Jun 12, 2017

Cucumber and Mint Raita

cucumber and mint raita, recipe, vegetarian, easy, cucumber, mint, cumin, yoghurt, chili, raita, cool, dip, condiment, salad,

Try this cool and refreshing Cucumber and Mint Raita recipe paired with any spicy meal. Traditionally, this dish is served in warm weather months in India alongside fiery curries and kebabs for it's cooling properties. Yogurt, mint, and cucumber really beat the heat in this famed Indian condiment! 

cucumber and mint raita, recipe, vegetarian, easy, cucumber, mint, cumin, yoghurt, chili, raita, cool, dip, condiment, salad,

This is about as close as you'll get to a western-style salad in our Kashmiri home. Grated cucumbers and an onion dressed in spiced yogurt. It is amazingly simple and amazingly tasty! It's also great way to use up all those amazingly prolific cucumbers and fresh mint from a summer garden. We enjoy this yummy treat every year when the weather warms and cucumbers abound. The local variety of cucumber you see in the above photo is not quite as firm fleshed as the fancy English cucumbers you'll see in the western countries. They're a bit more pulpy and can grow to an astonishing two feet in length. Plant one vine and you're supplied with fresh cucumbers for the season around here. Choose a thick and tangy yogurt like the Greek-style ones in western markets for the most authenticity in this recipe. I prefer this dish with dried mint and whole cumin seeds but it can be made with fresh mint and ground cumin for a slightly different flavor. Some folks insist on dry roasting the cumin seeds to mellow their peppery warmth but I don't. If you can't handle the heat of green chilis - leave them out. As with most Desi dishes there's enough flavor going on here that you really won't miss them. Be sure to make this dish at least 2 hours in advance of serving to allow the flavors to meld. Always serve a raita chilled too. A fabulous paired with spicy curries, fiery kebabs, or as a cooling dip for peppery pappadums. Enjoy:

Ingredients:
1&1/2 C grated cucumber, (be sure to peel and deseed cucumber before grating)
1/3 C grated onion
1 C yogurt, beaten until smooth
2 TBS fresh mint/pudina chopped finely or 1 TBS dried mint
1-2 green chilis/hari mirch, minced finely (omit for less heat)
1 tsp ground cumin/jeera or 1&1/2 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
salt to taste
Optional for garnish: 1/4 tsp Kashmiri mirch or paprika

Here's what to do:
1) Whisk together yogurt, mint, cumin, green chilis, and 1 teaspoon salt.

cucumber and mint raita, recipe, vegetarian, easy, cucumber, mint, cumin, yoghurt, chili, raita, cool, dip, condiment, salad,

2) Add grated cucumber and onion and toss until well mixed. Salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve chilled and garnish with a pinch of Kashmiri mirch or paprika before serving if desired. Can be prepared up to one day in advance.

cucumber and mint raita, recipe, vegetarian, easy, cucumber, mint, cumin, yoghurt, chili, raita, cool, dip, condiment, salad,




May the Spirit of Ramadan stay in our hearts and illuminate our souls. 
Happy Ramadan!

Bibi

11 comments:

  1. Temps have climbed into the 90s as the Midwestern summer begins. Soon we'll hear the corn *pop* as it grows. Time to launch the seasonal luncheon menu of cold chicken, sweet corn, sliced tomatoes and -- raita. Oddly enough, versions of raita are very popular locally as cooks seek to use up the cukes and add yoghurt to their families' diet. My own clan has a Lebanese connection, and their version also prefers dried mint to fresh for flavor. The fresh leaves are the topping, although I do like that bright splash of paprika!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Beth,
      It's in the 90's here! The corns' already popped and the 2nd crop of tomatoes are on the way.

      I can't imagine raita's popular in the Midwest! We always had the Mennonite/Ukranian cucumber salad in Summer which is just cucmber slices soaked in apple cider vinegar, salt, sugar, and some fresh or dried chopped dill leaves.

      Delete
  2. Yum, yum! I love raita! Our mint's going mad in the garden and Jon went a bit mad when he saw the natural yoghurt on offer in Lidl. I know what i'm having with my tea! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vix,
      Our mint's gone mad too, I'm drying it for other dishes too. Hope you like the recipe! xox

      Delete
  3. Raita is a standard in our house as we always have yoghurt and mint. Personally, I detest cucumber, but the boys like it. Yours looks so lovely, and cooling I'd *almost* be tempted...if I could omit the cucumber ;)

    Any tips for keeping your copper at shiny and nice? Mine never gleams like that, even after a cleaning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Goody,
      Hmm, never met anyone that didn't like cucumber!

      I clean/detarnish my copper & brass with a paste of flour & vinegar. Spread it on, let it set for as long as necessary for your tarnish problem, and rinse!

      Delete
    2. I blame the old man being in the pickle business for the aversion.

      I'm going to go try that right now! Thank you.

      Delete
  4. Thanks Bibi,I made some raita today.I didn't have any fresh cucumber and was lazy to go to the shop.I used pickled cucumber and tasted delicious.Maybe I make more tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hope,
      So nice to hear from you! Ooo, pickled cucumber in this sounds yummy. Glad you liked the recipe!

      Delete
  5. Raita is a must for biriynais and parathas, isn't it? :) We love our cucumber raita spiked with crushed ginger. The mint sounds really refreshing... Hope you are having a fulfilling Ramadan...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rafeeda,
      Ooo a bit of ginger sounds yum! Happy Ramadan to you too!

      Delete

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