- Course: Side Dish
- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Inexpensive
- Favorited: 67 Times
It’s worth your while to seek out a yogurt that’s not overly processed for this raita (and, for that matter, any other use); national brands often add thickeners to their yogurts, which significantly change the yogurt’s natural consistency. If they’re all that’s available to you, just whisk the yogurt with a little water to thin it out.
- 1½ cups plain yogurt, preferably full fat
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained (canned are fine)
- 1/4 cup minced cucumber (leave the skin on if it’s unwaxed)
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- Salt and black pepper
1. Combine the yogurt, chickpeas, cucumber, onion, sugar, cumin, and mustard in a bowl.
2. Add red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
The Salsa called Raita: Chutney has well-deserved and widespread fame, but the lesser-known raita, a cooling side dish that combines aspects of salad, salsa, chutney, and sauce, is just as frequently served as an accompaniment to Indian meals. (There are similar preparations in the Middle East—think of tzatziki, the Greek preparation of yogurt and cucumber.)
Raita is almost always tart, because it’s yogurt based; this means it’s usually cooling, too, though it may be spicy as well. Usually there is a component of herbs and spices, and sometimes the sourness is balanced by sweetness. The Chickpea Raita is a good basic raita, but you could just as easily prepare the dish made with tomato, chile, and cilantro or mixed cut-up vegetables and cumin or cooked cubed potatoes and minced chiles. You get the idea.
© 2005 Double B Publishing, Inc.
Nutritional information is based on 10 servings and includes 1/2 teaspoon of added salt.