September 21, 2013

pumpkin raita

pumpkin raita

Here's my first pumpkin recipe of the year, even though autumn is technically a few days away, I think it is fair to say, the weather is cooling down quickly, the sun is setting earlier, and my craving for pumpkins is kicking in. Though this is also the time when we bounce back and forth between hot and chilly day  and I think that you will find this recipe a fitting tribute to the transition between summer and fall,  with its cool, light, and refreshing flavors, something that you can eat as an accompaniment to any meal or even as a salad. 

Pumpkin cutting

One of my favorite accompaniments in Indian cuisine is the "raita".  It is usually served chilled and it soothes and cleans your palette whenever you eat a spicy hot dish. There are several hundred different varieties of raitas but all of them share one common ingredient, yogurt. Normally, you would use plain yogurt but since I like my raitas a little thick and creamy, I use plain Greek yogurt. If you want it thinner, mix in a little cold water till you achieve the desired consistency.

Yogurt and Cilantro

Sugar pie pumpkins are the perfect size for a small family and much more easier to work with. All you need to do is simply quarter the pumpkin, discard the seeds and strings from the inner cavity, peel and discard the skin. To grate the flesh, pass it through a food processor with the appropriate blade or use a grater. For this particular dish, I prefer to steam cook the grated pumpkin since it only takes a few minutes and the pumpkin retains its structure. 

Falling black mustard seeds

This raita will go deliciously well with rice dishes, flat breads like naan or rotis or even as a dip for a party. If you want it hotter, just add a few more chili peppers just make sure it is served super chilled.

Here are some of my other favorite savory and sweet pumpkin dishes that I hope you will like,
bowl of pumpkin raita

pumpkin raita

yields: 4 servings

ingredients

2 cups grated pumpkin
1 thai green chili pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 red onion, minced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
3 cups plain non-fat greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2-3 curry leaves, dried or fresh

1. Place the grated pumpkin in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a lid and microwave for 3-4 minutes until the pumpkin is completely tender.  Keep aside to cool.
2. In a large mixing bowl add the pumpkin, chili pepper, onion, cilantro, mint, yogurt, salt, and pepper. Whisk the ingredients with a fork and taste to make sure the amount of salt and pepper is enough. Transfer the mixture to a clean serving dish. Cover and refrigerate the raita for 1-2 hours until chilled.
3. Before serving, heat the oil in a saucepan on a medium high flame till it gets slightly smoky. Immediately reduce the flame to low and carefully add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. The seeds will begin to spurt and the leaves will brown in the hot oil. Cook till the seeds stop spurting and pour the entire contents while hot on top of the chilled raita. Serve immediately. 

61 comments:

  1. A delicious raita! Wonderfully seasonal.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Oh, this spicy but cool and fresh seasonal pumpkin dish sounds divine! Beautiful styling and photography as always, Nik! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Stacy, you are so kind and I am glad you liked the post.

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  3. A simple and a great side. Love raita, a perfect way to start pumpkin season Nik.

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  4. This is a perfect dish to welcome fall!! Love the spices here, Nik!

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  5. This sounds like a wonderful way to use pumpkin!

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  6. I love the idea of pumpkin raita! Very creative. Good dish, good pictures - thanks.

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  7. Nik, what a beautiful way to kick off the Fall season! Definitely pinning this!

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    1. Thank you Julia and thank you again for sharing this!

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  8. Really interesting way of using pumpkin. I must admit I've never cooked with pumpkin from scratch before. I bet it's worth it by the looks of your raita.

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    1. Thanks, Monica! It is not that hard, I think the peeling was probably the task that took the most effort.

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  9. you are just so creative - i would have never guessed about pumpkin in a raita. so many lovely ingredients.

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    1. Dixya, you are so kind, I am happy you like this recipe.

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  10. MMMM,...A pumpkin raita , I have never made before,...I must change that! What a glorious & winning recipe, it is too! Yummmm! Fabulous cool pics! x

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    1. Thank you Sophie! It's so easy to prepare, I think you will like it.

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  11. I have eaten a cucumber raita but never a pumpkin one. I love this idea. I must try it soon.

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    1. Denise, I love cucumber raitas too, I think you will enjoy this one as well.

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  12. So pretty! I love how unique this pumpkin dish is :)

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  13. Sounds delicious especially with the pumpkin!

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    1. Thank you, I am so glad you love it.

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  14. I love that you used fresh pumpkin, it just doesn't get any better than that in my opinion! I've never had raita but you have peeked my interest, can't wait to try!

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    1. Thanks Pamela, fresh pumpkin tastes so much more better plus you can be a lot more creative with it then the canned stuff.

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  15. Ooh, I really need to get on a pumpkin recipe soon! This looks SO good!

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  16. They are a comfort treat for sure.

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  17. So easy to make, and I love Raita! Never had pumpkin version and it's perfect to welcome the new season with this. :)

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    1. Thanks Nami, you will like this one!

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  18. This looks cool and refreshing, perfect for the season. I love the idea of putting the pumpkin in the raita! How do you think it would be if I roasted the pumpkin first rather than softening it in the microwave? I think it might add some texture but wonder if it might change the recipe too much...hmm.....

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    1. Thank you Dena! I didn't add the roasted pumpkin because I felt that it would get mushy and blend into the yogurt since it would be more like a puree. The raw grated option gave a better texture and also leaned more towards a traditional feel since, vegetables are generally grated or cut and then added to the yogurt. If you do try the roasted option, let me know how it turns out, I would love to know!

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  19. What a refreshing way to eat pumpkin! Raita is one of my favorite parts of an Indian meal as well, and I'm sure I'd like it even better with my favorite fall vegetable mixed in!

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    1. Yay, Joanne! I am so happy you like it.

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  20. The weather is definitely changing a lots here too... As it comes, pumpkin is the star in the market here right now so I ll be able to recreate your gorgeous Raita soon.

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    1. You must have access to all sorts of delicious varieties in India, Helene! I am sure you will have a great selection.

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  21. Fantastic photos, Nik! Perfect autumnal dish.

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  22. I like your pumpkin raita, I need to cook when I can get hold of pumpkin. I make curry with pumpkin though. Not try with any yogurt

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    1. Thank you Swathi, I hope you get to try it.

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  23. I think I've posted at least 3 pumpkin dishes already since fall hit early in Toronto! I'll be honest though, I've stuck to the canned version since I've been pretty intimidated by real pumpkins but maybe it's time I get my hands on a sugar pie pumpkin!

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    1. Haha, I am glad I am not the only one with a pumpkin obsession right now! Yeah, see if you can find the sugar pie variety, they are easier to handle and smaller in size.

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  24. I am so glad to have stumbled across your blog. I have never tried pumpkin raita ever! It is so creative and clever! Would love to try it soon. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and I am glad you liked the post, I hope you get to make this soon.

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  25. This is genius! I love that you jazzed this up and put your special touch on this recipe, Nik!

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    1. Thanks Angela, your comment really made my day!

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  26. I love raita but have never had a version like this - it sounds wonderful and so perfect for fall. What a neat flavor combination - I can think of SO many dishes it would be perfect with!

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    1. I am leaning towards lighter recipes these days, this hit the comfort food button for me!

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  27. I dig raita and have never thought of this combo and am seriously kicking myself for having never tried this. I just have to try this.

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  28. This sounds so delicious! Pumpkin, herbs, and spices with that creamy yogurt sounds heavenly. I would just love this!

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    1. Thanks so much, Marcie. It is easy and yes happily creamy :) !

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  29. Love your photos Nik. Looks like a wonderful seasonal dish.

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