Adapted from a recipe in Foods of the World: The Cooking of India (Time, Inc., 1969), this basic raita is a cooling counterpoint to fiery foods, thanks to its foundation of full-fat yogurt, cucumber, and mint. Plum tomatoes add a hint of acid, Thai chiles heat, and cumin a slight earthiness. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2014 special India issue with Mari Uyehara's story Supporting Cast.
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely shredded
- 1⁄2 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 1⁄2 cups plain, full fat yogurt
- 1⁄2 cup minced mint
- 2 small green Indian chiles, or 1 serrano, stemmed and minced
- 1 large plum tomato, minced
Toss cucumber, onion, and salt in a colander set over bowl; let drain 5–10 minutes, then squeeze dry. Heat an 8" skillet over medium-high; cook cumin until seeds pop, 1–2 minutes; grind in a spice grinder into a powder. Whisk yogurt and reserved cumin in a bowl until smooth. Stir in reserved cucumber mixture, the mint, chiles, and tomato. Chill up to 4 days.