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When it's too hot to cook

Posted by Sheryl Julian  July 12, 2011 05:35 PM

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raita.JPGOn dog days, you have to cook something quickly on the grill, in a skillet, or whatever you do when you want a quick blast of heat and then nothing. And then make raita, the cooling Indian dish of yogurt and finely chopped vegetables.

This one, from the smart looking and enticing new "My Indian Kitchen," by former chef and food consultant Hari Nayak, is a particularly good version. Nayak grates his cukes, chops the tomato, and adds a chili pepper, fresh mint and coriander, and chaat masala (a spice blend). I had no chaat, so I used garam masala.

Last night I had it with Nayak's curry in a hurry (watch for more of his recipes in upcoming blogs).

Cucumber and yogurt raita

Serves 4

2 cups plain yogurt, whisked until smooth

2 small seedless or 1 European cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and grated (with skin)

1 tomato, peeled and chopped

1 fresh chili pepper, chopped (with seeds)

1 tablespoon each chopped fresh mint and fresh coriander

1 teaspoon chaat masala or garam masala

Extra chopped mint and coriander (for garnish)

Salt, to taste

1. In a bowl, stir together the yogurt, cucumber, chili pepper, mint, coriander, chaat or garam masala, and salt.

2. Transfer to a bowl. Garnish with extra mint and coriander. Adapted from "My Indian Kitchen"

 

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Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.
 

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