As I watched Indira happily polish off the remains of the yoghurt in Noor’s pot (Noor, who hasn’t been too well, had already gone in for her sieste without finishing her lunch) after finishing her own, I was reminded once again of how Mataji, my maternal grandmother, used to call me “dadhipriya”, because I loved yoghurt so much. I see the same fondness for this food in Indira too.
It reminded me too, of her favorite raita, though that is not how she thinks of it. The extent of Indira’s francisation– the result of attending the local maternelle for three years and of eating lunch in the school cantine since the last two years- struck me one day last summer when she said,”You know that yoghurt sauce you make sometimes, that has mint in it? Will you make that again, please? I love it !!”
It took me a while to figure this one out , that she was talking about pudina raita.
So although it is a fairly cold winter day here, I thought I’d document this recipe too, since she loves this “sauce” so much. Of course, it is best eaten on a hot summer day, since the mint has such a cooling effect.
250 gms of yoghurt
2-3 tbsps of finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 tsp of sugar
salt to taste
Whisk the salt and the sugar in to the yoghurt. Mix in the mint leaves, and then turn the raita in to a serving bowl and leave for an hour or two before eating, so that the flavor of the mint blends well with the yoghurt.
This raita is great with pulavs, paranthas, and heavy and spicy curries and meats. And it is a wonderfully cooling and fresh addition to meals in the summer.
And with tikkas and kebabs, I imagine it could even pass off as a dip or -yes ! – sauce:-)