My first raita experience was at Baba Ghannouj. The meal was preceded by small triangles of pita served with raita and another dipping sauce. I loved the raita but didn’t really have a craving for it — until I saw Elise’s cucumber and mint raita, and I realized that everything I needed to make a bowl of raita was right here in my pantry and garden. So, last night, our baked tilapia dinner was preceded by a bowl of spicy raita and whole wheat paratha.
If you’re not familiar with raita, it is a yogurt-based sauce/condiment that is popular in South Asian cuisine. Grated or finely chopped vegetables and spices are added and the result is a thickish savory mixture that is perfect for dipping bread. It’s delicious, healthy, very easy to make and the ingredients are staples in most pantries. It can be an appetizer or a midday snack. Or even an anytime snack.
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and seeds scraped off
1/2 c. of plain yogurt
about 8 large mint leaves
a small handful of cilantro
a pinch of cumin
a pinch or two of chili flakes
1/2 tsp. of grated ginger
juice of 1/4 lemon
salt, to taste
- Grate the cucumber (I used a micro-plane grater).
Finely slice the mint leaves (see tip on making a chiffonade).
Chop the cilantro.
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir.
Serve chilled with toasted flat bread.
Cooking time (duration): 10 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 1 cup of raita
Meal type: hors d’oerves / snack