chamomile and long black pepper steamed bread pudding

chamomile and long black pepper steamed bread pudding | A Brown Table

I couldn't be happier, you guys! I found out last night that I'm nominated in the Best Photo based Food Blog category at the International Association of Culinary Professionals for the 2016 awards that are to be held this April in Los Angeles! The past four years have been a blessing. They've been an amazing journey filled with fun and growing pains. From starting this blog to talking about food and through it, my experiences as an immigrant, to learning about photography but also just learning more about myself. I'm thankful for this blog and grateful, that you've been a part of my journey sharing the ups and downs along the way. Thank you!

What better way to celebrate this moment than with a childhood favorite, bread pudding! It took me a while to fathom that bread puddings are usually baked in the United States since my mother always steamed them whenever she made them at home and this is one dish she made often. I love both versions for different reasons. The American version, has a delicious crispy crust while the steamed version is soft and comforting. No matter what you look at it, bread puddings are one of the tastiest ways to use up leftover bread. I think it's the simplicity that makes it so appealing, a few ingredients with endless possibilities. Mom always uses vanilla extract and raisins and slices of milk bread. Bread pudding is breakfast converted to dessert and it's all about comfort.

This version is infused with dried chamomile flowers and long black pepper (which look like little pine cones). There's a creamy sauce that's infused with the spices and a sneaky helping of raisins in that give a burst of sweetness in each and every bite. This is a very simple recipe and you could modify and bake it if you wanted to. I use the bundt pan to steam the pudding and give it a more cake like shape which makes it a little fancier but again it's all up to you. Make it the way you want to and make sure to enjoy it!

chamomile and long black pepper steamed bread pudding | A Brown Table
chamomile and long black pepper steamed bread pudding | A Brown Table
chamomile and long black pepper steamed bread pudding | A Brown Table
chamomile and long black pepper steamed bread pudding | A Brown Table
chamomile and long black pepper steamed bread pudding | A Brown Table
chamomile and long black pepper steamed bread pudding | A Brown Table
chamomile and long black pepper steamed bread pudding | A Brown Table
chamomile and long black pepper steamed bread pudding | A Brown Table
chamomile and long black pepper steamed bread pudding | A Brown Table
chamomile and long black pepper steamed bread pudding | A Brown Table

A couple of kitchen notes that you might find useful when preparing this pudding;

  • My recipe is loosely adapted from Mark Bittman's recipe in the New York Times. His recipe is baked while this is steamed. 
  • If you can't find long black pepper, you can easily sub 1/4 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper for the pudding and sauce, each. 
  • I use this bundt cake pan which is also a great pudding basin and you can order the cooling rack and steamer rack to go with it. I just use the cooling rack as the steamer rack all the time and it works perfectly. Another option is to use an English pudding basin like one of those pretty Mason Cash bowls but this bundt pan and it's lid remove all the extra work from making a good seal to prevent water from entering the pan. 
  • I don't use too much sugar in this recipe, as challah is pretty sweet to begin with and too much sugar masks the flavor of the chamomile and black pepper.
chamomile and long black pepper steamed bread pudding | A Brown Table
chamomile and long black pepper steamed bread pudding | A Brown Table
chamomile and long black pepper steamed bread pudding | A Brown Table

chamomile and long black pepper steamed bread pudding

yields: 6 to 8 servings

ingredients

for the bread pudding

2 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter + extra for greasing the pan

1/4 cup dried chamomile flowers

4 long black peppercorns, coarsely crushed

4 tablespoons sugar

6 cups challah bread cut into 2 inch cubes (an entire challah loaf)

2 large eggs

4 tablespoons raisins or sultanas

for the sauce

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons dried chamomile flowers

2 long black peppercorns, coarsely crushed

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons cornstarch

for the bread pudding

1. Place the milk, butter, chamomile, peppercorns and sugar in a thick bottomed medium-sized saucepan. Heat on medium-low heat stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes until the butter melts, then increase heat to medium-high and bring the contents to boil stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled strain the liquid and discard the solids using a fine mesh sieve.

