Radish Raita

radish yogurt raitaRadish is one of those vegetables that you buy in a bunch and rarely use all at once, so I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate it into dishes. This recipe is one of my staples for when I have some extra ones lying around. I never would have thought to put radish in raita if not for my mother. She gave me this recipe. It’s a nice combination of spiciness from the radish and chili and sweetness from the coconut.

This raita is made in a South Indian style where you pour heated spices over the yogurt at the end. This spice mixture is called vaggarne (I have trouble saying it so don’t feel bad if you can’t either). In North India, this tempering of spices is called chaunk.  I made a video of this recipe which you can watch to understand how tempering works.

Raita is one of my favorite foods and I love how it is so versatile. You can make it with many vegetables – cucumber, tomato, potato, onion, but I feel that this raita is one I come back to over and over again. I also eat it in a variety of ways – as a side to a curry and roti, mixed in with rice, or just by itself.

Because I have cut out orange juice and many other citrus fruits for their high acidity, I have been looking for alternative sources of Vitamin C. Radish has become one of those substitutes. In addition, it is also good for digestion. This may explain why my grandmother would always put out some chopped radish to munch on while she prepared our meal.

When I first ate radish in India I realized that this vegetable is actually a spicy one. I have been finding though that in the US, only farm fresh radish has this same spicy flavor as opposed to the mild radishes you find in the supermarket.


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