Summer time again! Time to live on juices, citrus fruits and watermelons! Time to indulge in icecreams and sherbet, to ditch that spicy oily food and relish instead, some khichdee, simple subzis and loads of curds or yogurt. When it becomes unbearable to work in kitchen for hours, simple quick fix meals come to my rescue. Stuffed parathas, Dalbaath, Khichdee, dal chaawal, onepot pulav, mixed vegetable rice etc are the preferred choice of meals at my home, during summers. And one thing that is mandatory with all these dishes, is curd/yogurt in its various avatars like, plain curd, lassi, chaach and raita.
Raita is one of the most popular Indian condiment and is made all over India, using regional flavors. So while in north, boondi (savory, fried, chickpea flour pearls) raita tops the charts, there are other popular ones, like cucumber raita, spinach raita and mixed vegetable raita too! The base of raita is beaten yogurt or curd and the flavors varies with the choice of vegetables (Cucumber, carrots, onion, brinjal, beetroot, bottlegourd), leafy greens (spinach, amaranth, coriander leaves, mint leaves) and the seasonings (powdered roasted cumin, black pepper powder, chaat masala, red chilli powder, dried mint powder, rock salt or even sugar ).
In South of India, Pachadis are very popular. The plethora of soft vegetables, gourds, and even fruits are added to the beaten curd and often tempered with mustard seeds, curry leaves, lentils and asafoetida.
Maththo or Mattho in Sindhi generally refers to buttermilk. But in many cases, it also means a raita. Like Punjabis, Boondi raita is adored by Sindhis. But there are some other popular yogurt coolants as well. Raitas made using Dhoodhi ( Boiled till tender, grated bottlegourd), Suanjhray jay Ghulah (Boiled drumstick flowers) and swandhro (or also known as Suandhro) i.e dried tender drumsticks, are also relished by Sindhis.
Dried tender drumsticks are easily available at ‘pasari’ shops in Sindhi populated areas, like Ulhasnagar, Chembur,Khar, Pune, Kanpur etc and are often used to cook exotic subzi with lotus roots. To make raita, boiled suandhro is added to beaten curd, seasoned with salt, finely chopped ginger, chillies and black pepper powder and served chilled!
- 11/2 Cup Curd/Yogurt
- ¼ cup dried tender drumsticks
- ½ green chilly finely chopped
- ¼ tsp finely chopped ginger
- 1tbsp Fresh coriander leaves chopped
- Salt as per taste
- A pinch of Sugar
- Chaat masala powder
- Black pepper powder
- Red chilly powder
- Cumin Powder
- Soak the tender dried drumsticks (available at local pasari shops) for 5-6 hours.
- Drain the water and pressure cook the soaked drumsticks with some salt and water till the pressure releases 4 times (4 whistles).
- Drain excess water and let the cooked drumsticks cool completely.
- Beat the curd well and add salt and pinch of sugar. Add some water to adjust the consistency. Mash the cooked drumsticks and add in beaten curd. Add chopped ginger, chillies and some coriander leaves. Chill it in refrigerator for about an hour and let the flavors develop.
- Before serving garnish with cumin powder, black pepper powder,chaat masala, red chilly powder and fresh coriander leaves.
This recipe was featured in HT cafe of Hindustan times (April 30, 2013, page no 6 of Ht cafe).