Raita is an accompaniment to the main dish and is made by combining yogurt/curd/dahi with vegetables, fruits, nuts or gram flour balls (boondi). The vegetables used are either raw or cooked. The raita can be made using cucumber, bottle gourd, beetroot, tomato, onion, carrot, grapes, pineapple, guava, pomegranate, spinach or pumpkin. Spices such as salt, pepper, roasted cumin powder, red chili powder, rock salt are added to flavor the raita. Fresh ginger, green chili, mint, and coriander give more flavor to the raita. Raita is often served with spicy curries, kebabs, biryani or some stuff parathas. It is often made in my house during summers. My husband loves different types of raita and loves to take them in his lunch box to office.
As per Wikipedia, the word raita is derivative or portmanteau of the Sanskrit word rajika, meaning black mustard (rai), and tiktaka, meaning sharp or pungent. Hence many raitas use ground mustard seed powder or mustard seed tempered in the oil.
I have made carrot raita using fresh curd with grated carrot. Mustard seed powder gives a very unique flavor to the raita. To get the crunch while eating raita I have added peanuts and walnuts. I like to add chopped dried apricots to the raita. Since I did not have them I have used raisins. Carrot and raisins make a good combination. My husband likes to have this raita for small hunger pranks in the office since it has nuts and raisins which satisfies the small hunger.
Carrot raita is gluten-free.
Make this simple and quick raita and please share your views and comments with me.
- In a bowl take yogurt and add sugar to it. The yogurt/curd/dahi should be fresh and not sour. Keep ready the grated carrots, peanuts, raisin and walnuts.
- Add the mustard seed powder to the yogurt. (Mustard seed powder can be made by grinding mustard seeds in the grinder or mortar and pestle). I prefer to grind them in the mortar pestle.
- Add the raisins, peanuts and chopped walnuts to the yogurt.
- Add the grated carrots.
- Add salt and mix well. The raita is ready to serve. Garnish with raisins and walnuts.
- Serve raita with pulao, rice, as a dip with some crackers, thepla, or as an accompaniment with the dish.