Thursday, August 5, 2010

Great Summer Recipe: Raita

Raita is a yogurt-based side dish often served with Indian foods. It is a quintessential cooling Ayurvedic dish that helps balance the often spicy pitta-provoking main dishes in Indian meals. It's cooling properties make it a great dish for the summertime. In Ayurveda yogurt is generally recommended only during the daytime and not at night. This is not only because the warmer days are better suited for a cooling dish, but our digestion tends to be a little stronger during the day and this helps better digest a heavy food like yogurt.

Spiced Raita recipe

2 cups plain whole milk yogurt
one half cucumber, seeded and diced
1 medium tomato, 1/4 inch diced
half cup chopped cilantro
half teaspoon salt
half teaspoon ground cumin powder

In a mixing bowl, mix all ingredients except cumin powder and stir well for 2 to 3 minutes. Top with ground cumin powder. Store in the refrigerator and serve cold.

In this and all my recipes I recommend organic ingredients, whenever available. In Ayurveda generally whole foods are recommended which is why I listed whole milk yogurt in this recipe. If you prefer you may use low-fat yogurt. This dish is an excellent complement to any spicy curry or other main course.

free Ayurvedic body type calculator

If you'd like to figure out your Ayurvedic body type, there are a variety of free online body type calculators. One that I like is at the following link:

It asks you a variety of questions to determine your percentage of the 3 different doshas, and then e-mails you an analysis for free. Have fun!