Indian Cucumber Raita

Raita is a yogurt dish used as a sauce or dip. The yogurt is usually seasoned with ground red mustard seeds, ground cumin, coriander (cilantro), salt and optionally sugar. Vegetables such as cucumber and carrot and even fruits like grapes and banana are used. The mixture is served chilled. Raita has a cooling effect on the palate that makes it a good neutralizer for spicy Indian dishes. In this recipe we will be using cucumber and grapes and adding sugar for sweetness.

Ingredients

2 cups yogurt
3/4 cucumber peeled and grated
1/2 cup grapes chopped into quarters
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground red mustard seeds
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Directions

  1. To an empty medium sized mixing bowl, add 2 cups of yogurt. Mix lightly just until the yogurt is of smooth consistency.
  2. Squeeze all the water from the grated cucumber. Add to the yogurt. Mix gently. Avoid mixing too much or too rigorously as this will cause any remaining water to be released from the cucumber making for a watery raita!
  3. Add the spices – salt, sugar, ground red mustard seeds, ground cumin. Mix gently.
  4. Add the grapes, mix gently. Garnish with cilantro.

We want the raita to be a nice balance of sweet and sour. Upon tasting if you feel one over powers the other feel free to make some adjustments.

Enjoy!

Eva’s Classic Greek Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki is a popular Greek sauce that is often used as a dip with pita bread or enjoyed with various types of meat dishes such as souvlaki and gyros. It is best made with yogurt, but if you prefer not to use yogurt you may substitute it for sour cream. Keep in mind that the yogurt needs to strain for about 8 to 10 hours, so it’s best to begin the preparation the day before you plan to serve it. Some tzatziki recipes call for a bit of chopped dill or mint, but in this video Eva shows us how to prepare her version of this delicious sauce.

1 tub of plain yogurt
2 cloves of garlic crushed
Half a cucumber
1 tablespoon of olive oil
a pinch of salt (or to your taste)
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

To begin you need to strain the yogurt. Place a cheese cloth or a few sturdy paper towels on a strainer and place the strainer in a bowl. Scope out the yogurt into the strainer and allow the water to strain for at least 8 to 10 hours in the fridge. Once the yogurt has been strained, discard the excess water and place the yogurt in a medium-sized bowl. Add the crushed garlic to the yogurt. Peel the cucumber, slice it in half, remove the seeds, and shred the cucumber using a cheese grater. Squeeze out any excess water from the cucumber and add it the yogurt mixture. Add the olive oil, salt, and fresh lemon juice. Stir the mixture well. Garnish with an olive or a slice of lemon.

Enjoy!