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Raita Recipe

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.

Raita is commonly served with koftas.and biryani but can also be used as a dip with chapait or poppadoms. I quite like raita and oftem make it with all sorts of meals - not necessarily Indian

Basic Ingredients

½ large cucumber
Small pot of natural yoghurt
Handful chopped coriander leaves
fresh green chilli
¼ teaspoon paprika
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.

Basic Method

Cut the cucumber into small dice, about ¼ inch (0.5cm)
Deseed and finely chop the chilli
Chop coriander
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.

Options

You can really play about with this one. Cumin instead of paprika is very good (either whole or ground) or even garam masala.

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.

Use this raita recipe with a biryani or koftas or you can use it as a dip for poppadums and other snacks





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