Soothe your taste buds with creamy raita

Hot and delicious parathas, be they of aloo, paneer or gobhi , when served with mango or chilli pickle can make anyone salivate. But it isn’t only pickles or chutney which improve the taste of a parantha or food in general. The humble raita, if made well serves as a great additional side dish.

As is, curd or dahi is an integral part of North Indian cuisine, and a meal can remain incomplete without it, which not only gives soothing effect to the taste buds but also enhances the flavour of other dishes.

Raita is a preparation from curd to which fruits and vegetables are added along with salt, sugar, cumin, mint, pepper, chillies and other herbs as seasoning over it. 

Tomato, onion, peanuts, spinach, banana or grape raita makes the meal complete in almost all households. One of the most common are the one made from cucumber and boondi.  Also, simple curd with powdered cumin seeds, salt and red chilli is most loved and is a gastronomic delight when taken pulao or plain rice.

Though making raita might be common but chef Deepak of Food Mill restaurant in Hauz Khas suggests that the curd should be beaten properly before adding vegetables and fruits to it.

“It must be ensured that curd is whipped properly so that there are no lumps because it gives a bad texture. After this is being done, add grated vegetables or cut fruits. Add salt just a few minutes before it will served on the table so that it tastes fresh, ” says Deepak.

On the other hand, Chef Naval Kishore of Cocoa House, Vasant Vihar suggests special precautions while making pineapple raita.  “Pineapple contains peptone enzyme which when added to curd releases the enzyme. This gives a bitter taste to the raita after some time.

So, it is advised to add pineapple to the raita only when it is being served on table. However, one can also used pineapple slices packed in tin cake. These slices are devoid of peptone and won’t alter the taste.”

Moving a bit away from the traditional raita, chef Naval suggests new flavours in raita which can be made from chocolate and coffee powder. “Those who are food lovers should definitely experiment with chocolate and coffee. Add chocolate chips to the cold curd or coffee powder. For extra sweetness you can add sugar. It will be a true delight.”

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