Banana Cucumber Raita
What is a Raita?
Raita is a yogurt based dish which is usually served as an accompaniment to a main dish. Raita are usually made using vegetables like bottle gourd, radish, cucumber, beetroot and fruits like banana, pomegranate, grapes, pineapple, etc. However that does not mean a raita is limited to those ingredients. These days there are so many different types of raita that are prepared. The most common raita you will find served with biryanis and pulao is a boondi raita or onion raita. Boondi is fried little pearl like balls. These are made from a chickpea flour batter. Boondi is added to the spiced yogurt base.
How is Raita Served?
Raita is served as a side dish or accompaniment to a main dish. Usually any Indian Thali Meal will have a raita or chaas. Serving raita with a rice dish is common. Sometimes, we enjoy a raita as a healthy light meal or even serve it as a dip.
Banana Cucumber Raita
I’ve grown up enjoying banana cucumber raita. My mum this one frequently, especially whenever she made some tuvar ni dar. My grandfather always use to say ” there should be enough mustard powder in the raita so that when one eats it, the mustard should be pungent enough to tickle your nose.”
Different Types of Raita you can try out:
Baigan/ Eggplant Raita – the eggplant is roasted, peeled and mashed. Its tempered with some spices, onion and garlic, then added to the yogurt.
Pomegranate and Cucumber Raita – I like to have this simple and very flavorful raita on its own as a light meal
Ingredients Required for Banana Cucumber Raita
- Banana – ripe but not over ripe.
- Cucumber – if you’re using a cucumber with thin skin then do not peel it. I like to use English Cucumber whenever possible. If the cucumber has too many seeds, remove them.
- Yogurt – thick plain yogurt, either homemade or store bought. Can also use Greek Yogurt.
- Salt – as per taste
- Sugar – optional but adding a bit balances the flavours.
- Coarse Mustard Powder – generally available ready made in any Indian Store. Its called rai na kuria or sarson ka chura. This mustard powder is actually a vital ingredient for any raita.
- Cumin Powder – freshly roasted and round is the best
- Coriander -also known as cilantro, fresh and chopped
- Green Chillis – as per your taste, either sliced into thin rings or minced.
- Gluten Free
- Satvik – no onion and garlic
BANANA CUCUMBER RAITA
- 2 cups thick plain yogurt
- 1 cup grated cucumber
- 2 medium ripe bananas
- 1 tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1-2 green chillis finely chopped or minced
- 2 tsp coarse mustard powder
- 3 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
- some pomegranate arils optional
- Grate the cucumber and squeeze out the water from it by pressing it between your palms.
- Peel and cut the bananas into slices or dice them. Add to the cucumber.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
- Chill the raita in the fridge for 20-30 minutes before serving.
- Remember to squeeze out the juice from the grated cucumber otherwise the raita will become watery.
- Add the cucumber juice to water you drink or dip 2 cotton wool pieces and keep them on your eyes as a coolant.
- Best to use freshly roasted and ground cumin powder.
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