Can I just say Oh.My.God! This Raita is probably the most delicious I’ve ever had and to be honest I don’t think I can go back to the usual raita (with cucumbers).
So I just posted my Tandoori Gobi Zucchini Boat recipe a couple of days ago and I paired this with the boats. I could have gone the traditional route with a cucumber raita but I wanted something different and also, I’m really in the holiday mood right now so most of my food reflects that.
If you know me, you know I like the visuals of color in my food in addition to the taste. Well, this season, I’ve been obsessed with pomegranates. So in my obsession for colors, I played around with how I wanted this Raita to shine. After all, it was the most important finish to the Tandoori Boats.
In addition to the mint and pomegranates (the obvious), I included some serrano peppers to enhance the color and a few spices and garlic to give the flavor profile a boost.
Ok so, you don’t have to pair this raita with just the Tandoori Boats. Here are a few more dishes you can add this delicious Minty-y Raita to:
Growing up, mango lassis were one of my favorite to order when we ate out at Indian restaurants. The sweet mangoes, the tangy yogurt, and the hint of rose at the end of each sip…. oh so delicious! The fact that mangoes are my absolute favorite fruit just adds to my love for this lassi!
A summer time must have, even my girls look forward to having a glass almost daily which just makes my heart happy. Easy to whip up, you don’t need much. A blender and the ingredients are all you have to use. I did use a dash of rose syrup to give it a summer-y floral hint which takes this lassi to a whole new level.
Have this delicious mango lassi as an afternoon snack to cool down in the heat, or pair it with some delicious Indian food. It pairs well with Masala Omelette for breakfast, or even a lunch time drink with a Desi Masala Bowl or with dinner when you try out this Instant Pot Chole.
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this delicious treat!
Kadhi is a very popular and a staple dish of India. Different parts of India have their own version. Sindhi kadhi has veggies in it; people from the state of Haryana put green chickpeas in theirs; South Indians also put veggies in theirs including squash, carrots, peas and potatoes; Rajasthani and Gujarati kadhi is usually a little on the thinner side while the Gujaratis also add okra in theirs on occasion and the Punjabi’s add pakoras to their version of kadhi.
I’m a Gujarati and so I’ve been raised on the thinner version of kadhi. Even then, there is no one version. Kadhi is usually yellow in color from the turmeric added to it but Gujaratis make a version without the turmeric in it and more sour yogurt is used – this type of kadhi is usually served at weddings. Growing up it was one of my favorites and I would always ask my mom to make wedding kadhi when I was going home for the weekend. I still call it that. Yeah…. I know.
Just thinking of the word kadhi makes me reminisce home, comfort, and curling up with a warm bowl, eating it as a soup. So when I married my Punjabi husband and was introduced to their version of Punjabi kadhi, my idea of kadhi came to a halt. It was different from what I grew up with alright, being much thicker with more stuff in it than I was used to. I think the biggest surprise, let’s say, that I had when having Punjabi kadhi was the pakoras that are put in it.
My idea of a pakora is eating it on a rainy day with a cup of chai in hand. Needless to say, this one took a little getting used to. But, I’ve come around I suppose. And as usual, I’ve put my twist on it.
There was a lot of experimenting the type of pakoras I wanted to use and the spices. I remember one of the first times I made this, one of my best friends from college, Ashi, had come over with her family. She’s Punjabi too so I was hoping to use her as a taste tester. I’m so glad I did because she helped me figure out which spice would work and that adding a little more will only enhance the flavor.
As for the pakoras, they are typically made from onion and potatoes but I wanted to give a “healthy” spin to something I’m frying (oxymoron, I know) so I decided to use spinach instead of potatoes. And let me tell you, they taste sooooooo much better!
My biggest change to this traditional recipe: I finish off cooking the pakoras in the oven. This makes them crispy and won’t “melt” them in the kadhi. When I first started making this dish, my pakoras would disintegrate into the kadhi because they were too soft. I found that toasting them in the oven helps keep their shape and they do soften up when added to the kadhi so you don’t taste the crunch but I love the toasted red color it adds.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy!
