Raita

by Shivani Khanna

Curd or Yogurt is a cultured milk product that is soured and thickened by the action of specific lactic acid-producing cultures added to milk. The lactic acid produced by the culture coagulates the milk protein, thickening the milk and adding the characteristic sour flavor. The starter cultures—or probiotics—used to make yogurt are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

These probiotics can help maintain the balance of bacteria necessary for a healthy digestive system; boost the immune system, shortening the length and severity of sickness; and may reduce eczema in babies.

Yogurt is highly nutritious and is an excellent source of protein, calcium and potassium. It provides numerous vitamins and minerals and is relatively low in calories.

Many people who are lactose intolerant can enjoy yogurt. Yogurt contains lower amounts of lactose than milk because the lactose in yogurt is converted to lactic acid by the bacterial cultures. ~ Dairy Council of California

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In most parts of India, yogurt or curd is eaten at every meal. It is eaten plain or with addition of vegetables. Salt, red chilli powder and ground roast cumin are used to flavour the raitas.

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Cucumber,  grated or chopped is added to yogurt to make a raita. Boiled potatoes, once chopped are another addition which is common to making raitas.

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Raita

Ingredient ~

250 gms yogurt/curd
1 cucumber
1 boiled potato
salt, red chilli powder, ground roasted cumin to taste

Method ~

1. Peel the cucumber, grate or chop it.
2. Peel the potato and chop it fine.
3. Beat the curd, add the spices and the vegetable of your choice.
4. You can make three different kinds of raita, grated cucumber raita, chopped cucumber raita or chopped boiled potato raita.

 

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