Raita is nothing special – I mean, it’s some mint & cucumber in yoghurt – but, done well, Raita can be an excellent accompanier to any Indian dish as it refreshes the palette and softens the blow of even the most powerful spices. Here’s my Raita recipe.
2 cups of plain unsweetened yoghurt – Greek yoghurt tends to work well, but don’t use anything too sour
1/2 a cucumber
10 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (add more to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of smoked paprika
Pince of salt
Grate your cucumber – If you’re using Lebanese cucumbers, then peel it first, otherwise, leave the peel on for flavour, colour, and goodness.
Finely mince your mint leaves – I got this mint from the Farmers’ market this morning, so it was lovely and fresh – if you can’t get fresh leaves, then using dried is fine or even 1/2 tsp of mint sauce – fresh is best, though!
Combine your cucumber and mint in a bowl and add in your yoghurt – mix all together to break up the yoghurt – try and get a silky texture to your yoghurt
Ok, this is how I try to give a bit of tang to my Raita – dry roast your cumin seeds in a small saucepan – keep moving the seeds around until they start smoking
Throw your seeds in to your yoghurt mix, but hold the pan over the top of the bowl. Let the smoke linger a little – it doesn’t do much, but it gives the Raita a distinctive smokiness – add salt to taste
Serve with a pinch of paprika on top. Simple but effective side. Enjoy!