An Indian feast is considered to be incomplete if it falls short of accommodating an accompaniment made with Curd. In an elaborate and sumptuous Indian buffet that is decorated with several lavish and rich kebabs, luscious gravies, delectable breads, mouth-watering biryanis and sumptuous desserts, a dish like raita may appear seemingly insignificant.
Having said that, a caterer may ignore this dish at his own peril. It’s a common sight to spot a diner passing an adverse comment on their dining experience if they find raita not prepared to the satisfaction of their palate.
Being an Indian, we have been nurtured with the mindset that lays too much stress on the pairing options of our food- paratha seems incomplete without thick curd and pickle, a plate of Khichdi is inconceivable without papad and dahi and the true soulmate of Biryani is raita! Any mishandling in the preparation of these accompaniments and we will fail to appreciate the meal in a real sense!
Yogurt is a rich source of protein, especially for vegetarians. A body can utilize its protein fully only when it undergoes less cooking process and mixed with fresh veggies or fruits.
As per famous cookbook author Julie Sahni, Indian yogurt salads are divided in 3 basic categories:
- Raita with raw vegetables- vegetables in raw form are cleaned, chopped and mixed with fresh thick yogurt along with some ground spices like cumin, black pepper.
- Raita with cooked vegetables -vegetables are lightly cooked and folded into the yogurt just before serving.
- Raita with fruits, nuts and dumplings – These kind of raita is quite a delicious affair and served at buffets and special dinners! It requires some kind of expensive ingredients. Pineapple Raita or mix fruit raita with almonds are one of their kind!
Yogurt acts as a coolant and when mixed up with veggies like cucumber – it’s a natural remedy for dehydration. This recipe is from repertoire of Madhawa Brahmin community from Karnataka who prefer to use local & seasonal ingredients in their Satvic meal. You can serve this raita with your veg pulao, Masala Bhat, or even with biryani and also can include as a low calorie option in your diet plan.
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- 450 grams Curd
- 250 grams grated Cucumber
- 1 tsp. Sugar
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh Coriander Leaves
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp. grated fresh Coconut
- For tempering: ½ tsp. Mustard Seeds, 2 Green Chilies, 1 tbsp. Cooking Oil
- In a bowl, put curd. Now add grated Cucumber. Add grated Coconut, chopped Coriander Leaves, Sugar and Salt to taste. Mix well.
- Let's prepare for Tadka- tempering with spices. In a pan, add 1 tbsp. Oil
- Add Mustard Seeds and Green Chilies. Pour this Tadka on Raita
- Mix well and serve
- The tempering of mustard seeds and green chilies gives a new dimension to this raita
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