2. While the milk is cooling, grease a 2 quart bundt pan with a little butter.  Then place a layer of challah cubes and sprinkle a tablespoon of the raisins. Add another layer of bread and sprinkle the raisins. Repeat until you reach the top. 

3. Lightly whisk the eggs into the cooled and strained milk mixture. Pour this liquid over the bread in the bundt pan. Cover the bundt pan with its lid and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Place a plate or a round cooling rack into a large stockpot,  place the sealed bundt pan on top of the plate/rack. Pour enough tap water (at room temperature) to about 1 inch less than the height of the bundt pan. Place a heavy weight such as a bowl or plate over the bundt pan, cover the stockpot with a lid and heat the stockpot on medium-high heat until the water begins to boil. Continue to boil for another 1 minute and remove from stove. Allow the bundt pan to stay in the stockpot for another 5 minutes before removing from the stockpot. Remove the lid and run a butterknife between the edges of the pan and the pudding. Invert the bundt pan over a serving plate and allow to sit for 10 minutes to release. (If it doesn't release using the flat end of the butter knife to loosen the sides). 

To prepare the sauce

4. Place the milk, chamomile, peppercorns, and sugar in a medium-sized thick bottomed saucepan. Heat on medium-high, stirring occasionally until the milk just starts to boil. In the meantime, make a slurry of the water and cornstarch in a small mixing bowl. Vigorously whisk the cornstarch slurry into boiling milk and continue to cook until it thickens. Remove the saucepan from the stove and strain the solids and discard the solids using a fine mesh sieve. Pour about 1/2 cup of this warm sauce over the pudding just before serving with a little extra on the side. 

kale and sausage bread pudding

kale and sausage bread pudding | A Brown Table

Visiting M's parent's on their little farm out in Virigina, is always a treat! It's quiet, the internet is slow so you're basically cut off from the world but in many ways it's a blessing. You get to disconnect from everything else that's going on and you're forced to relax. You get to appreciate everything you have in your life a little more and start to pay attention to things around you. In many ways it's the best gift we could give ourselves. A brief respite from our lives. 

For some reason, it was apparently colder in CA than it was here on the East Coast, this Christmas. It's been raining like crazy, the fields were soaked in water and there were many moments that I almost slipped and broke my behind in the muck when I went to visit the mules and animals on the farm. M's mom loves her animals and raises goats that she milks herself to make goat milk soap. A couple of years ago, she taught me how to milk a goat, it's an interesting experience! I don't even know how to describe it. They now have two donkeys and they protect the goats from coyotes! I had no idea donkeys could scare coyotes off. 

Christmas morning, I baked a batch of popovers from Bon Appetit Christmas issue and some cheddar biscuits with herbs. Basically, we've been eating constantly every day. There is no rest for the tummy when we go to visit family. I think it is the general theme of our family vacations for both of us as we don't visit that them often so our trip transforms into a daily request of all our favorite dishes that we've missed.  

On one morning, I baked a kale and sausage bread pudding with M's mom. So here she is cooking with me in the kitchen and we're cooking a savory bread pudding (in many ways this is also a casserole). 

I'm also giving away this gorgeous baking dish from Le Creuset! All you need to do is a leave a comment and tell me what you want to cook in it and I will pick a randomwinner! The contest is only open to legal US residents and ends on January 3rd 2016 at 12 pm. Have an amazing New Year friends!!!

Mouth of Wilson, Virginia | A Brown Table
Goats and Sheep, Mouth of Wilson, Virginia | A Brown Table
Mules at Mouth of Wilson, Virginia | A Brown Table
Mules at Mouth of Wilson, Virginia | A Brown Table
Mouth of Wilson, VA | A Brown Table
Mouth of Wilson, VA | A Brown Table
Christmas at the Farm Mouth of Wilson, VA | A Brown Table
Christmas Day Breakfast Scene | A Brown Table
Jersey Cows and a Donkey, Mouth of Wilson, VA | A Brown Table
kale and sausage bread pudding | A Brown Table
kale and sausage bread pudding | A Brown Table
kale and sausage bread pudding | A Brown Table
kale and sausage bread pudding | A Brown Table
kale and sausage bread pudding | A Brown Table
kale and sausage bread pudding | A Brown Table
kale and sausage bread pudding| A Brown Table
DSC_4377 - Version 2.jpg