For the Kadhi:
1 c Besan (chickpea/gram flour)
2 c yogurt
1 med onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1″ ginger knob, grated
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jheera)
3 dried red chilis, split in half
1 tsp turmeric
3-4 curry leaves
1 tsp cayenne pepper (Kashmiri Deggi Mirch)
1 ½ tsp coriander powder (dhania powder/ dhana jheeru)
1 ½ tsp cumin powder (jheera powder)
2 Tbsp Kasoori Methi
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt to taste
For the Pakoras:
1 lg yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 c spinach, roughly chopped
¾ c chickpea flour
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp coriander powder
½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
½ tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp salt
oil for frying
For the Kadhi:
In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk yogurt to a smooth consistency. Add in the gram flour and continue whisking until all lumps are smoothed out. Transfer to a deep pot, add in 4 cups of water, salt and turmeric. Mix and simmer on low-medium heat.
In a pan, heat oil and add cumin seeds, dried red chili, fenugreek seeds. Once the fenugreek seeds are light red in color, add in curry leaves and let cook for 30 seconds. Add in the onions and sauté until they are golden brown. About 5-6 minutes. Add in the garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute. Add in the cayenne pepper, coriander powder, cumin powder and mix well. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes to so the spices bloom.
Add the onions to the kadhi and mix well. Cook on low-medium heat for about 30-45 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. The kadhi will thicken as it cooks. Add more water if it is too thick. When it’s done, turn off stove and add in kasoori methi and stir.
For the Pakoras:
Add the onions and spices in a bowl and mix well. Let it rest for about 20-25 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Add in the spinach and gram flour and mix. The water released from the onions will help bind the batter together. It should be a little on the thicker/dry side but if it is too much, add water 1 tablespoon at a time.
Using a spoon, drop medium sized pakoras in hot oil to fry. Pull them out when they are just under done and lay them on a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up excess oil.
Transfer to a baking dish and bake for 5-7 minutes to make them crispy.
Add the pakoras to the kadhi and serve with steamed rice.
A while back, my aunt and her family came over for dinner and she brought this pasta salad. I never was a big pasta salad person because they usually have too much mayo, not enough flavor, and are just too uninspiring for me.
So I tried her pasta salad because I didn’t want to be rude. I should’ve known. My aunt is a pretty amazing cook and I don’t know why I ever doubted her abilities with even a pasta salad. Ever since I’ve started making this salad, I’ve had to remind myself I can’t eat it for every meal …. or can I? It’s just so delicious, healthy, and fresh!
There’s crunch from the bell peppers, sweet from the juicy, plump raisins which take in all the juices of the dressing, and a hint of spice from the cayenne.
I’ve altered it slightly, but like my aunt says, there is no wrong way to make this – it’s that easy and delicious!
One of the changes I made is adding pan roasted corn seasoned with paprika. This makes for a delicious side for any meal, and a great addition to this pasta salad.
I changed up the dressing ratio slightly too. I added a little more yogurt to the mix as it makes the raisins more plump.
This recipe is great for big gatherings, potlucks and summer BBQ parties. I tend to make it the day before because as it sits in the fridge cooling, the dressing saturates into the pasta emphasizing all the spices in every bite you take.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do. Try it out and let me know!
1 lb package of rotini pasta
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 14oz can of black olives, drained, rinsed and sliced
1 14oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 14oz can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup raisins
1 ½c corn
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp EVOO
For the dressing:
2 ½c yogurt
1 c light mayo
1 package Italian seasoning
Cook pasta per package instructions.
While you’re boiling your pasta, dice up the bell peppers, cucumbers, slice up the olives, and drain/rinse the beans.
On the side, heat up the oil and add in the corn. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes, then add in the salt, pepper and paprika. Mix well, turn off the stove and let cool to room temp.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta, all the veggies, the beans, the cooked corn, and raisins.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, mayo, cayenne pepper and Italian seasoning. Whip it until the dressing is a creamy consistency; add it in with the pasta and veggies and mix well. Taste and adjust salt and pepper per your flavor profile.
Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Serve cold.
I’m a big fan of Asparagus. And of snacking. And with asparagus being in season now, I’m trying to consume as many as I can!
A couple of years ago during Thanksgiving, we decided to have a potluck with the family. One of our cousins brought the most delicious Asparagus fries with garlic dip and I have to tell you, they flew off the pan as soon as they were out of the oven. Definitely a huge hit! I could snack on these all day!
I’ll let you in on a secret – even though they’re called fries, I’ve baked them, making them healthy along with delicious. One of the simplest recipes ever that can work as a side, appetizer or hey! a snack all for me!
Try it out:
Wash and pat completely dry the asparagus (if you don’t dry the asparagus completely, the mixture will not stick properly and will become clumpy in places – trust me, I speak from experience)
You’re going to need 2 shallow bowls – 1 for the whisked egg and 1 for the bread crumb mixture.
Mix 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs and 1 cup grated parmesan cheese.
Coat each asparagus first in the whisked eggs then in the bread crumb mixture and line on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-15 minutes till they are golden brown. You don’t want to nuke them so they shrivel up, just enough to cook them. You’ll get a nice crunch to them and they should still hold their original thickness.
For the yogurt sauce,
Whip the yogurt so it looks nice and creamy and smooth. Then add in the dill, salt and lemon juice. Mix well and dip away!
Here’s the recipe:
For the Asparagus:
1 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed 1″ from the bottom
2 eggs, whisked really well
1 c Italian bread crumbs
1 c grated Parmesan Cheese
For the Yogurt Sauce:
1/3 c non-fat plain yogurt
3 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with cooking spray.
Wash and pat completely dry the asparagus. Dip one at a time in the egg first then in the bread crumb mixture. Line on baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
For the yogurt sauce,
Whip the yogurt to a smooth and creamy texture. Add in the dill, lemon juice and salt. Mix well. Serve with hot Asparagus fries.
I can never get enough of this! Forget using it as a condiment, I can lick this yogurt dip out of the bowl! I use this sauce for so many things. Lamb kabobs, Pomegranate eggplant, falafels, the list goes on. The best part…. it takes less than 5 minutes to make! Here’s how:
1 1//2 c plain, lowfat yogurt
1 persian cucumber, diced into 1/2″ cubes
1 Tbsp dried dill
juice of 1/2 lemon
generous pinch of salt
In a bowl, whip the yogurt to a smooth consistency. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Enjoy!
This is one of my favorite recipes. It’s such a simple go to; you can wow friends and family, or just make it for dinner when you’re short on time or feel lazy enough to not make something elaborate. I originally found this recipe in a cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi. I’ve since adapted it to suit my palate but regardless of which version you try, I’m sure you’ll love the impact of so many flavors and textures packed in such few ingredients.
Here’s what I did:
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Chop the eggplant into 2 inch cubes. Add in dried thyme, rosemary, salt, crushed chili flakes, and olive oil. Toss it all to mix well.
Line a baking sheet with some aluminum foil and place the eggplant on there, skin side down.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the eggplant is cooked through. Make sure it’s not overcooked, otherwise, it gets mushy and definitely does not taste good!
The eggplant should look something like this:
When you’re ready to serve, plate up some eggplant and drizzle a little tzatziki sauce over it. Finally, sprinkle some pomegranate seeds and enjoy.
1 large eggplant, skin on, chopped in 2″ cubes
1 Tbsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
1 Tbsp crushed red chili flakes
generous pinch of salt
1 Tbsp EVOO
1/2 c pomegranate seeds
Preheat oven to 400°F
In a bowl, mix in the eggplant with the thyme, rosemary, dried chili flakes, salt and olive oil. Toss well so every piece of the eggplant is covered with all the herbs.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the eggplant on there skin side down.
Bake 20-25 minutes until the eggplant is cooked through.
When you’re ready to serve, drizzle with tzatziki sauce and top off with pomegranate seeds.
If you’re interested in the original recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi, click here.