Indian Cucumber Raita Recipe

 Mint cucumber raita, indian raita recipe

If you are looking for a quick cooling Yogurt Cucumber Raita, then this one is for you. Raita is an Indian condiment made using yogurt/ curd and used as a side dish, sauce or dip. This is not only enhances flavor, but offsets the spiciness of the main dish. All that is required for this is cucumber, yogurt and other spices. 

Traditionally ground cumin powder is added to this, but my family is not too fond of its taste in this raita and so I skip it. You can add chilli powder instead of green chillies, if you prefer.  The assortment of vegetables used in a raita is endless; but the commonly used ingredient is cucumber. Feel free to add chopped tomatoes, and onions as well. This is served along with pulao, biryani or khichidi and even parathas

Ingredients:

Yields: 5-6 servings

  • 2 medium cucumbers
  • 2 cups plain curd/yogurt (use thick yogurt)
  • 2-3 green chillies slit/ ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro /coriander leaves
  • 4-5 mint leaves chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder (optional)
  • salt to taste 

Method: 

  • Take a big bowl and add the yogurt, whisk it until it is smooth.
  • Add salt and green chillies/chilli powder to this and mix well.
  • Peel the cucumbers, seed them and chop into fine pieces.
  • Add the lemon juice, chopped coriander, chopped mint to the chopped cucumber and let it sit aside for 5-10 minutes.
  • Then add the marinated cucumber to the yogurt mixture and mix again.
  • Make the raita ahead of time and keep in the fridge to let the flavors blend together.
  • Serve along with pulao, biryani or any khichidi.

Banana Mango Milkshake

This Banana Mango Milkshake is an easy, delicious and filling drink. Not only does it have a cooling effect, but provides good nutrition as well. This is also a good way of using up any extra ripe mangoes and or bananas.

The kiddo has been showing some interest in milkshakes and so it is giving me an opportunity to try some healthy fruit combinations. Plus we bought a new Magic Bullet blender courtesy CSN stores and these shakes, juices, smoothies give me an opportunity to try it on the new blender.

The ingredients here are just for reference. It can be changed based on the sweetness of the mangoes and also how thick one prefers the drink to be. Adding mango-ice-cream makes this drink rich but is optional. I added the mango ice-cream as the taste of banana overpowers that on mango, so the ice-cream balances the taste and flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe mango chopped (peeled & deseeded)
  • 1 ripe banana (chopped into chunks)
  • 1 scoop mango ice-cream
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder (optional)/ pinch of cinnamon powder
  • 2 cups milk

Method:

  • First blend together chunks of banana and mango so that there are no lumps.
  • Next add milk, cardamom powder, mango ice cream, and blend till smooth.
  • Pour into cups and top with ice as required. Chill out!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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Kashay– Nutritional Spiced Hot Drink

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Kashay (In Konkani) is a hot milk beverage that is common in many Konkani households. It is a spiced drink that is not only potent but a nutritional powerhouse as well. This is preferred as beverage choice by many people instead of the regular tea or coffee.

Growing up I remember many elderly people having Kashay in the evening as it would aid in digestion and also have a cooling effect on the body. This was a common drink in my house as well. Many times while making this drink my mom used to add lemon grass (called Nirvale tan in Konkani) while making this drink. That adds even more flavor and aroma to this drink.

The first step while making the Kashay involves preparing the powder called as Kashay Pitto (Konkani). This involves dry roasting various spices including cumin, coriander, fennel and fenugreek. The roasted spices are then powdered and stored in air tight container. The powdered so prepared can be used for making the warm milk as and when desired. The kashaya powder by itself is very aromatic.

Few weeks ago, my MIL reminded of this nutritional drink and asked me to give it a try. I looked around and found the recipe here and here. Ever since I tried it, we have been hooked on to this drink.  Since in the mornings DH and I do not consume coffee or tea this drink works wonders for us. Also because of the cold wintery mornings, this drink provides a warm nourishing boost.

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(Kashay powder/pitto)

Coriander seeds: Coriander is a very good source of dietary fiber and a good source of iron, magnesium and manganese. It is supposed to reduce the level of total and LDL (the “bad” cholesterol), while actually increasing levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol). (source)

Cumin seeds: Cumin seeds may also have anti-carcinogenic properties. Cumin seeds have traditionally been noted to be of benefit to the digestive system. They are a very good source of iron, a mineral that plays many vital roles in the body. (source)

Fennel Seeds: As fennel seeds are rich in phytoestrogens, consuming them has a powerful effect on stomach disorders and irritable bowels. Other than that, the seeds are used to normalize the functioning of the lungs, liver, spleen and kidneys. Moreover, they are useful in comforting chest pain, lowering hypertension, easing water retention, curing heartburn, bronchial asthma and controlling cardiac problems. (source).

For people trying for first time, I suggest trying this in smaller quantities and adjust levels according to taste. All the spices that go into the drink promote good health in one way or the other and I feel it is totally worth it.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Aayi’s Recipes and Konkani Kitchen

Ingredients:

To make the powder

  • 1 cup coriander seeds
  • 1/2 cup cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (optional)

To make the drink

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp powdered jaggery/sugar
  • ½ tsp fresh grated ginger (optional)
  • 1 tsp kashay powder (see above)

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Method:

  • Powder: Roast ingredients separately in a small pan until light brown and powder finely. No need to add oil while roasting.
  • To make the drink: Heat a small saucepan/vessel.  Into this add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of milk and boil.
  • Add jaggery, 1 tsp powder and stir well and continue to heat for a minute.
  • Remove from flame and close with lid for 5 minutes and keep aside.
  • Transfer to tea cup by using a strainer. (optional) Serve hot.
  • Note: I do not strain the powder as I feel some nutrients will be lost. You have to keep stirring the drink while having it though.