Here are some kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this dish;

  • I added less salt than I normally would since the sausage I used was heavily seasoned. Adjust your salt amounts if you know that how the sausage will taste. I prefer to stick to the lower amount because you can always sprinkle a little salt later over the pudding when serving.
  • Use whatever type of kale or bread you like. Mustard greens and chard leaves will also work well in this recipe. 
kale and sausage bread pudding | A Brown Table
Peacock in Virginia | A Brown Table

kale and sausage bread pudding

yields: 2 servings

ingredients

2 1/2 cups whole-wheat or rye bread country style, diced into 1" cubes

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup cooked Italian breakfast sausage (I used spicy pork)

2 cups whole milk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

1 cup packed kale leaves, torn (midrib discarded)

5 fresh sage leaves, julienned

1. Place a wire rack at midlevel in the oven and preheat to 375F. Take a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Mix the cubes pieces of bread along with the olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Spread this out on the lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes until the bread is browned and crispy. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. 

2. Take a medium-sized skillet and heat on medium-high heat. Crumble the sausage and cook until the sausage is completely cooked and lightly browned.  Drain the fat and keep the sausage aside. 

3. Lightly butter a 1 quart oval baking dish and keep aside. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Fold in the kale, sage, and sausage. Carefully fold in the toasted croutons. Pour the mixture into the baking dish, lightly wrap with cling film and refrigerate for 45 minutes to 1 hour. 

4. Place a wire rack at midlevel in the oven and preheat to 400F. Remove the cling film and bake the pudding for 30 to 35 minutes until the center is firm to touch. A knife should come out clean from the center of the bread pudding. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm. 

Disclaimer: Thank you to Le Creuset for sponsoring this giveaway. All opinions expressed are purely my own.

broiled figs with labneh panna cotta

broiled figs with labneh panna cotta | A Brown Table

I have one single fig on the little dwarf tree we bought last year. Just one....It started out with four but three didn't make it, they just dried and fell off. Now, I have one which I'm guarding like a hawk. One day, I will make a better home gardener....I hope.

If there's one thing the my world doesn't have enough of, it's figs. Big, fat, chubby and juicy bags of sweetness. They've been especially hard to find this summer and the ones, I've come across haven't been that good. But last week, I lucked out and decided to eat my weight in figs. And I have no regrets! 

Honey drizzled over fresh figs is probably my favorite way to eat them, the sprinkling of salt flakes is optional but the honey is what makes it magical. I kept the same theme here in this very simple labneh based panna cotta. I've flavored the panna cotta with orange blossom water and sweetened it lightly with a little honey. But the main sweetness in this dessert comes from broiling the fresh figs which helps to concentrate the sugar and add a nice caramel flavor to the fruit. And of course a little extra drizzle of honey before eating it!

broiled figs with labneh panna cotta | A Brown Table
broiled figs with labneh panna cotta | A Brown Table
broiled figs with labneh panna cotta | A Brown Table
broiled figs with labneh panna cotta | A Brown Table
broiled figs with labneh panna cotta | A Brown Table
broiled figs with labneh panna cotta | A Brown Table
broiled figs with labneh panna cotta | A Brown Table
broiled figs with labneh panna cotta | A Brown Table
broiled figs with labneh panna cotta | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips when preparing this dessert that you might find useful,

  • You can choose to serve the panna cotta in the jars or release them from the mold. To do the latter, you will need to spray the inner surface of the jar with a little neutral tasting oil and then pour the liquid in and allow it to set firm in the refrigerator. You can then release the panna cotta by running a knife along the edges of the pudding or simply just tapping it gently over a serving plate. I do however, recommend using a smaller volume if you want to release it from the mold, the weight doesn't make the pudding collapse as easy.
  • You could add a tiny pinch of Maldon sea salt flakes over the figs but that is a bit of an overkill here as the pistachios I use are already salted.
  • I used whole milk and full fat labneh here for a creamier taste. Low-fat should work too.
  • Experiment with flavored honeys for more complex tastes. I used clover but there are so many other lovely varieties to pair in this dish.

