Raita is a Pakistani/Indian yogurt side dish which is usually made by mixing yogurt with spices and grated cucumber. For a change, I decided to use grated raw zucchini instead of cucumber to add a bit more variety to my diet – when was the last time you ate raw zucchini?
For me, raita should be thick and unctious which is why I always make it with a thick yogurt like Greek yogurt. You can just as easily make it with regular yogurt, but remember to strain the yogurt through a paper-towel lined sieve first to remove excess liquid (you don’t need to sieve Greek yogurt). You also need to remember to squeeze the liquid out of the grated zucchini just before adding it to the yogurt.
I grew up eating raita as a side dish with rice-based meals, but these days I use it as a dip for vegetable sticks or pitta bread.
ZUCCHINI RAITA WITH CUMIN AND MINT (YOGURT DIP)
(makes just over 2 cups)
2 cups Greek yogurt or other thick yogurt (if you use regular yogurt, remember to strain it through a paper-towel lined sieve first)
5oz / 150g grated raw zucchini
2 scallions/spring onions, finely sliced (white and green parts)
3 packed Tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
- Measure out 2 cups of Greek or other thick yogurt. (If you are using regular yogurt, strain it through a paper-towel lined sieve to remove the excess liquid.)
- Grate the raw zucchini. Pick up the grated zucchini in your hands and squeeze the excess liquid out over the sink before adding it to the yogurt. Mix well.
- Slice the scallions/spring onions and chop the mint leaves, and then add them to the yogurt mixture. Stir.
- Add the cumin, salt and red chilli powder and stir until evenly mixed. (NB: The chilli powder is not necessary if you want to keep the raita cool and refreshing – it will still taste delicious).
- Refrigerate and serve cold with vegetable sticks, bread or as a side dish to a meal.