Raita - The Tasty Way To Eat Prebiotic

Raita came into the forefront of newspapers and magazines when a politician used the phrase -"रायता फैला दिया ". And I with a great sense of imagination imagined my favourite prebiotic dish all around roads, building,s and whatnot. What a disgusting thought. Anyway, it has brought raita to mainstream politics. Politics is a painful discussion while food talks are all fun. Let us concentrate on food talks only. After all, we are on pet puja dot com. :)

Raita is a side dish in Indian cuisine and is made from curd. The simplest of raita is boondi ka raita, which is tasty and easiest to make. Easiest only if you add store-bought boondi. :) 

On these hot summer days, even the thought of eating cold curd cools up the body and mind. The curd can be eaten as salty, sweet, or plain. But it gets boring if one needs to eat the same plain curd every day. Raita is curd + something else. It can be
fried boondi or besan sev or any kind of raw or cooked vegetable or fruit. Along with any of these additions, some herbs are also added. Raita actually adds versatility to our humble curd. You need not get hold of any greek curd or yogurt, simple homemade curd will tickle your taste buds and soothe your digestive system.

My mother used to prepare a special raita masala ( I will share the ingredients soon). These days, we get all special masalas off the counter, but they are no comparison to homemade spices.

Raita can be sweet or salty. It is popular in all Indian cuisines. The names may be different, but the basic nature of the dish remains the same. 

Raita comes closest to western cuisine as a side dish /dip or a condiment. It is different than the western condiments which are spicy. Riata has a cooling effect.

In my childhood, I loved the banana raita. It is sweet and I loved it more than any dessert. It can prove to be a good dessert replacement for weight watchers and all those who have a strong sweet tooth but wanna be lighter. It is a good idea to replace any dessert with this healthy prebiotic sweet. One can control the sweetness and enhance its taste by adding saffron, cinnamon or cardamom, etc. Since I loved this sweet raita, I tried it with many other fruits like apples, grapes, pineapple, pear, Jamun, and strawberries. 

Not all fruit taste gel with the taste of curd. this is my personal opinion. Everyone needs to find their own foodie taste. I would suggest you can try all of these and your other favourite fruits raita. The raita with apple and pear was not as tasty as I expected. But pineapple, Jamun, and strawberries raita were awesome. I added a little bit of salt and black salt too in Jamun and pineapple raita.

Popular vegetable raitas are - Bathua, spinach, ghia/lauki, potato, mixed veg, beetroot raita, cucumber raita, onion-tomato, etc. These are some of the raitas which I have tried, loved, and repeated off and on. There is baigan raita, reddish too and many more but these are the ones, I relished. 

Instead of sharing a recipe for each one, I am sharing the basic common steps -

1. Beat the curd. 

2. Boil the leafy vegetables, cool, grind and then add to curd. Mint leaves are an exception. Just grind them, take out the juice and add to curd. Add a few finely cut mint leaves too. 

3. Vegetables like ghia/ bottle gourd, potatoes, and beetroot need to be boiled and grated or cut into small pieces. Ghia and beetroot can be grated and boiled while potatoes can be boiled first and then cut into small size cubes. Let them cool before adding to curd. 

4. Cucumber, tomato, and onion can be added raw. Mix them all to make mixed veg raita. You can make raita of onion, or tomato or cucumber separately too.

5. As regards fruit raita, cut them into small pieces and add to sweetened curd. sprinkle a little bit of cardamom or cinnamon powder or a few strands of saffron soaked in milk. 

6. The basic rule of adding any vegetable to curd is - that anything that we eat raw can be eaten raw and vegetables that we cook before eating should be boiled. 

7. Regarding masala and herbs, along with white salt, black salt can be added, red chili powder, ginger powder, dried pudina (mint) leaves powder, and roasted jeera powder.

Raita goes well with rice ( have you read biryani), stuffed parantha, or simple roti. It is the most suitable partner for everything. It is light, healthy, and soothes the stomach. It is loaded with proteins, minerals, and probiotics that boost metabolism, promote immunity, and nourish from within. 

This is all for my raita story.  रायता तो फैलाया नहीं ना आज किसी ने ?

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