Three Different Raitas/Pachadis | Yoghurt Salads

Cooling, tasty, and refreshing raitas.

3 different Raitas/Pachadis

In Australia, if you see Raita on the menu of an Indian restaurant, it means the ubiquitous Cucumber Raita. Cooling and tasty, it helps those of us unused to the heat of Indian meals to cool our tongue and palate.

Raitas, or Pachadis, are an Indian version of salads.  To call yoghurt the “dressing” of the salad is a bit of a misnomer. It is more than that – it is the carrier of the vegetables and the flavours of the spices. It holds the whole dish together. The vegetables used might be cooked or raw, and in Tamil Nadu they are served near the end of the savoury portion of the meal, just before payasam/dessert/kheer (rather than along with the curries). But feel free to eat more “fusion” and serve raitas as part of a meal, or even part of the entree/ starters.

You can browse our raita and pachadi recipes here and here. We love Carrot Pachadi. Or browse all Yoghurt dishes here and here. Explore our Indian recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Summer dishes here and here.

3 different Raitas/Pachadis

As you know, yoghurt as the base for dips or side dishes is popular in many cultures. While in the Mediterranean regions garlic, salt and lemon juice are the key flavourings for savoury yoghurt dishes, in India that same tang is achieved very differently. You will often find green chillies, tomatoes, chopped onion, ginger and/or white radish (daikon) added to the yoghurt to provide that tang, but rarely is garlic or lemon juice used.

Many raitas, particularly in the South of India, have a tadka, or spices sauted in ghee, added to the pachadi right at the end of the preparation. This also adds flavour, and sometimes it provides a little crunch to the dish.

3 different Raitas/Pachadis

Vellarikkai Thair Pachadi | Grated Cucumber Raita

1 large cucumber, grated
2 cups yoghurt beaten with 1/4 tspn salt

tadka
1/4 tspn black mustard seed
1/2 Tblspn finely chopped green coriander leaves
1 tspn ghee

paste
1 small green chilli – about 1 – 2 cm
2 Tblspn grated coconut – frozen is good to use here

Blend the paste ingredients coarsely and add to the yoghurt. Add the grated cucumber  and mix well.

Heat the ghee and add the mustard seed, allowing it to pop without burning. Pour them over the yoghurt and add the green coriander leaves.

Just before serving, stir again and transfer to a dish for serving.

Three Coloured Raita

2 cups yoghurt beaten with 1/4 tspn salt
2 carrots, grated
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 medium cucumbers, grated
1/4 tspn salt

tadka
2 tspns ghee
1 tspn black mustard seeds
2 green chillies, slit
1 cm piece ginger

garnish
1/2 bunch coriander leaves
1 tspn cumin powder

Prepare the vegetables. When you grate the cucumber, add a pinch of salt and let it sit for a while. Squeeze out any juice that accumulates.

Mix the beaten yoghurt, carrots, tomatoes and cucumber.

Heat the ghee in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the ginger and the finely slit green chillies.

Pour this over the yoghurt and vegetable mixture.

Just before serving, garnish with the chop0ped green coriander leaves and sprinkle the cumin powder over the top in a decorative pattern.

You can also add garam masala at the end if desired.

Sprouted Mung Raita

1 cup yoghurt beaten with about 1/8 tspn salt (or salt to taste)
30g mung dal, sprouted overnight
3 green chillies, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1cm ginger, chopped or grated
1/2 bunch small white radish/daikon with young leaves (or 1/2 a large daikon), chopped or grated

garnish
1/2 bunch coriander leaves, chopped finely

Sprout the mung dal by soaking overnight in warm water, then draining in a muslin cloth. Wrap them in the cloth and leave 12 – 24 hours to sprout. Don’t allow them to dry out.

Chop or grate ginger, green chillies, onion and white radish.

Place the mung sprouts in a bowl with a little water and microwave them for 1 minute, or steam them for 10 – 15 minutes.

Add all of the ingredients to the yoghurt and mix well. Garnish with the green coriander leaves. You can add cumin powder and/or garam masala if you wish (I prefer it without, for a really fresh, green, tangy taste).

Author: Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.

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