Basic cucumber raita

January 5, 2009 at 6:10 am (Epicurious, Indian, Sauce/dressing, Summer recipes, unrated)

On my sister’s final night in Saarbruecken I made dosas and an Indian dish with okra and onions.  Hanaleah claimed not to like dosas (too spicy) or okra, but she really liked both my dishes.  To go along with the dosas, Hanaleah decided to make raita.  She started out with this Epicurious recipe for traditional cucumber raita, substituted red onions for the scallions, and added lemon juice and salt.  Her raita was excellent, and although the recipe is quite simple, I wanted to remember it, so decided to post it here.

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup finely chopped cucumber (unpeeled)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped red onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1? Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4? tsp. salt

Here’s a raita recipe from the cookbook “Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking” by Julie Sahni:

  • 1.5 cups plain yogurt, whisked til smooth
  • 1 cup peeled, grated cucumber
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground roasted cumin for garnish
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika for garnish
  • cilantro or mint for garnish

She says it can be made 5-6 hours in advance, and makes 4 servings.

I went over to my friend Anusha’s for dinner and she made a really tasty raita. It didn’t have cucumber in it, but it had lots of onions. She gave me her recipe:

  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 1 pinch black salt
  • 1-3 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1.5 cups yogurt [depends on how thick you want it to be]
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
It seems odd that an Indian recipe calls for dried parsley.  I wonder if Anusha meant coriander?  I tried making this using three quite small onions, and it was very tasty but much too salty for me.  I had to add a lot more yogurt and more lemon juice.  But I really love the raw onions in the raita.  I’ll definitely make it again.

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Sicilian Broccoli and Cauliflower Pasta

January 5, 2009 at 6:02 am (101 cookbooks, B_minus (2 stars, okay), Cruciferous rich, Italian, Pasta, Starches, Vegetable dishes)

Whenever I ask Derek what veggies he wants me to get at the store he invariably asks for the same thing:  broccoli and cauliflower.  I have a few recipes that are my regular weeknight standbys for these vegetables (sesame noodles, pan-fried broccoli, stuffed hashbrowns, and cauliflower curry), but I’d like a few more recipes to add to the rotation.  I found this recipe for Sicilian broccoli and cauliflower pasta on 101 cookbooks, and it looked like something Derek would love.   Heidi warns that it is a large recipe, but I decided to make the whole thing nonetheless.  Because it’s such a big recipe, the instructions say to saute the broccoli, cauliflower, and onions in separate batches.  Between all the chopping and sauteing, this was a pretty time consuming recipe.  It’s definitely not a quick week night meal, which is what I was looking for.  The recipe, however, is competently done—the final pasta came out just as I imagine it was supposed to.  The vegetables were well cooked, the onions and garlic created a nice flavor base, I could taste the saffron and a touch of sweet from the raisins, the olive oil and pine nuts added a nice mouth-feel without the dish tasting heavy, and the fresh parsley added a final touch of freshness.  My only complaint is that I couldn’t taste the rosemary, and I think the saffron should be soaked in warm water before adding it to the dish.  But otherwise the recipe is fine as is. Read the rest of this entry »

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