Thursday, February 10, 2011

Carrot Cucumber Raita

You may have heard cucumbers being recommended as a diet food because they consist of mostly water and are low in calories. But did you know that cucumbers are also packed with nutrition. The flesh of cucumbers is said to be a very good source of vitamins A, C and folic acid. And their hard skin is rich in fiber and has a variety of minerals including magnesium, silica and potassium. In fact the reason why cucumbers are considered good for maintaining healthy skin is because it contains silica, which is said to enhance skin tone and its texture.

Sadly I come under the category of people that peel cucumbers before using them in some dishes. A habit that I am trying to break......I have resolved to try and find more ways to include the skin of cucumbers along with the flesh in the future :-)  In the meanwhile here is a simple raita (a yogurt based salad) with a combination of cucumbers and carrots that I find very refreshing, quick, delicious and colorful. This raita works really well along with any type of north Indian rice recipe like pulao or with parathas (Stuffed Indian flat bread) or even just by itself.

Carrot Cucumber Raita~Indian style yogurt based salad

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Carrot Cucumber Raita
1 large cucumber (kakadi/Kheera/veldrikkai) peeled and grated
2 large carrots grated fine
1 1/2 cups whisked plain yogurt (dahi/thayir)
salt to taste (namak/uppu)
1/2 tsp red chili  powder (or to taste)
1/4 tsp cumin powder (jeera/jeeragam powder)
2 tbsp very finely chopped cilantro (coriander leaves/hara dhania/kothamalli) for garnish.

In a large bowl, mix together cucumber, carrot, salt, chili powder and cumin powder.
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Add whisked plain yogurt and mix well. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve chilled along with pulao, or other rice dishes, or with paratha.
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