Raita

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Raita
Raita with cucumber and mint.jpg
A cucumber and mint raita
Alternative names रायता, রাইতা
Pachadi
Course Condiment
Region or state Indian subcontinent with regional variations
Serving temperature Cold
Main ingredients Yogurt, buttermilk, cucumber, mint
Variations Dahi chutney, Pachadi
Food energy
(per serving)
46 kcal (193 kJ)
Cookbook: Raita  Media: Raita

Raita is a common name of a condiment from the Indian subcontinent, made with dahi (yogurt, often referred to as curd) together with raw or cooked vegetables, more seldom fruit, or in the case of boondi raita, with fried droplets of batter made from besan (chickpea flour, generally labelled as gram flour).

The closest approximation in western cuisine is a side dish or dip, or a cooked salad. It is often referred to as a condiment, but unlike traditional western condiments like salt, pepper, mustard and horseradish that made dishes more spicy, a dish of dahi or raita has a cooling effect to contrast with spicy curries and kebabs that are the main fare of some Asian cuisines. In Indian cuisine, some type of flatbread may be eaten together with raita, chutneys and pickles.

The yogurt may be seasoned with coriander, roasted cumin seeds; mint, cayenne pepper, chaat masala and other herbs and spices.

Etymology

The word raita first appeared in print around the 19th century; it comes from the Hindi language.[1] The word raita in Hindi and Urdu is a derivative of the Sanskrit word rajika, meaning black mustard, and tiktaka, meaning sharp or pungent.[2] In South India, especially Kerala and Tamil Nadu, traditional raita is called pachadi.

Raita is also sometimes simply called dahi, or "sourmilk", after its main ingredient, particularly in South African Indian cuisine.

Preparation

Pulao served with boondi raita

Cumin (zīrā ) and black mustard (rāī ) are fried. This tempering is then mixed with minced, raw vegetables or fruits (such as cucumber, onion, carrot, pineapple, papaya) and yogurt.[3]

Raw ginger and garlic paste, green chili paste, and sometimes mustard paste are used to enrich flavour.[citation needed]

A variety of raita of India varies from region to region, most notable raithas are boondi raitha—tiny balls of fried gram flour (chickpea flour), which may taste salty or tīkhā (spicy) and onion raita and vegetable raita. The mixture is served chilled. Raita may cool the palate when eating spicy Indiandishes.[4]

Pachadi

Pachadi is the South Indian variation of Raita.

Variants

Spring onion raita
Boondi raita
Pomegranate raita

Raitas can be prepared with three main base ingredients: vegetables, pulses and fruits. These are mixed with yogurt and flavoured with a variety of seasonings to make different types of raita.[5]

Vegetable raitas

  1. Tomato onion raita
  2. Cucumber raita
  3. Carrot raita
  4. Pumpkin raita
  5. Potato raita
  6. Mint and peanut raita
  7. Spinach raita
  8. Horned melon raita
  9. Beetroot raita
  10. Calabash raita (Bottle Gourd raita)
  11. Brinjal raita

Pulse raitas

  1. Sprouted green gram raita
  2. Boondi raita
  3. Bhujia sev raita

Fruit raitas

  1. Banana raita
  2. Mango raita
  3. Guava raita
  4. Grape raita
  5. Pineapple raita
  6. Pomegranate raita

Serving methods

As a side dish

Raita is served as a side dish to be eaten with main course dishes.[5]

As a sauce (not traditional)

  • Grilled Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Tacos

As a dressing (not traditional)

See also

References

  1. ^ Sedgwick, Fred (2009). Where words come from: A dictionary of word origins. London: Continuum International Publishing group. ISBN 9781847062741. 
  2. ^ "Raita". Merriam Webster. 
  3. ^ Mehta Gambhir, Aloka (25 May 2011). "Tandoori chicken with Tomato Raita". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  4. ^ American Dietetic Association (2009). Cultural Food Practices. American Dietetic Associat. p. 244. ISBN 9780880914338. 
  5. ^ a b Basic Food Preparation (Third Edition). Orient Longman Private limited. 1986. ISBN 81-250-2300-3. 

External links

  • Pudina (mint) Raita
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