Recipe

Best Cucumber Raita

December 2, 2008

I’ve developed an inexplicable fascination for cupcakes.

It could be the inch-thick sugar toppings, the heart sprinkles or the cute little trays they’re displayed on. But every sighting of these evil treats sends my normally logical brain into semi-paralysis.

Imagine my horror at seeing a whole box of them at the tea party I went to over the weekend. I stared at the vile things as they got placed on a Versace tea set. The pinnacle of decadence being served with relatively-innocent masala chai.

Of course, I went home clutching the two leftover cupcakes. I ate them for desert, following a dinner of two toasts. And spent the night tossing and turning from the self-inflicted, sugar-induced high.

Strangely, it made me think about raita.  That, and a reader’s request for a Cucumber Raita recipe. Raita is to Indian food the complete opposite of what cupcakes are to a restful evening. The savoury yogurt salad soothes the taste buds, calms the tummy and aids digestion. Also provides a generous helping of whatever vegetables go into it.

There are so many raitas – cucumber, kachumbar (finely chopped mixed salad), anda (my favourite egg raita), aloo (potatoes), aubergine and boondi (made with little deep fried gram flour balls). The principles are pretty much the same: filling steeped in yogurt. Spiced either with a sprinkling of spices and herbs or with a tadka (tempered ingredients). Every family has its own variations.

Cucumber raita is an all time classic. It stupendously easy to make. Refreshing. And very authentic served alongside a simple Indian meal. This is how I make the best cucumber raita. Without the fancy touches.

 

Ingredients

Feeds 2:

  • 200gm low fat natural yogurt
  • 100gm cucumber
  • Half tsp black salt
  • Half tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp whole cumin

Method

 

Whip the yogurt well in a small bowl with a fork until you get a smooth, pouring consistency. You may need to add a bit of cold water depending on the thickness of the yogurt.

Peel and chop the cucumber into tiny pieces. I just used my chopper. Dry roast and powder the cumin. I make a big batch of roasted cumin powder in one go and would recommend you do the same.

Then all you have to is assemble the raita. Stir the cucumber into the yogurt and sprinkle all the spice powders on the top. If you add some dry mint, you get cucumber and mint raita. Serve it alongside a vegetable pulao and you have a comforting and simple TV meal.

 

Comments

18 Responses to “Best Cucumber Raita”

  1. arundati Says:

    December 2nd, 2008 at 9:28 am

    hilarious sweety!!cupcakes are like that….you cant help loving them!! lovely pic of the raita….i’ve stayed away so far from the sprinkle of cumin powder…. i think i will try this the next time i make raita….take care!

  2. notyet100 Says:

    December 2nd, 2008 at 11:19 am

    always enjoy readin ur post,..ceeu soon,..:-)

  3. Vaidehi Says:

    December 2nd, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Love the recipe… pic looks so colorful..

  4. anudivya Says:

    December 2nd, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    How interesting!Bet it would be the best thing on a hot summer day

  5. RedChillies Says:

    December 2nd, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Me? I am not a fan of cupcakes even though I love desserts of any format.

    Cupcakes and raita? Now that is an interesting connection. Love this raita.

  6. catering equipment Says:

    December 3rd, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Looks amazing!

  7. Mallika Says:

    December 3rd, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Quite a favourite with me too :)

  8. vanamala Says:

    December 3rd, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    this looks really coool raita..

  9. Rashmi Says:

    December 4th, 2008 at 3:10 am

    our family recipe is ditto, except for black salt

  10. Bharti Says:

    December 4th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Love this stuff, esp. in the summer time.
    Tagged you for Breadline Africa.

  11. Eeshani Says:

    December 5th, 2008 at 8:59 am

    I love raita in any shape or form! I am yet to try your egg raita, though– that has to be next on the list. BTW, where in India do you source the NIAW cookbook? I sent my hapless mother on a four bookstore hunt through Delhi yesterday, but she tells me they hadn’t heard of the book. Then again, these bookstores also thought MS Swaminathan is yogi of some sort…

  12. Eeshani Says:

    December 5th, 2008 at 9:00 am

    I love raita in any shape or form! I am yet to try your egg raita, though– that has to be next on the list. BTW, where in India do you source the NIAW cookbook? I sent my hapless mother on a four bookstore hunt through Delhi yesterday, but she tells me they hadn’t heard of the book. Then again, these bookstores also thought MS Swaminathan is a yogi of some sort…

  13. David Says:

    December 5th, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    I’ll take the raita, thanks, not too much of a sweet tooth!

  14. Homecooked Says:

    December 6th, 2008 at 1:59 am

    Wow….raita is a fav accompaniment with any type of pulavs or biryanis :)

  15. Elisabeth Winkler Says:

    December 11th, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    I love raita too. Because yogurt is fermented, it’s soothing on the gut. Lakeland does a dinky yogurt-maker that keeps the milk at just the right temperature to set. I was making it every week (before I found out I was lactose-intolerant). But I miss those friendly bacteria (!) and might start experimenting with yogurt again…

  16. Quick Indian Cooking » A matter of minds Says:

    January 13th, 2009 at 9:51 am

    […] Cucumber and mint raita with mini naans […]

  17. Cold comfort « Quick Indian Cooking Says:

    May 13th, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    […] also DK’s Bread Raita, MD’s version of Bhindi Raita, and my personal favourites Cucumber Raita and Anda Raita. Click here to cancel reply. Leave a […]

  18. Cold comfort | How To Says:

    January 17th, 2011 at 6:57 am

    […] also DK’s Bread Raita, MD’s version of Bhindi Raita, and my personal favourites Cucumber Raita and Anda […]

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