There is a thing about Summer in South Australia that is extraordinarily special. Hot dry days, skies streaked with clouds, early mornings made in heaven and evenings made for the beach. Days are made for eating outside, eating with friends and … well, just eating.
This recipe is a current favourites – an Indian Pachadi, or Raita, made with yoghurt. It can be eaten as a salad or as an accompaniment to curries. It takes less than 10 minutes maximum to make, so is a great last-minute addition to anything – it is particularly good to whip up for that last minute invitation to a BBQ somewhere. Take the recipe with you because people will want it.
Nilgiri’s Carrot Pachadi
Source : Nilgiri’s in Sydney
Cuisine: South Indian
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 0 mins
Serves: 4 people, depending on your use
300 ml full fat yoghurt – use Greek yoghurt, or a good, thick, Indian yoghurt
2 medium carrots, grated
salt to taste
0.5 Tblspn vegetable oil
1 tspn black mustard seeds
1 red chilli, optional
0.25 tspn asafoetida powder
fresh curry leaves, or dried ones at a pinch
fresh coriander or mint leaves, chopped
Whisk the yoghurt until it thickens a little. Not all yoghurts will thicken easily – if it does not respond to the whisking, don’t despair. It is equally as good, just use a little less. Add the grated carrot and salt. Mix well.
Heat the ghee in a frying pan and add the mustard seeds. Fry them until they begin to pop and then add the chillies, asafoetida powder and curry leaves. Move them around the pan for 15 – 30 seconds and then pour over the carrots. Finally, stir through the chopped coriander or mint leaves.
If you are not using a naturally thick yoghurt, like Greek or Indian yoghurt, you might like to drain the yoghurt in cheesecloth for 30 mins or more, which will remove some whey and thicken the yoghurt.
The chillies, coriander and mint are flexible. Add a little chilli or a lot. A chilli oil can be substituted but this is not traditional, or fry a broken dried red chilli with the mustard seeds and discard before adding to the carrots.
Use a little parsley instead of coriander, or a mixture of mint and parsley, if you don’t have coriander.
The curry leaves are essential.