Spring or Summer, Raita is an essential condiment with a spicy Indian meal. Some call it yogurt sauce as raita can be used as a sauce or a dip. Well, the consistency is a personal preference. I like it thick and creamy. Some prefer it like a thin sauce. With endless variations, I made this raita with cooling cucumber and crunchy red apple. I also prefer using greek yogurt for cucumber raitas , the reason being grated or diced cucumber after mixing with the yogurt weeps a lot of liquid. Regular yogurt gets diluted and gives a watery raita. Hence, I chose a thick and firm yogurt as the base for this raita. Apple adds a hint sweetness to this soothing condiment.
1 Cucumber *I used English cucumbers which has thin skin and almost seedless
1 Red Apple *I used Red delicious. Can be substituted with green or golden apples as preferred
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt *I used the non fat variety
1/2 teaspoon Cumin powder * Roast 1 teaspoon of whole cumin in a skillet, grind in a mortar and pestle
1/2 teaspoon White pepper powder
1/4 teaspoon Garam Masala powder
Salt to taste * I used black salt for authentic taste.
Cilantro sprig to garnish
- Wash the cukes and pat dry. English or Kirby cucumber has thin skin. Hence, no need to peel the skin. For regular ones such as garden cucumber, peel the skin using a vegetable peeler as it can be thick and bitter and remove the seeds too. Select cukes that are firm and dark.
- Grate the cuke without draining the weeping fluid. Adding the fluid to the raita retains the vitamins.
- In a medium size bowl mix the yogurt, cumin powder, pepper powder, garam masala and salt. Mix well with a whisk. Keep aside.
- Rinse and dry the apple. Sliver it like match sticks. You can also dice it. I do not peel the apples as the skin contains majority of the valuable vitamins, minerals and fibers. It also gives a tangy taste and specks of red color to the raita.
- Prepare the apple just before stirring into the yogurt. If left outside longer, they may turn brown and unappealing.
- Toss in the cukes and apple. Though greek yogurt tends to be thick, the cukes will weep sufficient liquid to get a sauce like consistency. Keep it chilled in the refrigerator till you serve. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and slivered apple before serving.