Cool + Refreshing Cucumber Raita

By , August 19, 2009

Cucumber Raita Indian Side Dish

I’m just thrilled this year to have an overabundance of cucumbers flowing from my garden! Cucumbers are one of my favorite veggies, and this is one of my favorite cucumber dishes to make. It’s a palate-cooling Indian side dish which would pair beautifully with a curry of some sort, or grilled meat or fish with a spicy marinade. I just eat mine plain, though, as more of a light dish for lunch or a snack. Once I start eating it, I can’t stop! It’s so good. For garnish, you could use mint leaves or some more Garam Masala sprinkled on top.

Cucumber Raita

2 medium cucumbers, grated, with excess juice squeezed out

1 cup plain yogurt (for more richness, replace some of the yogurt with sour cream)

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 – 1 tsp Garam Masala*

Salt + pepper to taste

2 pinches asafetida (optional – it’s kind of obscure! I got mine at an Indian grocery store.)

Grate the cucumber, squeezing out any extra juice. Add everything else, stir, taste for any seasoning adjustment, add garnishes if you want, and eat! Easy!

*Garam Masala is a blend of sweet Indian spices that can be purchased at the store, or you can make your own with this recipe:

4 Tbsp whole coriander seed

2 Tbsp whole cumin seed

2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns

2 tsp cardamom seeds

1 tsp whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks, 2″ long

(optional – add some shakes of ground nutmeg , too)

Dry roast each spice separately in a heavy pan. Roast until they turn a shade or two darker, and smell aromatic (be careful not to burn them). After roasting them all, grind them all together in a coffee grinder. Store in a cool place.

One Response to “Cool + Refreshing Cucumber Raita”

  1. Shubha says:

    Instead of grating and squeezing the most nutritious liquid of cucumber, you can chop them very fine with knife/processor. Adding finely chopped tomato and chopped onion also gives a great taste.

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