Like my mother and most Indians, I always have plain yogurt in my refrigerator. Yogurt is typically eaten along with meals as a cooling condiment that soothes your stomach from spicy foods. To jazz up plain yogurt, it is common to whisk in different vegetables and just a wee bit of spices to make a raita. With a big Mexican influence here in Texas, especially with the cuisine, avocados and corainder (also called cilantro) are very popular, so I thought of making a raita out of them. When ripe, avocados will yield slightly to the touch instead of being hard. Avocados, which as categorized as a fruit, help reduce the signs of aging, regulate blood sugar level, and promote eye health.
Serves 4 to 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Refrigerator life: 3 hours (tastes best when freshly made)
1 avocado, diced into ¼-in (6 mm) cubes (see below) 1 cup (250 g) plain yogurt or plain soy yogurt (regular or fat free) ¼ cup (65 ml) water ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted and ground (see below) 2 pinches ground red pepper (cayenne) ¼ heaping teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper Juice of ½ lime 1 handful fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) (about ¼ cup/10 g packed leaves), rinsed and finely chopped
1. Whisk the yogurt in a large bowl until it is smooth and there are no lumps
2. Add the water, cumin, red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
3. Add the diced avocado, lime juice, and chopped coriander leaves. Mix together. Enjoy now or refrigerate for later. Serve chilled.
Dicing an Avocado:
Tip to Making Ground Roasted Cumin:
1. Place a small skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is heated, add the cumin seeds. Roast the seeds until they are dark brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Do not let the cumin seeds burn and turn black. Remove from skillet and place aside.
2. In a mortar and pestle, add the roasted seeds. Grind to a fine powder. Alternatively, put the seeds on a small piece of foil, fold the foil over the seeds, and roll a rolling pin over them with some force.
3. Use now or place in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 months.
Recipe and photo from "Healthy Indian Vegetarian Cooking, Easy Recipes for the Hurry Home Cook" by Shubhra Ramineni. Reprinted with the express permission of Tuttle Publishing. www.enticewithspice.com
Copyright 2011-2016 Shubhra Ramineni. All rights reserved.