Raita* is a yogurt-based dish from South Asia/India. It is to these regions what tzatziki is to Greece. This dip, or condiment is used to cool the palate, as well as spicy dishes such as byrani. It’s terrific as a dip for crudite, or as an accompanyment to kebobs. There are many variations to raita, which makes raita accessable when making it at home with what you have on hand. For instance, you can make a raita just with spices, or fruit. How about cucumber raita, onion raita, or jalepeno raita? Sure! Make it with what you like.
To make my raita for lamb pitas, I mixed a cup of plain yogurt until creamy. Next, I added shredded cucumber, diced tomatoes, a pinch of cayenne peper and 1 teaspoon each of corriander and cumin. Many recipes call for toasting the cumin and corriander seeds, then crushing them. I’m sure this tastes even better, but what I have on hand is already crushed.
So, basically, if you have yogurt, you can make raita! Today, I whipped up a quickie raita while I warmed up leftover lamb. In a whole wheat pita, I placed the lamb, lettuce, tomatoes, feta and raita. It was a terrific way to use leftover meat. Two thumbs up from Frank, and two paws up from the dogs!
Here are a few recipes so you can get an idea for more exact measurements, and an appreciation for just how diverse this condiment is.
Nigella Lawson’s Pomegranite Raita
Padma Lakshmi’s Cucumber and Yogurt Salad
Cooking Light’s Walnut-Yogurt Dip
Answers.com video with recipe
*The best part of writing this post was finding out just how raita is pronounced. It’s rite-a, not ray-ee-ta, as I’ve been saying *face plant*. Ugh.