Yoghurt salads are made the world over, except, perhaps, in English speaking and some European countries. It is a puzzle why we don’t make more use of them here in Australia with our temperatures up to 45C in Summer. Yoghurt is one of the most cooling ingredients. Here I use makrut lime leaves (the new name for kaffir limes) with zucchini and garlic to make a great hot day dip or salad. We often have them around afternoon tea time, with some crisp crackers (like our Galletti), with other salads and some flatbread for lunch, or as a precursor to dinner.
Some time ago I dried some okra to see us through the non-okra season, and it is time to use them. These are teeny crispy dried okra, tiny little rounds of okra and today we pair them with yoghurt in a Dried Okra Pachadi.
The dried okra is flash fried in some ghee and added to yoghurt which has been flavoured with spices. It is totally delicious, and can be used as a snack or as a side salad to a meal. We have even used it as a sauce or dressing for other dishes.
Similar dishes include Sauteed Okra with Ginger and Garlic, Poha Yoghurt Pachadi, Matki and Golu Kola Salad with Coconut, Yoghurt Curry with Okra, Spicy Dried Okra Snack, Okra with Apricots and Lemon, Dried Turmeric Okra, and Fried Okra.
Also try Tri Colour Raita.
There is a Lebanese dish, sometimes called Mafrouket Laban (not to be confused with the dessert of the same name), made from burghul (aka Bulgur) and yoghurt with plenty of herbs. It is a delight in Summer. Because the burghul is soaked, it is the sort of dish you begin in the morning, and leave for 4 or 5 hours, then mix in the remaining ingredients and serve for lunch or dinner.
The burghul soaks in the yoghurt for a few hours to form the base of the salad. It is often served with tender young vine leaves, so it is a perfect dish for Spring and Early Summer. With all that yoghurt, it is a cooling dish, perfect for the first heat waves that we encounter in Spring as it warms up towards Summer.
Use the coarse burghul for this dish if you can (otherwise, medium will be fine).
Yoghurt is used in salads all over the world, except, it seems, in cuisines such as English based countries. Let’s remedy that by mixing yoghurt and cream (yum!) and using it to dress apples and celery. It is delicious.
Add some fresh walnuts if you wish. They go really well with celery and apples.
Vendakka Khichdi is a delicious and common side-dish from Kerala. It is crispy fried okra in yoghurt flavoured with a green chilli-cumin-coconut sauce. It is often included as a part of Onam or Vishu Sadya. Otherwise, it is often served with Sambar and beautiful Indian pickles.
The okra is sliced and fried and then mixed into a yoghurt base flavoured with mustard seeds, cumin, green chill and coconut. It is one delicious dish, served warm.
Yoghurt is as important in our kitchen as it is in general in Indian cuisine. Desi yoghurt is used all over India, in different ways, of course, in the different regions. This recipe brings together one of our much loved vegetables – okra – with yoghurt and spice to form the South Indian version of Raita, called Pachadi. There is something very special about okra with yoghurt. Divine.
This recipe takes okra slices and sautés them (which eliminates the sliminess) until crisp before mixing with the yoghurt. This is a great dish for Festival days too. It is a simpler version of this Vendakkai Thayir Pachadi.
Okra recipes include Crispy Battered Okra in Tomato Sauce.
Okra in Yoghurt is popular across South India, and it is surprisingly good – more than might be expected if you are used to okra cooked with tomatoes as is common in the Mediterranean, Middle East and the US. This recipe is a Tamil version – the Kerala version is similar but also contains coconut.
This is usually made for festival days or other special occasions, although it is wonderful to eat on any day. It is easy to make, taking no more than 20 mins. You will love it.
A delightful pachadi with texture. From Tamil Nadu.
There are North Indian and South Indian versions of Boondhi Yoghurt – those little crispy balls made from chickpea flour. The North Indian version is chock full of spices, but the South Indian version, as with so much of their food, has pared it back to essential flavours and textures to let the ingredients shine in the undercurrent of spice. Boondhi Yoghurt is very cooling – a great summer dish.
Boondhi is chickpea flour crispies deep fried with spices. You can buy Boondhi in Indian grocers, or you can make your own on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
We have other Boondi recipes scheduled, so check back here later.
Are you looking for Tamil Pachadi recipes? You will enjoy them. Or perhaps Andhra style Pachadis? They are here. All of our Yoghurt dishes are here, and our Indian recipes are indexed here. Or take some time to browse our Late Summer recipes.
India knows the secrets of yoghurt used in dishes that are used as a salad might be used outside of India. Yoghurt is mixed with vegetables and spices and the dish accompanies the meal to add nutrition, cool the heat of spices and add a creamy texture to the meal.
Here we take the idea and create a Western salad with a yoghurt base. I am sure that you will enjoy it. The salad makes a great addition to BBQs.
It is quite a tart salad, and so goes well with dishes that look for something tart to cut through their flavours – fried dishes, perhaps. But most of all, I love it with a rice dish, a pulao for example. Or for a simple lunch, just with some hot rice mixed with ghee.
Are you looking for similar dishes? Try Apple and Celery Creamy Yoghurt Salad, Minty Yoghurt-Tahini Sauce and Dressing, Garlic-Yoghurt Dressing, Beetroot with Yoghurt Tahini Dressing, Sweet and Sour Mango Yoghurt Curry, and How to Make Thick Thick Yoghurt.
Have I mentioned how important yoghurt is in our kitchen? We use it a lot – from lassi drinks, to salad dressings, to yoghurt curries, chilled soups, to pachadi dishes like this one, to all sorts of Middle Eastern dishes. We drain it to make it thick, we pile it on our overnight oats for breakfast and we drizzle it over fruit salads.
This dish, Ginger and Coconut Pachadi, can be used as an Indian Chutney (ie as a little on the side to eat with the main dishes) or more like an Indian Yoghurt Salad.