Raita-Classic Indian Yoghurt Sauce
Raita is an Indian side dish made by combining thick yoghurt with various fruits, vegetables, and spices. Some people consider it a type of salad, while others use it as a condiment. There are numerous ingredients that can be used to make raita, resulting in dishes that range from almost sweet to intensely spicy. It is extremely common in India and throughout the world. The color of raita is also determined by the ingredients used, but it is typically white, green, or yellow.
The dish’s name is derived from two Sanskrit words: rajika, which means black mustard, and tiktaka, which means spicy. Raita’s history can be traced back to the nineteenth century. Today’s most popular raitas include pineapple raita, cucumber raita, and mixed vegetable raita.
This dish is similar to tsatsiki, a Greek dish that also utilizes the tangy nature of yoghurt. The yoghurt used in both cases is typically plain, whole fat, and very thick. Strained yoghurt works particularly well because it is extremely thick and has a texture similar to soft cheese curds; in some parts of India, raita is referred to as a curd preparation due to the desired texture. Cucumber raita is probably the most common version of this dish outside of India, but it can be difficult to find in India because the combination of yoghurt and cucumber is frowned upon in Ayurvedic tradition. In India, carrot and onion raita are both popular, and it is also possible to find it made with bananas, tomatoes, kiwis, and a variety of other foods. It can also be seasoned with cumin, coriander, black mustard seeds, mint, dill, and cayenne pepper, among other things.
Traditional raita is a bit of a paradox. The dish is both cooling and spicy, with the yoghurt soothing the mouth after eating spicy food and the chilies used frequently keeping the taste buds on their toes. The dish can be served as a dip for bread as well as alongside or on curries. Some people prefer to eat it plain. If you have sensitivity to spicy foods, ask for raita on the side of your plate when dining at an Indian restaurant. They can also request that it be made less spicy. When eating very spicy food, a bite of raita may be beneficial; the acidity of the yoghurt will help to cool the mouth down, making it feel more comfortable. Traditionally, raita is salted, and if a vegetable with high water content, such as cucumber, is used, salting it first will draw some of the water out of the dish, preventing it from becoming runny.
Raita is frequently served with main courses such as biryani, pulav, and kebab, and is consumed as both a cooling agent and its spicy, contradictory counterpart.At Amma’s South Indian Restaurant, you can have an authentic taste of raita-the classic Indian yoghurt sauce.