Raita. Cucumber and garlic relish
This creamy relish is very easy to make and it pairs so well with curries or hot spicy foods or roasted vegetable salads, couscous or grains.
- 250 gm greek yoghurt plain
- 1 clove garlic crushed or grated
- 150 gm cucumber Lebanese soft skinned cucumbers approx 1 large
- 1/4 bunch mint about 12 leaves,
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
Cut the Lebanese cucumber down the centre longways and scrape out most of the seeds with a teaspoon. Discard the seeds. Please see below for other an explanation of other cucumbers for this condiment
Cut the cucumber into thin strips and then into small dice and put into a bowl.
Add grated or crushed garlic to the cucumber
Add yoghurt, pepper and salt. Stir well and taste. it should taste nice and creamy and lemony with a nice hint of salt.
Flatten the mint leaves on a chopping board and slice finely (chiffonade). Add this to the yoghurt and mix through
The Raita is ready to use on hot curries, stirfries or sauces. It's cooling and adds a nice lemony flavour. See notes below for variations
I like to use thin skinned Lebanese cucumbers and I remove the seeds and just chop them finely. Thats because I like the chunky fresh taste of cucumber and because I am lazy!
Some recipes call for peeled, grated and squeezed cucumber. This is probably something you may want to do if you can only find the stumpy thick skinned cucmbers. If you have a bumper crop of Cucs and are looking for a way to use them, then go ahead and peel, grate and squeeze them. Add them to the yoghurt and continue with the recipe as is.
You can add chopped coriander to your recipe too if you like. I love coriander and I often do this. chop the leaves finely. For a more pronounced taste add some of the chopped stems too!
Some people love to add garam marsala or even ground cumin. I say go ahead and add one of those spices too if you like. I usually make the basic creamy lemony Raita and let my curry have the spices. This, however, is entirley up to you!