An Indian meal is not complete without a yogurt dish or plain yogurt. Yogurt is a great accompaniment to spicy curries and serves as a palate soother. It completes the meal by providing protein and probiotics.
Raita is basically yogurt or buttermilk mixed with a combination of fruits, nuts, vegetables, grains, herbs and seasonings. Most popular Raitas are Cucumber Raita, Potato Raita and Boondi Raita. I usually pick a seasonal ingredient for my raita or a vegetable that has not been used in the accompanying meal. The ratio of yogurt to vegetable is totally subjective as is the consistency. Many flavoring ingredients in these Raita recipes are optional, as long as you have yogurt and a fruit or vegetable to add to it.
Serve Raita as a side dish with baked chicken or fish.
1/2 cup Boondi (see note)
2 cups hot water
1 cup yogurt
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. toasted cumin powder (see note)
1/3-1/2 cup of buttermilk or milk for thinning.
2-3 tbsps. fresh mint, chopped (optional)
Boondi is made by dropping a thin batter of chick pea flour from a perforated spatula into hot oil. Boondi can be eaten as a snack, mixed with sugar syrup to make Boondi Laddus and used for making Raita. You can buy ready-made Boondi at an Indian store.
Dry roast cumin seeds in a skillet until they start to change color and turn fragrant. Grind into a coarse powder.
Or add ‘Tadka’ to Raita by frying a combination of spices like mustard seeds, curry leaves, cumin, dried chilies and asafoetida in 1/2 teaspoon oil and pouring over Raita just before serving.
- Soak Boondi in hot water for 5 minutes, drain in a colander.
- Whisk yogurt in a bowl, breaking up any lumps.
- Stir in all the seasonings and gently fold Boondi in.
- Set aside for an hour for Boondi to absorb the yogurt.
- If Raita is too thick, add some buttermilk or milk just before serving.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, serve with Imli Sonth!
Copyright © Rashmi Rustagi 2012. All Rights Reserved.