On your marks.... quick fix raita

This post is in case you thought 'raita' to be this mysterious dish which is not to be made at home. A dish that adds about Rs 60 (1 USD) to your bill in restaurants. Raita is actually very easy to make.

I was rather hungry during dinner today. I had gone to the gym. I did the leg routine. The most torturous thing know to man. Even if you do the stuff without weights like this mid 30s with a bad back does. Mid way into my dinner of roti and chicken chaap I realised that I would be hungry after I ate. That I would later reach for the Chaklis in the snack box. I wanted to avoid that. So I looked around the kitchen and made myself a raita in twenty seconds or so.

Here's what I did:
  • There were 4,5 rings of cucumber around. I cut them into small pieces with a knife
  • Put these a bowl and added curd or dahi and filled it. I use Nestle Probiotic dahi
  • To this I added a pinch, literally, of red chilly powder, jeera or cumin powder and half a teaspoon of crushed black pepper. I did not add salt or pepper. They weren't required in the final analysis
  • I looked into the fridge and found some curry leaves. Took four out. Shredded them with my hands and added them
  • Then I did something very unconventional. I took two or three basil leaves from the fridge shredded them and added them to the bowl. And 7 or 8 pine nuts. Neither goes into a traditional raita. But the basil gave it a fresh, cool bite and the pine nuts made it a bit more wholesome and filling
  • I slowly stirred this mix with a spoon and the raita was done. Satisfied my hunger. Tasted pretty good. The Indian touch of the curry leaves with the Italian basil made for a nice jugalbandhi of tastes.
Note: You might not have all these ingredients at home at a given time. Try adding chopped tomatoes, carrots, onions (which won't help your 'lonely heart status) with or instead of cucumbers. Coriander or dhania leaves, pudina or mint leaves and chopped green chillies could substitute curry leaves. Let your imagination run wild

A fancy, domesticated, raita would have a tadka where mustard seeds, curry leaves, spices could be sautéed in a bit of oil and added to the raita.

PS: I did munch a few chaklis later

Comments

Lazy Pineapple said…
oh yeah..I am a fan of raita..but I do not usually temper the raita..I love it without it...with lot of yoghurt..yumm..
i loved the ps...
i can eat a big bowl of raita at anytime...
Sanjeeta kk said…
Might save a lot of time, thanks for sharing the healthy recipe.
happy fork said…
there's this raita with curds,spring onion,salt,pepper ,sugar and grapes(chopped up).....
Sharmila said…
Did you use the raita as a dip to the crispy chakli? Tastes awesome. ;-)
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Moonshine said…
Love raita!!!! Biriyani tastes so much better (am sure many people would want to kill me for this)!!!!! LOve onion, tomato, cucumber raita.. i know someone who adds cashewnut paste to onion raita.. tastes awesome.
The knife said…
@Lazy... I am close to being addicted to packaged curds

@Somoo: me too

@Sanjeeta: thanks and shhh...not good for my cholesterol chomping image :)

@Happy: I can taste it...interesting

@Sharmila: In Cal I did have mukhorochak dalmut with doi in my acne days. Made a nice chaat

@Moonshine: I won't. Raita does liven up a biriyani. Cashew paste sounds very interesting
Miri said…
I can't do without my curd - so much so even if I have raita I feel like having a bit of plain curd afterwards! ;)

But yes, raita is a fav esp with biryani or fried rice or pulao....This version with basil sounds great.

If if if you have a little more time, just try roasting half a tsp of jeera on a tava for 3 minutes and then roughly crushing and adding it to the raita - the difference in flavour will leave you astounded - was taught this by a Punju and i must say i was thrilled.
Rahul Ghosh said…
A word of caution: mixing the gym thing with the bad back thing is a bad raita, i mean a bad mix.
The knife said…
@Miri... at the risk of shocking purists I must saw that I prefer packed curds which are not as sharp as home made ones. The jeera tadka was an interesting thought. I usually thought of rai or mustard thanks to the Southern influence

@Rahul... I am very careful and do very basic cardio or machines and not weights. I have seen auntie in the gym who work out far more vigorously than I do
Miri said…
well, to each his own I guess, so purists be damned :)

I am very particular about setting the curd at the right temperature, right bowl etc etc so that the consistency and taste is just so - thick so it can be almost cut with a spoon and not sour or with a lot of whey. Also, I have found I am not able to use most of the packaged curd to set home made curd, it comes out really gooey, thick and slimy for some reason - must be a bacteria culture which works only in industrial conditions with all the preservatives etc..

The jeera is not actually a tadka in the sense, no oil, plus it has to be crushed to get that amazing flavour.
Curry Spice said…
My fav breakfasts (quickly hrown together) in Chicago. Dahi- dried cranberries, raisins, almonds, pinenuts, flax seed pwd, bananas (if i had them on hand).. pecans, (i would empty the freezer of all the nuts and the pantry of all the dried strawberry, raspberries etc). It was colorful, crunchy, sour, sweet, salty, mouthfuls of wholesome yumminess.
Pinku said…
yummy it is...

:)
Padhu said…
I love raita very much .I will try adding basil next time .New here .Do drop by http://padhuskitchen.blogspot.com/
when time permits..