On a trail of regional Indian raitas for the summer - Hindustan Times

On a trail of regional Indian raitas for the summer

By Ismat Tahseen
Apr 18, 2024 01:14 PM IST

From Kumaon to Kerala, cool down with these delicious curd-based dishes in the hot weather.

Nothing brings together a delicious meal than a cool, creamy raita! The bowl is more than an accompaniment, made with the healthiest ingredients and whipped up in no time at all! It's every party host's go-to dish and can be relished by itself, as well. And India offers a delicious selection of raitas, from the north to the South.

With the summer heat in full swing, Chef Reetu Uday Kugaji Culinary Expert & Chef Consultant shares a few home-tested recipes to try.

1) Pahadi Raita (Kumaoni Raita)
From: Uttarakhand
Peel and grate two cucumbers and squeeze out the water. Roast lightly and grind to a coarse paste 1 tbsp jakhiya (Himalayan wild mustard) or small mustard seeds and set aside for 30 mins (can add a little water to prepare the paste).

Raitas make for the comfort craving in the scorching weather and India has a variety of these (Reetu Uday Kugaji)
Raitas make for the comfort craving in the scorching weather and India has a variety of these (Reetu Uday Kugaji)

Pahadi Raita(Reetu Uday Kugaji)
Pahadi Raita(Reetu Uday Kugaji)

To make pisyun loon:
Prepare the pisyun loon by grinding a handful of fresh mint leaves + two handfuls of fresh coriander leaves + two green chilli + two cloves of peeled garlic + ¼ tsp rock salt + a pinch of asafoetida

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Whisk the 500 ml curd add the grated cucumber, Pisyun Loon, ¼ tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste. Mix well. Refrigerate at least for an hour so that the flavours can seep into the raita. Serve chilled with aloo ke gutke.

Chef Tips: You may drizzle 1/2 tbsp of mustard oil on the raita if desired. Heat mustard oil until it smokes , cool it down completely and drizzle over the raita. You may add red chilli powder and roasted cumin powder, if desired.


2) Sannata Raita
From: Uttar Pradesh
The immensely popular sannata raita from Uttar Pradesh is packed with a dose of spices and fresh coriander leaves. It has a great earthy and smoky flavour. The unique name ‘sannata’ means complete silence. The ingredients and method of preparing it help to calm and and soothe stomach discomforts, aiding digestion. This raita has a thinner consistency than the usual raitas.

Sannata Raita(Reetu Uday Kugaji)
Sannata Raita(Reetu Uday Kugaji)


Sour curd, whisked - 1 cup
Water - 2 ½ cups
Red chilli powder - 1tsp
Salt - to taste
Coriander leaves, finely chopped - 1 tbsp
Boondi- ½ cup

For the tempering:
Clay diya - 1
Mustard oil (heat until it smokes, cool it completely, heat again) - 4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - ¼ tsp

For the garnish:
Fresh mint leaves: 1 sprig

In a large bowl, mix curd , water, red chilli powder and salt to taste. Add coriander leaves, mix. Heat oil in the diya, add cumin seeds let them crackle. Add asafoetida to it. Now, dip the entire diya in the raita. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes. Add the boondi and mix. Remove the diya and serve garnished with fresh mint leaves.

Chef Tips: You may add carom seeds. You may also add dried crushed mint leaves and rock salt, if desired.

3) Beetroot Pachadi
From: Kerala
Beetroot pachadi is a delectable accompaniment with steamed rice. It is usually prepared by the people of Kerala. especially during the Onam feast. With a sweet, spicy and sour refreshing flavour and a vibrant pink colour, it makes the meal amazing.

