This Raita Recipe (sometimes spelled raitha) provides a classic Indian accompaniment, a condiment almost, based on yoghurt, seasoned with a few herbs and spices and usually with some vegetable.
It probably originated in northern Indian but is popular in some form all over India.
There are loads of variations to the basic raita recipe using different spices and vegetables, the one I give here is a cucumber raita that I make most often (and is probably the most common). I will give some options at the end.
½ large cucumber
Small pot of natural yoghurt
Handful chopped coriander leaves
½ fresh green chilli
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt
Squeeze of lime juice
Couple of twists of freshly ground black pepper
Notes on Ingredients
Yoghurt. Use your own judgment on this - cucumbers vary in size so you may need more or less; you are looking for a nice creamy mixture not just a coating on the cucumber.
Coriander. Mint is probably more traditional and you can use this if you prefer - I just prefer coriander.
Chilli. Optional. If you use then take care what type you use.
Cut the cucumber into small dice, about ¼ inch (0.5cm)
Deseed and finely chop the chilli
Put cucumber in a bowl and add salt, sugar and squeeze of lime
Leave for about 20 minutes and then strain off the liquid through a sieve
Put the yoghurt into the bowl and mix in the paprika
Mix in the cucumber, the chillis then the coriander leaves
Grind the pepper over the top and mix in
Garnish with a little more coriander if you wish or a little more paprika
Notes on Method
Cucumber. You can cut this any way you like really; bigger chunks are also nice and I often do matchsticks as well. Some like to grate the cucumber - if you do this, it is best to squeeze out some of the juice through the sieve or it will make the raita a bit too wet.
You can chill in the fridge before using if you like.
As I mentioned, mint is often used instead of coriander.
Garlic and spring onion are other additions that I have seen and these are Ok as well.
You can use almost any vegetable you like; some have to be cooked like aubergine, other can used raw. Some fruits go really well like pineapple and papaya. The other ingredients and methods are much the same for most varieties.
I will do some more raita recipes later when I get round to it.
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