(South Asian yogurt condiment)
Raitas are cooling side dishes served as part of an Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi meal. These seasoned yogurt helps to quench the fire of chilies found in many dishes of the Subcontinent. There are endless variations. Feel free to experiment!
Makes about 2 cups
- Yogurt -- 1 1/2 cups
- Salt -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Garnish (see variations) -- as needed
- Mix yogurt with salt and your choice of garnish below. Serve well chilled.
- Boondi Raita (Chickpea ball raita): Make the batter from the pakora recipe. Drip the batter through the large holes of a grater into hot oil and fry until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon, cool and stir into the raita along with some chopped cilantro.
- Kheera Raita (Cucumber raita): Peel, seed and grate 1 cucumber. Toss with a little salt, let set 5 minutes, then squeeze out excess water. Mix into yogurt with 1 tablespoon of minced onion and some chopped cilantro.
- Kela Raita (Banana raita): Toast 1 tablespoon of mustard seeds in a dry skillet over medium flame until the seeds start to pop. Remove and cool. Stir into yogurt along with 1 ripe, cubed banana and some chopped cilantro. Good with South Indian dishes.
- Pudina ka Raita (Mint raita): Stir 1/2 bunch chopped mint, 2 tablespoons of minced onion and 1 minced chile pepper into the yogurt.
- Other possible additions: Roasted cubes of eggplant; toasted curry leaves; chopped tomatoes; toasted, grated coconut; cooked cubes of potato; chopped cooked spinach; blanched, grated beetroot (nice pink color); grated carrot. Add some roasted cumin seeds or a pinch of garam masala to any raita for a little more flavor.
- Add a little milk or cream if you like a thinner raita.