Since fig season is short you might want to make the most of it with these recipes:

broiled figs with labneh panna cotta | A Brown Table

broiled figs with labneh panna cotta

yields: 4 servings

ingredients 

1 cup whole milk

4 tablespoons honey + extra for drizzling

1 packet gelatin

6 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon orange blossom water

1 lb labneh, lightly whipped

8 large figs, fresh, firm and ripe

1 tablespoon olive oil

12 toasted salted pistachios, whole

1. Place the milk in a small saucepan along with the honey and bring it to a boil on medium-high heat. While the milk is boiling, sprinkle the gelatin in a small mixing bowl containing the water. Allow the gelatin to bloom for 5 minutes. 

2. Once the milk has boiled and the honey is dissolved, remove from stove and stir it while warm into the bowl containing the bloomed gelatin.

3. Pour the milk mixture into a large mixing bowl containing the labneh. Whisk to combine evenly. Divide the mixture into 4 equal parts and pour it into serving jars or bowls. Cover the mouth of each jar with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 to 4 hours until firm.

4. Set a wire rack in the upper level of the oven and set to broil. Take the figs and slice them in half. Brush a baking dish with a little olive oil and place the figs, sliced surface up. Broil for about 3 to 4 minutes until the figs are lightly golden brown and slightly caramelized on the surface. Remove from oven and keep aside until ready to assemble the dessert.

5. Take the pistachios and remove them from the shells (if present). Crumble the pistachio meat with a knife or a rolling pin and keep aside.

6. Unwrap the jars containing the panna cotta. Place about 4 broiled figs halves over each jar containing the panna cotta and sprinkle the pistachio crumble. Drizzle with honey and serve immediately. 

chilled cucumber walnut yogurt soup

chilled cucumber walnut yogurt soup1

Summers are warm and depending on where you live, they can be excruciatingly hot and sometimes, even worse, accompanied by the dreaded "H" word............. humidity! And as much as I like hot weather, humidity is another story, I'll happily avoid it! But even in a hot and humid day, things can be fun and cool, especially if you can indulge in a bowl of this chilled walnut cucumber soup.

chilled cucumber walnut yogurt soup4

I've made a chilled mint yogurt soup in the past but this time I wanted to make the soup full of earthy flavors yet every bit cooling so you feel refreshed with every spoonful. By adding a few toasted walnuts to the yogurt, the soup acquires a rich and creamy texture which makes it delicious. I couldn't resist adding a little chili pepper but that is completely optional, if you don't want a little hot, skip it or remove the seeds from the pepper.

chilled cucumber walnut yogurt soup
I added a few cups of Stonyfield's organic plain low-fat yogurt to make this chilled soup, the yogurt by itself has a naturally fresh tangy flavor that really brought out the taste of the ingredients in the soup, making it the perfect summer soup.

 Note: Here's some geeky biochemical science for you! Cucumbers can be slightly bitter and there a couple of ways to get rid of the naturally occurring compound called cucurbitacin that causes this taste. The amount of cucurbitacin can vary within cucumbers picked from the same plant, however in general, the bitter compound is present in the peels and green parts and it will be less in the center. To get rid of cucurbitacin, I use the method I learned at home, slice the ends of the cucumber off and keep the tips aside, then with the pointed tip of a knife prick a few random holes into the cut ends of the cucumbers. Now rub the exposed cut ends of the cucumber with the cut tips for a minute or two, a slight white foam will form. Rinse the foam off under cold running tap water, repeat this on the opposite exposed side. Once you're done with this, peel and discard the skin and tips. 

chilled cucumber walnut yogurt soup2

chilled cucumber walnut yogurt soup

yields: 2 servings

ingredients

3/4 cup toasted walnuts

1 cup peeled cucumber, diced (see note above on how to remove cucumber bitterness)

1 teaspoon kosher sea salt 

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

1 green thai chili pepper (optional)

2 tablespoons lemon/lime juice, freshly squeezed (I used lime)

2 cups plain low-fat (non-fat) Stonyfield yogurt, chilled

a few chopped toasted walnuts for garnish

a little fresh dill/tarragon for garnish

a little walnut oil/extra virgin olive oil for garnish

1. Place all the ingredients from the walnuts to the yogurt in a blender and pulse until completely smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the amount of salt and pepper if needed. You can also add a little water to the soup to adjust the consistency if needed.

