Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Raita (Indian Yogurt and Cucumber Condiment)

I love raita because it's so versatile! Although traditionally a condiment dolloped atop spicy Indian food, you can also stir it into seasoned basmati rice, use it as a spread for pita sandwiches, along with some slices of lettuce and tomato, or serve it as dip with mini pitas for an appetizer!

Shred 1 English cucumber to equal 2 cups, and place the cucumber in a colander. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and let drain for 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and drain again.

Spread the cucumber on several layers of paper towels, and cover with additional paper towels; let stand for 5 minutes, pressing down occasionally.

Note: English cucumber is longer and thinner than regular cucumber, and with fewer seeds, so it works great for this recipe, but you can substitute regular cucumber in a pinch.

Combine the cucumber in a large bowl with 2 cups plain soy yogurt, 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion, 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice, 1/4 tsp. ground coriander, 1/4 tsp. ground cumin, 1/8 tsp. black pepper, and a dash each of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom.

For the soy yogurt, I definitely recommend Wildwood's unsweetened plain variety - it's very thick and rich, so comes closest to the whole milk yogurt that would be used in traditional versions of raita.

1/3 cup of the raita is 50 calories. Don't make this more than an hour in advance, or it will grow watery!

English cucumber $1.99
plain soy yogurt $2.99
red onion $1.41
cilantro $1.69
lime $0.50

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance