Indian Raita Feast

Carrot Raita

1/2 c shredded carrot
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tsp sugar (to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp coriander powder (to taste)
1/4 tsp paprika or red pepper powder (to taste)
1 pinch asafoetida powder
1/2 c yogurt (to taste)
chopped coriander (to taste)

Mix well and enjoy.

Banana Raita

1 banana, quartered lengthwise, cut into 1 cm pieces
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tsp sugar (to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp coriander powder (to taste)
1/4 tsp paprika or red pepper powder (to taste)
1 pinch asafoetida powder
1/2 c yogurt (to taste)
chopped coriander (to taste)

Mix well and enjoy.

Radish Raita

1/2 c shredded carrot
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp coriander powder (to taste)
1/4 tsp paprika or red pepper powder (to taste)
1 pinch asafoetida powder
1/2 c yogurt (to taste)
chopped coriander (to taste)

Mix well and enjoy.

Onion Raita

1/2 c onion, diced
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp coriander powder (to taste)
1/4 tsp paprika or red pepper powder (to taste)
1 pinch asafoetida powder
1/2 c yogurt (to taste)
chopped coriander (to taste)

Mix well and enjoy.

Boondi Raita

1/2 c boondi
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tsp sugar (to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp coriander powder (to taste)
1/4 tsp paprika or red pepper powder (to taste)
1 pinch asafoetida powder
1/2 c yogurt (to taste)

Mix well and enjoy.

Mix Raita

1/4 c shredded carrot
1/2 diced tomato
1/2 banana, quartered and cut into 1 cm pieces
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tsp sugar (to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin powder (to taste)
1/2 tsp coriander powder (to taste)
1/4 tsp paprika or red pepper powder (to taste)
1 pinch asafoetida powder
1/2 c yogurt (to taste)
chopped coriander (to taste)

Mix well and enjoy.

Cucumber Raita

1 cucumber, shredded, water squeeze out by hand
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper powder (to taste)
1 pinch asafoetida powder
1/2 c yogurt (to taste)
chopped coriander (to taste)

Mix well and enjoy.

NOTE: These taste great on their own as a savory snack, can also be enjoyed with poori, paratha, methi paratha, as a side with spicy curries, with naan, with rice, .. really, the options are endless.

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Shredded Apple Jam

Apple Chhundo / Shredded Apple Jam

This recipe makes enough for four people to enjoy with dinner. About a quarter cup? A lot depends on the type and size of apples you use. This lasts in the fridge for months (the same way a normal jam or jelly you buy would last), or at room temperature for around a week (in Chicago!!! That would be around 70 degrees F!).

If you have ever had mango (keri) chhundo, you will love this recipe. The proper type of mango (kachi keri) to make a pickle (athana/achar) is not frequently available in the US. However, apples are plentiful all year round.

This recipe taste great with naan, rice, bread (toasted), roti, paratha, poori, veggies, or really anything. I personally enjoy eating spoonfuls by itself, the way a normal person would eat Nutella. YMMV.

Note: Sugar and salt amounts depend on the type of apple you use and how sweet or tart it is. A Granny Smith apple would require more sugar than a Macintosh, for example. Start at the bottom of the scale and work your way up, tasting the jam along the way. (You can add more sugar and salt than I’ve suggested, as I said, it depends on your taste :)) (If you want to be super fancy, you can add some ghol/jaggery in addition to the sugar — just a few tsp will make a huge difference in taste. If you don’t have ghol, you can use brown sugar. Whatever you like. If you are partial to molasses cookies, you will like the recipe with brown sugar or ghol. If you are partial to sugar cookies, you will like it with plain sugar. Experiment to find what you like best).

Note: This recipe is pretty mild, but full of spices. It is not hot the way most people think of Indian food as being. My family and I are from Chicago, and do not eat spicy food. If you want to increase the heat quotient, increase the amount of paprika, or add a red chili pepper (dried) to the vaghar. Most Indian people in India add chili peppers to vaghar, that is why the food is so darn spicy. My family and I do not do this. It is horrible, like cooking with chili oil. However, if that is your thing, go for it! If you absolutely (for health reasons or whatever) cannot tolerate hot food, omit the paprika. If you cannot tolerate spicy food, omit the cinnamon, black pepper, clove, and paprika. Don’t worry, it will still taste good without it 😉

Ingredients:

1 apple, shredded (use a hard apple, like Macintosh, Granny Smith, Red Delicious)
1/4 tsp mustard seeds (rye)
1/4 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
1/2 tsp turmeric (haldar)
1/8 tsp asafoetida (hing)
3 whole black pepper
1 in cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt (depending on taste)
2-3 tbsp sugar (depending on taste)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 bay leaves

Directions:

  1. Vaghar – put oil on heated pot until oil is hot. Add mustard seeds (they will splatter). Add fenugreek seeds. Add cumin. Add bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, black pepper. Add turmeric and asafoetida. Add paprika.
  2. Add shredded apple. Let cook until all moisture is gone.
  3. Add paprika, salt and sugar.
  4. Let cook until all moisture is gone. Sugar will lose water and then thicken into jam consistency.
  5. It takes a few minutes after you add the sugar until the sugar comes together in a thick syrup.
  6. Remove from stove.
  7. Enjoy!

NOTE: I usually enjoy with with poori and a nice hot cup of Indian tea.

NOTE: Most people can’t taste the difference between this apple chhundo and a normal gujarati keri chhundo. 😉

Indian Food: Potato Onion Vegetable

Potato Onion Vegetable (Gujarati-Indian-style)

Chop and peel 2 white potatoes (or yukon gold), put in water, boil in microwave (or on stove).

Chop 1 onion.

Chop 3 cloves garlic.

Vaghar (also called tempering):
Oil
Rye (poppy seeds)
Cumin (jeera)
Haldar (turmeric)
Hing (asafoetida)
Bay leaves (curry leaves)
Chana dal (if desired)

Add onion and garlic. Let brown a bit.

Add potatoes. Let cook. Mush.

Add water as needed.

Season with salt and sugar.

Personally, I like this by itself.  It tastes great to me with naan (punjabi style), roti (gujarati style), or even on an everything bagel (american style).  It can also be eaten with dosa and sambhar (south indian style).  All are yum yum yum yum yum.

Note: this is not a curry.  This is a gujarati recipe (from the Indian state of Gujarat).  Most indian restaurants in the US are punjabi (from the Indian state of Punjab).  A significant minority of Indian restaurants in the US are South Indian (usually called Udupi or Woodlands or something about Madras in the name of the restaurant).  There are very very few Gujarati restaurants, so if you want to eat this style of food (from the Indian state of Gujarati), you need a Gujarati friend.  You know these people.  They tend to have the last name Patel, Desai, Shah, Mehta, Bakshi, or something like that.  If you like stereotypes, they tend to own Subways, 7-11 stores, and hotels around the country.  Gujarati food is supposed to be fresh, low fat, and part of a balanced diet (a traditional meal [thali] has bread, two vegetables, one lentil soup, some mango pickle, a sweet, a salad, and papad [a lentil cracker]).

Note: Go to http://www.informationcorner.com/recipeglossary.asp for translations of indian ingredients.