2. Remove from blender, pour into chilled serving bowls. Garnish with a few toasted walnuts, dill/tarragon and a light drizzle of walnut/olive oil. Serve immediately. 

Disclaimer: I am honored to be a member of the Stonyfield Clean Plate Club. I received product or coupons for writing this post, but all opinions are my own.



chocolate walnut oil ice cream, 3 years + a giveaway

dark chocolate walnut oil ice cream

Three years ago,  I started this little blog. To be honest, I had no clue, no agenda or mission statement, all I wanted was a spot to write about the food I cooked at home, the food that I loved. You see, as a kid, I wanted to either attend culinary school or learn editorial photography but life had other plans and I ended up as a molecular biologist studying physiology and biochemistry. The only goal, I had was to make this my space to learn and indulge in things I loved to do. 

dark chocolate walnut oil ice cream 4

One of the questions, I get a lot is on food photography and I thought that this bloggiversary would be the perfect time to share my personal experience with you. Equipped with my point-and-shoot camera, I started to photograph the food I prepared at home to share in my posts. Most of those photographs are terrible, styling food would frustrate me, and my early photographs would not get accepted by the "food photography sharing" sites, even after I upgraded to a DSLR. At this point, I was ready to throw in the towel  till I spoke to my dad (who used to be a professional photographer until he retired) who gave me probably, the most important advice I have received to date, "practice". Practice made a huge difference in my work. For those of you who want to learn food photography or for that matter any type of photography, I can't stress how important practicing is. Make mistakes in your photographs and learn from them, figure out what pleases you the most about a photograph you took and what doesn't. Then retake the shot and see if you can change things, you are your own best teacher! Listen to what others say but also pay attention to your own instincts. 

dark chocolate walnut oil ice cream 2

To celebrate three years, I'm sharing this dark chocolate ice cream recipe with you. It's special because it's infused with all sorts of walnut deliciousness in it. There's walnut oil, a bit of walnut flour and some walnut bits that make this ice cream delicious. Walnut oil has the aromatic fragrance and flavors of freshly toasted walnuts, it really is amazing and really makes the walnut flavor pop in this recipe.

To thank you for all the support and love you have shown me and my work, I'm giving away one of my favorite kitchen appliances, a 2- Quart Frozen Yogurt-Sorbet-Ice Cream Maker courtesy of the super awesome folks at Cuisinart. All you need to do is follow the instructions on the widget below. The giveaway will run from August 4th till August 10th, 2014 and is only open to legal residents of the United States (sorry due to shipping reasons). Good luck!

NOTE: THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

dark chocolate walnut oil ice cream 3
ice30bc_silo

chocolate walnut oil ice cream

yields: 1 quart

ingredients

1 cup heavy cream

2 ounces dark chocolate chips (I used 63% cacao from Guittard)

1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) dark brown sugar

1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) unsweetened natural cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher sea-salt

2 cups whole milk + 4 tablespoons 

2 tablespoons cornstarch

4 generous tablespoons walnut flour

1/4 cup walnut oil (you could substitute a light flavorful fruity olive oil)

1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts, frozen (toasted can also be used)

1. Heat the heavy cream in a thick bottomed saucepan on medium-high until it just begins to simmer. Remove from stove and stir in the chocolate chips, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir until the chocolate chips have completely melted. You might need to whisk the chocolate to combine the ingredients completely. 

2. Make a slurry of the cornstarch with the four tablespoons of milk, keep aside. Place the saucepan with its contents back on the stove. Add the 2 cups of milk to the saucepan and whisk until combined. Heat the contents on medium high until the milk begins to boil and boil for 1 minute. Immediately, whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Whisk in the walnut flour. Boil for another 2 minutes, the mixture will thicken to a custard like consistency. Remove the saucepan from the stove.

