use, but left to sit and mellow in the fridge for few hours

Category: cooking, India, life, Photography | 1 comment

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