Raitas (there are many types of them) are a very popular side dish in India. There are made of yogurt, water, spices and some kind of vegetable, or sometimes fruit and make a very refreshing dish in hot weather.
- 1 cucumber
- 1/2 litre of yoghurt
- teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 good pinch of rock salt (can be got in Indian store, if not available, ordinary salt will do)
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint
Grate the cucumber and drain the juice.
Roast the cumin and the coriander together on a dry pan until they start changing colour, then grind them, together with the rock salt.
Mix the spices, the grated cucumber and the yogurt thoroughly. Garnish with chopped fresh mint. Cool in the fridge for half an hour before serving.
A spicy variation of this classic Middle Eastern dish.
- 1 lb dried chick peas
- the juice of 2 lemons
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 small teaspoon chili powder
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- chives of parley to garnish
Soak the chick peas overnight. Change the water and cook for an hour or more, until the peas are easy to crush between your finger. Drain, but keep some of the cooking water aside. Leave to cool down.
In a food processor, put all the ingredients except the olive oil. Blend at high speed, adding the cooking water very slowly, until the desired consistency is reach. Stir in the olive oil, transfer to a serving dish, and garnish with a sprinkle of chili powder and some herbs for a dramatic colour effect. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
Potato and seaweed salad
Unlikely as this may seem, this is a wonderful combination. You need waxy salad potatoes (Ratte is perfect for that recipe). Unfortunately these are difficult to find in Ireland and the UK. You might have to grow your own!
- 1lb waxy potatoes, cooked, peeled if you like and diced
- 1 red onion or shallot, or a bunch of spring onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons or pickled ginger, chopped small (optional)
- 2 sheets of Nori seaweed (that the stuff they use for sushi rolls), chopped into small narrow strips.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Boil the potatoes. As they are boiling place the rest of the ingredients in a salad bowl. Do not overcook the potatoes. As soon as they are cooked, but still firm, drain them and toss them in the salad bowl while still steaming hot. Add all the other ingredients, give the salad a stir, and serve warm.