Friday, September 2, 2011

Cucumber and Carrot Raita (Yogurt Salad)

Indian and Sri Lankan meals are often very spicy and full of bold flavors. Sometimes it's nice to have a dish that is cooling and soothing to the palate.  A raita (yogurt salad) goes perfectly with a curry meal, a rice pilaf or briyani.  There are so many versions and combinations of raitas.  This raita is very simply with cucumber,  carrots and a thick Greek style yogurt as the main ingredients.  Although this raita is considered a side dish, it shined all on it's own and did not get lost in the menu.

 Raita Ingredients:
1 English Cucumber grated (see note)
1-2 carrots grated
1/2 medium onion grated
2 serrano chili seeded and diced finely
2 cups of Greek Yogurt (see note)
juice from half a lemon
pinch of sugar
1/2 tsp of ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Notes:  Cucumbers can be very watery.  I let the cucumbers drain in a fine meshed colander with some salt to try to let as much liquid drain out before adding the cucumber into the salad.

If you want a thicker riata, you can also use a thick Greek style yogurt.   If you cannot find Greek style yogurt you can drain three cups of yogurt in a fine mesh colander with a paper towel (or coffee filter) and allow the whey to separate from the curd for several hours in the fridge.  The thick curd is what you want for your salad. Make sure you have another bowl below the colander to catch all the whey.

Directions:  Simply mix all the above ingredients together and allow the raita to chill for 30 minutes or longer to allow the flavors to develop.

Serves 6-8 people as part of a meal.  Enjoy.

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  1. Oh wow this looks great! I love cukes and carrots!

  2. I love that this raita has carrots in addition to cucumber!

  3. Great to add carrots to this - yum!

  4. When we eat spicy curries or anything too spicy we make sure to have yogurt for dessert. Yogurt always cools down the palette and goes perfectly with spicy foods. Your Raita sounds and looks so refreshing. I'll have to give it a try soon.

    Thank you for the condolences. I am so sorry you lost 2 of your puppies in the last 3 years. How divesting it must bee to go through it twice and so soon after. We are blessed for having had them in our lives.

  5. Perfect for cooling the mouth of the spice get to be too much

  6. Yum! I've never seen a raita that's included carrot before, but it makes this oh so colorful =)

  7. That looks delicious! I love the flavor of spicy foods, but have difficulty handling the heat of it....I did get a chuckle that the cool food you posted has Serano Chilies!

  8. Oh, I love the addition of pretty with the bits of orange~

  9. Made it tonight as a side to Coconut Cauliflower Rice, Chicken Satay and Peanut sauce. It was incredible. Thank you for the recipe.

  10. Awesome.. looks yummy, adding sugar is a secret recipe.. how about adding a little amount of chopped dates?

    Thank you

  11. that, once brought in from the garden, your carrots will be ready for the table, and the surplus will be ready for storage.
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