Raita is a yogurt condiment flavoured with grated or finely chopped vegetables and herbs or mustard to enhance the flavour. In Gujarati mustard is called "rai". "So a raita without mustard isn't a raita" according to my dad and father in law! 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.
Anyway, 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
250 grams of natural greek style yogurt
salt to taste
1 tsp of English mustard
2-3 finely chopped green chillies (use as per your taste)
1 clove of minced garlic
5-6 strands of coriander
pinch of mustard and crushed chillies for garnishing
1. Grate the cucumber using a coarse grater.
2. Add the chopped chillies, minced garlic, chopped coriander, salt and mustard to the cucumber.
3. Add the yogurt to the cucumber and mix well.
4. Keep it cool in the fridge until ready to serve
You can make variations of raita using the same recipe. For the following recipes, I used cucumber, carrots and fresh green chilllies.
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