Raw papaya and Carrots raita...a versatile yogurt dip...
Some unassuming insipid looking vegetables can do wonders on your dining table. For me no vegetable is insipid as they all behave well when you like them. It is actually a two way relationship.
You take your time and cook them with interest, and cook them to the right degree of mushiness or crispness. The cooked texture of the vegetable is always a crucial factor in how the finished dish is going to taste.
Also, how the vegetable is cut or grated. With me, it's almost an OCD about how a vegetable should be cut or grated. Yes a fine grated and a coarse grated vegetable would taste differently in a raita like this.
See this raita made with zucchini and you would know what I mean.
Off course seasonings and vegetable combinations make a difference to the final taste as well. Like this Raw papaya, English Carrots and red onions make a great combination together. With a generous sprinkling of chopped green coriander leaves.
(2-3 large servings)
coarse grated English carrots (summer carrots) 1 cup
coarse grated raw papaya 1 cup
finely diced red onions 1/2 cup
finely chopped green coriander leaves 1/2 cup
cumin seeds 2 tsp
fine chopped green chillies 2 tsp
salt and pepper to taste
sesame oil or any preferred oil 2 tsp
thick fresh yogurt 1.5 cup or a little more if you wish
Heat the oil in a pan and tip in the cumin seeds. Wait till they crackle and then tip in the chopped green chillies. take care not to inhale directly over the pan as it might cause a bout of sneezing when chillies are being fried.
As the green chillies get fried add in the chopped red onions and fry them with a little salt sprinkled over it. Keep stirring till the onions get translucent.
Add the grated raw papaya and carrots, salt to taste and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Just till the grated vegetables start wilting and not really mushy cooked.
Add the pepper powder and green coriander , mix well and take off heat.
Let this cooked mixture cool down to room temperature...
Now add the yogurt and whisk well to mix everything together. Adjust seasoning and serve at room temperature. Some people like such raitas chilled so chill it before serving if you are one of them.
This is a nice side dish which will be appreciated for it's color as well as for the taste.
I have even tried it with a little cooked rice added and it becomes a nice curd rice meal for me. A great detox meal with or without rice and a tasty companion to an Indian meal.
Well, you can use this thick creamy raita as a bread spread as well. It keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days and even on room temperature for a couple of hours in Indian summers. In winters it can stay well on room temperature for a day.