It's a hot September and cucumbers are in season, ready to be enjoyed from your garden, CSA or farmer's market. Complement a simple kitchari meal with this delicious cucumber-yoghurt relish.
2 medium cucumbers
½ tsp. salt
1.5 cups plain organic full fat yoghurt, cow or goat as preferred
¼ tsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped (leave a few leaves whole for garnishing
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 tbsp. sunflower or coconut oil
1 tsp. black mustard seeds
1. Peel and grate the cucumbers. If the cucumber is juicy, squeeze out the grated cucumber. Place in an attractive bowl in which you want to present your raita and sprinkle the salt over it.
2. Place the yogurt, paprika, mint and lemon zest in a 1-quart bowl and whisk with a fork until smooth and creamy. Pour this over the cucumbers and gently mix.
3. Heat the oil over moderate heat in a small pan. When it is hot but not smoking, add the mustard seeds. Fry until the seeds sputter and turn gray. Pour the fried seeds and oil into the cucumber-yoghurt mixture, and stir to blend.
4. Check seasonings, add more salt if needed.
5. Garnish with mint leaves and sprinkled paprika.
Note: Adding paprika gives a pinkish colour as above. If you prefer a white raita like the one below, do not mix in the paprika, just garnish with a little.
Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is a Certified Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.
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