Raita, Indian style yogurt.
Happy Wednesday Ya’ll! It’s hump day, only 2 more days until the glorious weekend starts.
Today I am sharing with you my raita recipe. This easy, fresh, yogurt and cucumber dip will take you into the weekend feeling light and fulfilled.
Raita is an Indian side dish made with dahi, otherwise known as curd or yogurt. It can be made with raw vegetables or fruit. Most often, in America, it will be made with yogurt, which is similar to the Greek tzatziki.
Raita is great with Indian food, as it acts as a cooling agent to the warm and or hot food.
Now, I know what you are thinking…all Indian food is spicy, so you should probably have this as a side with all your dishes. OK. You are partially right. Not all Indian food is spicy, nor is it supposed to be.
India has one of the oldest philosophies about health prevention called Ayurveda. Ayurveda believes in balancing out the body. For example, eating cool food on a warm day or eating hot food on a cold day. This goes a step further by balancing out the whole meal. If you eat something spicy, which leaves you feeling warm, eating something cool, like raita, will balance out the body’s dosha, which is a concept of “balance between three fundamental bodily bio-elements”.
Like I said earlier, raita can be made with different fruits and veggies and can have your choice of fresh herbs and seasonings. My recipe, like most of my recipes, comes from my mother. The dish as a whole is really quite beautiful with all the green elements.
First, I take half a cucumber, peel and grate it. Cucumbers hold a shit ton of water, so you will DEF have to squeeze it out. You can use our hands, or a cloth. The squeezer of your choice.
Next, I use half a container of whole milk yogurt and stir it up until it is nice and smooth. I grew up on Mountain High Yogurt, but use whatever brand you like!
After I have taken care of the cucumbers and the yogurt, I chop up cilantro nice and fine, with some green onions, and SOMETIMES, I add green chilies. When I make spicy curries I don’t include the green chilies because the yogurt is supposed to be a cooling agent. You don’t want spicy on spicy! Or, maybe you do…the best part of this life…YOU CAN CHOOSE!
Alright, back to the raita. Once all the “greens” are taken care of, I bust out my hand-dandy pestle mortar and grind down some fresh black mustard seeds into a powder, leaving some seeds half cracked.
NOW ITS TIME TO PUT IT TOGETHER.
Add all ingredients to the yogurt, throw in a teaspoon or two of cumin and coriander powder, add a little salt, pepper and a squeeze of a lime (or lemon) and you are done!
BOOM. Fresh, cool, easy, yogurt dip.
Woooheeee, not at all tough to make, and A LOT of flavor.
You can eat this as a side to your curriers, or a dipping sauce for your bread, a big dollop on top of your rice…the possibilities are endless!
- ½ cucumber, peeled and grated
- ½ container yogurt
- 2 green onions, cleaned and chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 green chili, deseeded and chopped
- 2 tsp black mustard seeds
- 2 tsp cumin-coriander, or 1tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 lime
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grate cucumber, drain and set aside.
- Dice green onions.
- Chop cilantro fine.
- Cut, deseed and chop chili fine.
- In a pestle mortar, grind the black mustard seeds into a powder.
- Spoon yogurt into a bowl and stir until smooth. Add all the ingredients above. Stir.
- Add cumin-coriander powder, lime, salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve cold.