Raita is a yogurt condiment flavoured with grated or finely chopped vegetables, fruit or herbs and mustard to enhance the flavour. In Gujarati mustard is called “rai”. “So a raita without mustard isn’t a raita” according to the Gujaratis. I used the ready made English mustard which is fairly mild. You can add as much or as little as you like. The authentic way is to grind the mustard and add the mustard powder to the raita. Now this is an acquired taste as too much mustard powder can be unbearable hot!! A strong mustard can cause the eyes to water, sting your throat and open your nostrils. I have read that mustard can also cause allergic reactions so just check you or your guests are not allergic to the stuff.
Raitas are great to have as an accompaniment with any curries. It’s always part of the Gujarati Thali. It can also be used as a dip for papadams, bhajias, dhoklas etc.. There are lots of different variations of making raita. This cucumber raita is the easiest to make.
Ingredients for small serving of raita:
3 inches of cucumber
2 cups of yogurt
salt to taste
1 -2 teaspoons of English mustard ( readymade).
2-3 green chillies ( use as per your taste)
5-6 strands of coriander
5-6 strands of mint or a teaspoon of ready made mintsauce (optional)
1. Grate the cucumber using a grater. tr and use the side which grates it a bit thick.
2. Add the salt and mustard to the cucumber.
3. Add the chopped chillies, coriander (and mint or mint sauce if you have some) and yogurt to the cucumber and mix well.
4. The yogurt is ready to serve. ( Keep it in the fridge until ready to serve)
You can make variations of raita using the same recipe. For example, in the picture I have used grated cucumber, carrots and freshly chopped green chilllies. You can also substitute the cucumber for chopped bananas as well.
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