Beetroot Pachadi(Shutterstock)
Beetroot Pachadi(Shutterstock)

Beetroot grated - 2 cups
Salt - to taste
Water - ¾ cup
Curds whisked - ½ cup
Fresh coconut grated - ½ cup
Green chillies - 2
Ginger - 1-inch piece
Curry leaves - 6
Mustard seeds - ½ tsp
Cumin seeds - ½ tsp

For the Tempering:
Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - ½ tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Dry red chilies - 4

In a pan add beetroot, salt and water in a pan and cook for 10 minutes until it is well-cooked. By adding a little water grind in a blender ingredients mentioned from coconut to cumin seeds to make a smooth paste.
Add the ground paste to the pan in which the beetroot is already cooking. Cook it for another 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the flame. Set aside and cool it down completely. Once it is cooled add it to whisked curds and mix well. Heat oil in a tempering pan add mustard seeds curry leaves and dry red chillies. Sauté for a few seconds and pour it over the beetroot.
Cover the pan with a lid. Mix well. Serve it with steamed rice and sambhar.

4) Vendakkai Thayir Pachadi (Okra raita)
From: Kerala
Crispy okra in curd flavoured with ginger and garlic, lightly spiced with green chillies, tempered with coconut oil, fresh coconut paste, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves.

Vendakkai Thayir Pachadi(Shutterstock)
Vendakkai Thayir Pachadi(Shutterstock)

Ladies fingers (okra, bhindi) - 225g
Curds, beaten – 1 cup
Salt - to taste
Mustard powder - ¼ tsp
Sugar - to taste
Refined oil – as required, for deep frying

For the ground paste/masala:
Fresh coconut, paste - 1 ½ tbsp
Cumin seeds - ½ tsp
Green chillies - 2

For the Tempering:
Coconut oil – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - ½ tsp
Cumin seeds - ⅓ tsp
Split black gram (urad dal) - ¾ tsp (optional)
Split Bengal gram (chana dal) - 1 tsp (optional)
Whole red chillies (halved) - 2
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Asafoetida powder - a pinch
Ginger paste - ½-inch piece
Garlic paste (optional) - 2 cloves

Slice off the ends (without exposing the tubes), wash, pat dry and cut into 1-inch rings. Prepare a paste with coconut, cumin seeds and green chillies. Heat oil in a non-stick kadhai and deep fry over medium heat until crisp for 5-6 minutes. Whisk the curds, add mustard powder, salt and sugar. Mix well

Now, heat a little oil, add the ginger garlic paste, cook till the raw aroma disappears, add the coconut paste, cook on a slow flame for two minutes. Add to the curds. Now add the fried okra to the prepared curds. Heat oil in a tempering pan, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, let them crackle, add the whole red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida. Pour the tempering over the curds. Mix well. Serve cold or at room temperature

5) Kakdi Chi Koshimbir
From: Maharashtra
This is a very popular salad from Maharashtra (can be made into a more liquid consistency by adding dahi). Kakdi means "cucumber" and koshimbir means "salad" in Marathi. It is prepared with chopped cucumber, onion (optional) roasted and coarsely ground peanuts, green chillies, fresh cilantro and a dash of lemon juice, salt to taste mildly tempered with oil , asafoetida, mustard seeds and curry leaves.
Some people prefer adding beaten curds instead of lemon juice and a little rock salt

Jamun raita (Indian blackberry raita)

Jamun raita(Reetu Uday Kugaji)
Jamun raita(Reetu Uday Kugaji)

Yogurt, whisked - 3 cups
Indian blackberry (jamun) ripe, deseeded and chopped - 1 cup
Green chilli, finely chopped - 1
Salt - to taste
Black peppercorns, freshly ground - ¼ tsp
Cumin, lightly roasted and coarsely ground - ¼ tsp
Cilantro, finely chopped - ¼ bunch, small

For the Garnish:
Cilantro, fresh - few sprigs
Mint leaves, fresh – a few sprigs (optional)

Whisk the yogurt and add the chopped jamun, freshly ground peppercorn and cumin. Add salt to taste, finely chopped green chilli and cilantro. Mix well. Refrigerate for 25 minutes. Serve chilled garnished with fresh cilantro/mint leaves.

Chef Tips: Sprinkle a little red chilli powder, if desired. Can add chopped dates or black currants to the raita if desired.


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