Cooling Raita can be made in minutes with great results. They can be a cooling condiment to a hotter curry. In the UK, used as part of a starter or something to dip your poppadum’s! In parts of India, they would be avoided in the winter evenings!
We have a few easy ones to choose from, note that cumin powder features in most of them, all be it as a sprinkle so as not to over power the dip.
Skin and chop half a cucumber and add to it 200ml of plain yoghurt, sprinkle of Cumin and Paprika powder, 1/2 tsp sugar and finely chopped coriander leaves to finish.
Boil a large potato in its skin, once cooked, cool and peel, chop into cubes. Add 300ml plain yoghurt, a pinch of cumin and paprika and finish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.
Finely chop a large tomato. Add to it, 200ml plain yoghurt, a pinch of cumin, 1 spring onion chopped finely, season with salt & pepper and finish with fresh coriander leaves.
Wash a handful of fresh baby spinach leaves and cut into fine strips, add a small handful of raisins, 200ml of plain yoghurt, a pinch of cumin and paprika powder and season with salt and pepper
You can combine any ingredients, other vegetables typically used are pumpkin, aubergine, turnip topped with deep fried crispy onion strips or battered onion rings to dip in!
Traditionally, an Indian meal/banquet would not have a starter, there would be a number of dishes served for the family to share. small amounts of each dish would be enjoyed at on the same serving plate, not served with mounds of rice but served with roti, chapati, parathas, naan.