Raita is a yogurt side dish made throughout India, differing in preparation from region to region. This is a South Indian version I learned from my mother, made with radish, coconut, fried spices, and curry leaves. It's spicy and sweet and you can eat it with roti or flatbread, rice or just by itself. To watch a video version of this recipe, go here: http://abcdsofcooking.com/2010/02/my-first-cooking-video-radish-raita/ —Chitra Agrawal
For the raita:
radish, grated in large shreds
plum tomato, chopped
frozen fresh grated coconut, thawed
Salt, to taste
fresh cilantro, chopped
For the tempering spices:
safflower, canola, or sunflower oil
asafoetida or hing
black mustard seeds
fresh curry leaves
dried red chili pepper
In This Recipe
In a medium bowl, combine the radish, tomato, grated coconut, and yogurt.
To prepare the spices, in small pan on medium-high heat, heat 1 teaspoon of oil. When oil is hot, add the asafoetida and mustard seeds, then shake the pan up and cover.
When mustard seeds start popping, turn the heat down to low and add the curry leaves and red chili (be careful not to burn yourself). Mix everything with a spoon until coated well with oil; the curry leaf should be crunchy but not burned.
Pour this oil mixture into the yogurt. (To get all of the oil out, I usually put a spoon or two of the yogurt into the oil pan and then pour it back in with the rest of the yogurt.) Add salt and mix thoroughly.