Friday, 4 April 2014

Mooli Ka Raita : Radish Yoghurt dip : Navratri recipes

Comes Navratri, and all sorts of yoghurt recipes start rushing into my thoughts. Most of the food we have during Navratri is warming and starchy, to keep us filled up and going. So to balance it out, we tend to include fruits and yoghurt as sides. Although every home has a different set of rules to be followed for the food items permitted, typically the list consists of Fruits, Potato, Yoghurt,  some non-grain flours and green leaves. The food items which are strictly not permitted are all Non-vegetarian foods, Eggs, Garlic, Onions etc. It really depends on one’s preferences and family rituals.

In our household, it was a norm to have heavy stuff like Pooris with potatoes etc. in breakfast for all 9 days, fruits for lunch and then something cooling and light for dinner. The whole custom was exciting and just used to give me a very different feeling. By the end of the 9th day, we used to crave for normal Dal-Rice and Parathas like beggars and then used to come Mum’s lecture of how we take these foods for granted.  Phew ! So anyway, the idea is to keep your diet balanced and yet enriched with required nutrients as much as possible.

Mum was not that strict with the usage of vegetables, especially for the dinner time. So this Radish Raita was very common sometimes with blanched spinach into it. we used to have it with hot plain roasted potatoes and honestly, what a pleasure it used to be. Since the usage of spices is very mild and limited during Navratri, you actually get to taste the real flavours of the food in its under-cooked/less cooked form. Which is what makes the whole experience very unique and enjoyable.

Usage of Radish was not that common in our home apart from in Parathas. So this was another good way of including this vegetable to the diet. And we totally enjoyed it, so it was worth. Since radish has this pungent aroma of its own which is hard to avoid, some people don’t like to use it in its raw form. And hence I have seen people roasting it first with little oil and spices and then adding to the Yoghurt. But in this recipe, I have just used it raw, shredded and that’s it. So you may try your hands on with this method first and if you don’t like it, you always have an option to roast it and then add to the Yoghurt  J

What you need?
  • 1 medium sized Radish, shredded
  • 1 tsp Salt + extra only if required as per your taste ( Use rock salt / sendha namak , if preparing it for fast )
  • 2 cups yoghurt
  • Handful of curry leaves
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp  chopped coriander leaves for garnish
  • 1 green chili, chopped very small ( optional )

How to make?
  • Take grated radish in a big bowl, and sprinkle the slat over it. Mix it well and leave it like that for 20-30 minutes. Radish will release  its water
  • Meanwhile, whisk the yoghurt in another mixing bowl and keep it ready . Do not add any spices yet
  • After radish is done, squeeze the water thoroughly in another bowl. Don’t throw it off, since it can be used  in any other preparation like Chapathi, sabzi etc,
  • Radish should be very dry, if not completely. Little water if remains there, is OK
  • Mix this radish with the yoghurt.
  • In a pan, heat ghee and add mustard seeds. When they sizzle, throw in chopped green chili, curry leaves and black pepper. Fry for half a minute and turn off the flame.
  • Pour over this tadka to the Yoghurt mix, check salt and add more if required. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves on top
  • Enjoy chilled with hot and fresh Pooris or any side snack 

My Notes and some Tips: 
  • If you are not making it for fast, feel free to add normal salt
  • As I stated above, you may a tbsp. of blanched spinach to this raita  as it tastes really good with radish
  • You may also add cumin seeds to the tadka instead of/ along with mustard seeds. I  do that quite often
  •  Addition of Green chili and coriander is totally optional though, but it brings the best flavours out of radish since otherwise it tastes a bit bland. 
  • Its best to use cold yoghurt since if you make this raita and then refrigerate it, it will get sour in some time. So, plan ahead and keep whisked yoghurt in Fridge and take it out just when you are ready to serve. Throw everything together as per the recipe, and serve. 


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