Raita - Indian Cucumber Yogurt Sauce with Herbs

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Raita - cucumber and yogurt sauce with herbs by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Like it's Greek cousin, tzatziki, raita is a delicious, refreshing combination of yogurt, herbs, cucumber and either garlic or onion. Its creamy, herb-spiked coolness offers a welcome respite from spicy foods and adds welcome flavor to all manner of curries, roasted vegetables, mezze, grilled meats and fishes.

As with most things I like, raita is also very easy to make. Spoon out a cup or two of whole milk, plain yogurt (yes, FULL FAT). It can be Greek, it can be Bulgarian, it can be European, it can be good old 'Merican, just as long as it's plain and still has all the fat nature intended it to have. Trust me, I've mistakenly made raita with non-fat yogurt and it is but a poor shadow of the full-fat version.

Yogurt options at my local Adronicos by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2007

Chop up some good, crisp cucumbers. If they're organic and the skins look good, leave 'em on, otherwise, peel them first. You can slice them or dice them into whatever size pieces you like. I usually cut my cukes up into a fairly small dice for raita and tend to cut them into larger half-slices for tzatziki.

Slicing a fresh-picked cucumber by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Add either a little very finely chopped onion (red or yellow or white - whatever you like or have on hand) OR a small clove of finely chopped or pressed garlic. I tend to use onion in my tzatziki and garlic in my raita.

Cilantro by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

Then come the herbs. My usual suspects are cilantro, mint and parsley but don't let that hem you in. Feel free to try some fennel fronds chopped up or some fresh dill. If you're making tzatziki, fresh oregano and dill be a great combination.

Cucumber yogurt herb sauce aka tzatziki or raita by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Then stir it all together, add rather a lot of sea salt and black pepper and stir again. Taste it and adjust, as needed. If you use a Greek yogurt you will probably need to thin it out a little bit with some milk or water.

Then scoop some out to eat with your curried cauliflower, stewed lentils, roasted eggplant, grilled fish, or spiced lamb kebabs and tuck in.

Raita - cucumber and yogurt sauce with herbs by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

-- print recipe --Raita - Cucumber Herb Yogurt Sauce
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

* 2 cups plain, whole milk organic yogurt
* 1/2 organic cucumber, diced or sliced (your choice)
* 1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed
* A very generous handful of fresh herbs, chopped - cilantro, parsley and mint are my favorites
* Sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
* A little milk to thin with (optional)

Directions

Mix all the ingredients, stir well and taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Chill and serve. If you can make this several hours or even a day or two ahead of time, the flavors will be that much stronger.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

No comments:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Raita - Indian Cucumber Yogurt Sauce with Herbs

Raita - cucumber and yogurt sauce with herbs by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Like it's Greek cousin, tzatziki, raita is a delicious, refreshing combination of yogurt, herbs, cucumber and either garlic or onion. Its creamy, herb-spiked coolness offers a welcome respite from spicy foods and adds welcome flavor to all manner of curries, roasted vegetables, mezze, grilled meats and fishes.

As with most things I like, raita is also very easy to make. Spoon out a cup or two of whole milk, plain yogurt (yes, FULL FAT). It can be Greek, it can be Bulgarian, it can be European, it can be good old 'Merican, just as long as it's plain and still has all the fat nature intended it to have. Trust me, I've mistakenly made raita with non-fat yogurt and it is but a poor shadow of the full-fat version.

Yogurt options at my local Adronicos by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2007

Chop up some good, crisp cucumbers. If they're organic and the skins look good, leave 'em on, otherwise, peel them first. You can slice them or dice them into whatever size pieces you like. I usually cut my cukes up into a fairly small dice for raita and tend to cut them into larger half-slices for tzatziki.

Slicing a fresh-picked cucumber by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

Add either a little very finely chopped onion (red or yellow or white - whatever you like or have on hand) OR a small clove of finely chopped or pressed garlic. I tend to use onion in my tzatziki and garlic in my raita.

Cilantro by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

Then come the herbs. My usual suspects are cilantro, mint and parsley but don't let that hem you in. Feel free to try some fennel fronds chopped up or some fresh dill. If you're making tzatziki, fresh oregano and dill be a great combination.

Cucumber yogurt herb sauce aka tzatziki or raita by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Then stir it all together, add rather a lot of sea salt and black pepper and stir again. Taste it and adjust, as needed. If you use a Greek yogurt you will probably need to thin it out a little bit with some milk or water.

Then scoop some out to eat with your curried cauliflower, stewed lentils, roasted eggplant, grilled fish, or spiced lamb kebabs and tuck in.

Raita - cucumber and yogurt sauce with herbs by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

-- print recipe --Raita - Cucumber Herb Yogurt Sauce
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

* 2 cups plain, whole milk organic yogurt
* 1/2 organic cucumber, diced or sliced (your choice)
* 1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed
* A very generous handful of fresh herbs, chopped - cilantro, parsley and mint are my favorites
* Sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
* A little milk to thin with (optional)

Directions

Mix all the ingredients, stir well and taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Chill and serve. If you can make this several hours or even a day or two ahead of time, the flavors will be that much stronger.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

No comments: