This raita is inspired by the pumpkin pachadi (the term in the cuisine of Tamil Nadu for a side-dish like this one which consists of a cooked vegetable mixed with spiced yogurt) that Indira loves.
I thought this would go nicely with the poha we had for lunch today and add a pretty color to the table – the latter always appeals to me ! And though the girls like their poha better with plain yogurt – so they also had their usual pot each – they did finish the portion of raita I gave them and said, “it’s quite nice” .
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
400-500ml of yogurt
a few curry leaves
1/2 a teaspoon of mustard seeds
a pinch of asafoetida
2 tablespoons (or a little more , if you like) of desiccated coconut – optional
2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh coriander
salt to taste
a teaspoon – or a little more – of sugar
2 tablespoons of oil
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the mustard seeds and when they crackle add the curry leaves. Fry these for a few seconds then add the asafoetida and then the tomatoes. Cook till the oil begins to separate and appear on the sides of the tomato mixture. In the meanwhile, whisk the yogurt lightly in a mixing bowl , then add the salt, the sugar, the coconut and the chopped coriander leaves. When the tomato mixture has cooled, add to the yogurt and mix well. Add a little milk to the raita if it seems too thick or too sour.
I think this raita, or pachadi, would also go well with any simple vegetable dish – such as jeera-alu – and paranthas; it’s an interesting change from plain yogurt.