Saturday, November 9, 2013

Raita made of bottle gourd

Raita made of grated bottle gourd

Raita...so much a summer accompaniment. Minty or oniony, with cucumber or potatoes, boondi or fried brinjal, a touch of chilli, a dash of coriander, a combination of sweet and sour... Although our evening temperature has dropped by some decent degrees, daytime heat still makes us long for this wonderful creamy concoction. Bottle gourd or lauki is a vegetable that is used in many of our dishes. So much so that you don't even consider doing special with it. But it takes on a whole new avatar in a raita. {Totally my opinion!:)}

Since more than half of a gourd had recently been used in a fish curry, I was left with a quarter of the same. And it was just the right amount for a raita. 
Ingredients:
About 200 grams of bottle gourd, grated
2 cups of thick curd
Rock salt to taste
Sugar...you can adjust the sweetness
Whole cumin, about a teaspoon
Chilli powder or flakes
Mint leaves
Cooking the grated gourd on a low flame

Peel the skin of the gourd and grate it. Transfer the grated gourd to a pan and put it on the gas on a medium flame. Do not add any water. It'll cook in its own juice. Keep covered during the first few minutes and then remove the lid. Cook till the last bit of liquid dries up. Let it cool.
Toast the cumin seeds in a pan till they start to crackle and the aroma fills your kitchen. Roughly pound them. Some seeds can be left whole.
Meanwhile beat the curd till smooth. Add the fine sugar and the salt and check the balance. Add the chilli powder, mix then add the cooked gourd. Mix well. Add half of the toasted and ground cumin. Mix again.
Transfer to a serving bowl and decorate with the rest of the cumin and mint leaves, either chopped or left whole in little sprigs.

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