Raita – the popular and delectable accompaniment to any Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi dish is made using hung (curd) yogurt, a hint of spice and some raw vegetables, in some instances even a bit of fruit. Then you also have the tasty crunchy “boondi raita” (boondi is fried droplets of a chick pea flour batter, and these little crispy tangy morsels are added to the raita for added texture, flavour and health benfits.
Raita is very often referred to as a condiment – but unlike traditional western condiments – like pepper, mustard and horseradish – that add more spiciness to a dish – the oh so healthy and nourishing raita (always served chilled) has a cooling effect to contrast the already spicy curries, biryanis and kebabs that are generally the main dishes in most Asian Cuisines. Amongst vegetarians some type of roti/paratha and etc. are eaten with raita, chutneys and pickles.
A basic raita is prepared with cumin and mustard seeds that are tempered and then add to some raw vegetables or fruit and mixed with yogurt – with this basic recipe you can go wild with your imagination and flavour combinations.
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Some Variety of Raitas:
- Cucumber Raita
- Carrot Raita
- Mint & Peanut Raita
- Spinach Raita
- Salsa Raita
- Sprouted Mung Bean Raita
- Boondi Raita
- Pomegranate Raita
- Pineapple Raita
200ml yoghurt (hung yogurt adds much more texture & flavour)
15ml finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
10ml finely chopped mint leaves
2.5ml mustard powder
½ green chilli finely chopped (optional)
- Add yoghurt to a medium size mixing bowl and add the coriander leaves, mustard powder, salt, and sugar
- Using a whisk, whisk the above ingredients together
- Before serving garnish with more coriander and mint leaves
- To the hung yoghurt add 50ml grated cucumber, 3ml crushed cumin seeds, 15ml finely chopped mint, and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar
- To the hung yoghurt add 25ml grated carrots, 25ml grated cabbage, 2.5ml mustard powder, 2.5ml red chilli flakes and season with salt, lemon juice and a pinch of sugar
- To the hung yoghurt add 30ml finely chopped mint leaves, 3ml crushed cumin seeds, 65ml peanuts, 25ml sesame seeds and season with salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar and with either a few drops of lemon or lime juice
- Season the hung yoghurt with salt, pepper, lemon juice and sugar and to this add some pomegranate seeds
- To the hung yoghurt add 75ml grated pineapple, 3ml crushed cumin seeds, 10ml finely chopped coriander leaves and season with salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar and some of the pineapple juice.
- To the hung yoghurt add 3ml crushed cumin seeds, 15ml toasted sesame seeds, 20ml chopped fresh coriander, 75ml mung bean sprouts and season with salt, pepper, green chili (optional), pinch of sugar and some lemon juice.