The Indian raita is a cousin of the Greek or Turkish tzatziki and a distinct blessing when faced with chilli hot curries or spicy dishes. It is also very refreshing on its own, with flatbread. There are many variations of the raita, since it lends itself to different combinations of vegetables and herbs — try swapping the cucumber here for grated carrots or radishes and the mint for fresh coriander — or, if you want a bit of colour on your table, swap the cucumber for beetroot and the mint for dill. In essence, the raita is just a fresh salad dressed in yoghourt.

Mint-Raita

1 long cucumber / 2 medium cucumbers

Half a 500gms pot of natural yoghourt

A bunch of fresh mint (chopped fine)

Salt and sugar to taste

1/2 teaspoon of Chilli powder OR a small chopped half of a green chilli

A small dash of cumin powder

I small clove of garlic (crushed) — optional

Method:

  1. Wash and grate the cucumber into a bowl.
  2. Add in the yoghourt and the garlic (if using this).
  3. Add in salt and white sugar, making sure the two are in balance. About a teaspoon each should work.
  4. Add in the chilli powder or green chillies.
  5. Add in the fresh mint and stir.

Works well with our peanut curry.