Raita – the popular and delectable accompaniment to any Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi dish is made using hung (curd) yogurt, a hint of spice and some raw vegetables, in some instances even a bit of fruit. Then you also have the tasty crunchy “boondi raita” (boondi is fried droplets of a chick pea flour batter, and these little crispy tangy morsels are added to the raita for added texture, flavour and health benfits.
Raita is very often referred to as a condiment – but unlike traditional western condiments – like pepper, mustard and horseradish – that add more spiciness to a dish – the oh so healthy and nourishing raita (always served chilled) has a cooling effect to contrast the already spicy curries, biryanis and kebabs that are generally the main dishes in most Asian Cuisines. Amongst vegetarians some type of roti/paratha and etc. are eaten with raita, chutneys and pickles.
A basic raita is prepared with cumin and mustard seeds that are tempered and then add to some raw vegetables or fruit and mixed with yogurt – with this basic recipe you can go wild with your imagination and flavour combinations.
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Some Variety of Raitas:
200ml yoghurt (hung yogurt adds much more texture & flavour)
15ml finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
10ml finely chopped mint leaves
2.5ml mustard powder
½ green chilli finely chopped (optional)