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Raita (Indian cucumber-yogurt salad)

August 19, 2009

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Serves 4

A mixture of cooling yogurt, shredded cucumbers, and strips of tomato, raita is served with hot Indian curries, but goes well with summer grills.

2 cucumbers, halved lengthwise with seeds removed
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into strips
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 onion, very finely chopped
1 green chili pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups plain low-fat yogurt

1. Use a coarse grater to grate the cucumbers. In a colander set over a bowl, layer them with salt; set aside for 20 minutes. Squeeze the cucumbers in your hands to remove as much liquid as possible. Transfer them to a bowl.

2. Add the tomatoes, parsley, onion, chili pepper, garlic, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Stir well. Add the yogurt several spoonfuls at a time, stirring until the vegetables are coated all over. Sheryl Julian