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Monday, June 11, 2018

Boondi Raita

Raita is a popular accompaniment to go with aromatic, spicy biryanis whether laden with meat or substituted with vegetarian options. A raita is a yogurt based condiment that originated in the Indian subcontinent. It is usually served with spicy main course rice dishes such as biryani or pulao and also parathas - the spicy, stuffed flatbreads from the region. Pairing raita with a spicy dish is logical considering the fact that yogurt acts as a coolant. Boondi raita was an accompaniment to methi-potato rice for our lunch today.

Of course there is no one standard raita dish and variations are possible as the main ingredient can be altered or the ground spices that go into the dish can change. Today's raita is made from the plain, salted variety boondi. Now what is boondi ? They are prepared with chickpea flour and look like tiny golden pearls. A medium consistency batter is prepared using chickpea flour, salt and water and it is passed through a multi holed sieve into the hot oil and deep fried. The so prepared boondi can go into savory snack mixes or into the classic sweet dish from India, boondi laddu or motichoor laddu. One can easily find this plain boondi at snack aisles in any Indian store or at Indian sections in stores that sell international food.
Boondi is the star ingredient of today's raita and the preparation is quite a child's play when you use store bought boondi like I did. Boondi raita is an yummy accompaniment to any spicy rice dish or a paratha. The chilled raita can be even eaten as a snack on it's own since the cool, sweet yogurt, boondi and the spices gel beautifully well in this dish. The spices can be added or omitted according to one's preference and the quantities of the ingredients can be tailored to one's needs as well.
Ingredients: (Yield 2 servings)
1 cup full fat yogurt, chilled
1/2 cup boondi 
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp. red chili powder 
1/4 tsp. roasted cumin powder
Cilantro or mint leaves to garnish
(Chaat masala / black salt and/or ground black pepper can also be interesting additions but I don't use any.)

* Soak boondi in warm water for about five minutes. 
* Add salt to the yogurt and lightly whisk it for a uniform consistency.
* Gently squeeze the water from boondi without crushing them and add to the whisked yogurt. Add spices of your choice and stir to combine. 
* Garnish with minced coriander or mint leaves and serve as an accompaniment to the rice dish.

This goes to Blogging marathon # 89, under the 'Combo dishes' theme. Check out the page here to read what other marathoners are cooking.



Srivalli said...

The boondi Raitha looks so inviting Suma. Though I had taken pictures of this raitha couple of times, I haven't got around sharing it. The recipe is so simple and yet so delicious right. What is that Rice dish you have shared, looks fantastic.

Varadas Kitchen said...

I have not had this raita for a very long time. Have always loved the crunch with the yogurt. Perfect side for pulao and biyani.

Priya Suresh said...

Somehow am yet to try raitha with boondi, how delicious its looks. Excellent side dish for briyanis..

Kalyani said...

my elder one makes this at home, and in fact she's the defacto boondi raita maker at home !! I love this quick treat as a snack by itself on a balmy afternoon. Your pics are so alive, Suma .. have you changed your DSLR settings or shooting with a new camera ? its awesome...