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Posted by on Oct 5, 2012 in Indian, Salad | 0 comments

Raita

Raita

If you have been to Indian restaurants here in US ,you must have noticed white yogurt sauce in the condiment area of buffet.I was puzzled to see it labeled as ‘Raita’ for the first time.It was nothing like what i grew up eating.I noticed two different variation of it.

  • In North Indian restaurants,it has shredded cucumber and carrots,may be some cilantro and green chili thrown in,to the seasoned yogurt.
  • In South Indian restaurants,’onion’ replaces the cucumber and other veggies may or may not be present.
  • Yogurt has runny consistency to  it.

I liked it but i was still hesitant to call it ‘Raita’ because of the strong influence of what i grew up eating.

  • My most memories of ‘Raita’ eating comes from Indian wedding.It is made of ‘opo squash’ and  very tart yogurt.Black mustard seeds ground and green chili are the spicy ingredients.But Raita as whole is not spicy.
  • Opo squash is easy to grow.So in my grandparents house and many houses in villages,they will have over abundance of ‘opo squash’ growing and also the abundance of yogurt from their cows.’Raita’ is the regular dish made out of combining these two items.
Cut Opo squash | handfulofjoy.com

Cut Opo squash | handfulofjoy.com

So my mom prepared what she saw my grandmother doing when she has yogurt going tart.Opo squash was common vegetable we ate growing up.

Yogurt in old days and still now which are not bought from store packed in container, did not come with expiration date slapped on them.Your nose is taste indicator.If you smell tartness in it means  you got to consume it quickly.There are level of tartness and varied smell to determine if yogurt is still good or not  to consume.I can not tell the same thing about  tartness for store bought yogurt  here.I have noticed,it  just goes bad without going through the ‘tartness’ phase if it is over expiration date,so your nose doesn’t have to do guessing work. 

Even now,i love ‘Raita’ made with ‘tart’ yogurt and ‘opo squash’ then any other kind.However i have hard time finding both of these items here.So here is the one prepared by my sister,Pritha.

Opo squash at my grandma's terrace

Opo squash at my grandma’s terrace

Raita

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup fine chopped,deseeded opo squash
  2. Yogurt
  3. 1/2 Thai green chili chopped
  4. 1 teaspoon ground black mustard seeds
  5. Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Boil the chopped opo squash until it is done.
  2. Drain and squeeze the water out from squash.
  3. Add yogurt until all the opo squash are generousely coated in yogurt.More if you like more yogurt then squash.
  4. Add mustard seeds,chili and salt to taste.
  5. Let it rest for an hour.
  6. Enjoy as side dish.
http://www.handfulofjoy.com/raita/

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