3. Pour the contents of the saucepan into a clean gallon ziploc bag. Seal airtight and place the bag in an ice-cold water bath to cool or leave in the refrigerator to chill completely. Once the ice cream base has completely cooled, pour in the walnut oil and whisk a little. Refrigerate for another 10 minutes. Transfer the chilled ice cream to your prepared frozen canister of your ice cream maker. Churn for about 30 minutes until the ice cream has formed. Alternatively, follow the instructions given by your ice cream maker's manufacturers. 

4. Transfer half of the ice cream to an airtight freezer proof container. Sprinkle half of the walnuts over the ice cream and then layer with the rest of the ice cream. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts over the ice cream. Randomly swirl a silicone spatula or butter knife through the ice cream to distribute the walnut bits. Cover the surface of the ice cream with parchment paper and freeze for at least 4 hrs before serving. I like to garnish the ice cream scoops with a little extra walnuts right before serving. 

Disclaimer: I did not receive any financial compensation from the participating sponsor in this giveaway. All opinions stated are my own.

 

 

cucumber cilantro mint raita

cucumber mint raita

Thank you so much for the feedback on the new look! I have to admit, having a blog teaches you all sorts of things that you never thought you would but as challenging as it can be, it's also a lot of fun. Speaking of fun things, this mention by Parade Magazine was exciting and I was very honored to be included in such an amazing list of creative and talented people. 

fresh mint
mint  chutney

Today, I have two recipes for you and I think they are perfect way to deal with all this hot weather that's coming our way here in California. There's a fresh cilantro and mint chutney which has a dash of fresh ginger root blended in. You can use this chutney as a dip, or spread it between slices of buttered bread or use it in this raita recipe that I've included in this post.

Raitas are a dish I make it at home a couple of times during the week and on hot summer days like the ones we are having right now, a refreshing and cooling cucumber and cilantro-mint raita hits the right spot. I've described two ways to prepare the raita but honestly, it's all up to you, present it the way you want to. Just have fun!  I do find that the "parfait" style makes for a good travel companion when it comes to packing lunches and a little more exciting because I like the personalized touch. 

I used Greek yogurt instead of the traditional method of using plain regular yogurt because I like my raitas a little creamy. A thicker yogurt base also makes it easy to layer and prepare the parfait.

grating cucumber for mint raita
fresh cucumber mint raita

cilantro-mint chutney

yields: approximately 1 cup

ingredients 

1 cup packed mint leaves, fresh

1 cup packed cilantro, leaves

1 inch piece ginger root, peeled, julienned

2 thai green chili peppers

1 lime

1/4 cup water, chilled

1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1.  Place the mint, cilantro, ginger, chili into a blender (or a jar if you're using an immersion blender), Squeeze the lime juice and add the water and salt. Blend until the ingredients for a smooth paste. You might need to add a little more water to the paste or occasionally stir the ingredients to get them moving in the blender. Once this chutney is prepared you can use it immediately or refrigerate it in an airtight container. You can also freeze this for for a few days. (Note: the vibrant color does tend to become a little darker after a few days of storage but the it is still good to use and eat)

cucumber mint raita

yields: approximately 4 cups

ingredients

2 cups plain Greek yogurt 

1/2 cup water, chilled (* if you want the raita thinner add more water but remember to adjust the salt and pepper according to your taste preferences)

1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

2 cups cucumber, peeled and grated

1 thai chili pepper, cut into thin slices for garnish

1. In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt, water, salt and pepper until the ingredients are completely combined. Keep this yogurt base aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

2. Squeeze the grated cucumber for any excess liquid. You can save the liquid and use it to for something else (I either drink it or use it in chilled juices).

3. There are two ways to prepare the raita. 

a) The first method is for the "parfait style". You can prepare about 4-6 (5-6 ounce) glass jars with this method. Layer the bottom of one jar, half-way with the yogurt base. Add about 2-3 tablespoons of the grated cucumber above and layer with more yogurt base until you're about half an inch from the top of the jar. Layer with 2 generous tablespoons of the cilantro-mint chutney and garnish with a few of the sliced chilies and a little left over grated cucumber. Prepare the rest of the jars using this method. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

b)The second method is to mix 1/2 cup of the cilantro-mint chutney prepared earlier with the yogurt base and the cucumber in a large mixing bowl. Garnish with the thinly sliced chilies. You can serve it immediately or cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve chilled.