Tomatoes and Cucumbers are here, and while there are many ways to cook tomatoes, I have to confess with the mercury reaching those beyond 90 degrees even I shy away from cooking. Grilling you might say, but hey try a hot blast of air on a super hot day, well truth be told I have been grilling a lot and surviving on pestos my favorite one being this chive pesto I created, simple salads and the like.
One of the easiest salads on the Indian table is a yogurt based salad that we call raita, it is made with llight cooling spices such as cumin and black pepper and most traditionally done with mint and cucumber. The traditional and simple variation is here. Of course, then I got thinking, I wanted to do something a little more colorful and creative. I could not help pondering that lemons seemed to get too much attention as a summer citrus, with natural yogurt already being tart I could not help wondering about doing something a little more colorful, while keeping the refreshing citrus notes, and then I thought of tangerines.
We tend to have oranges readily around the house, the kids tend to have them for breakfast. I may not be up for fresh squeezed orange juice, but I do value the importance of a bright dose of vitamin C to begin the morning. The rest of the ingredients just sort of found their way into a happy dance, I added in some fresh garlic chives, ginger and cucumber.
Just a side note, the traditional raita is not meant to be excessively thick. I have seen plenty of versions with Greek Yogurt and while I love Greek yogurt for cooking, for my raita recipes please stick to regular natural yogurt.
An Indian yogurt based salad with cucumbers, this version has tangerines and chives added in for color and taste.
- 2 medium tangerines
- 2 medium sized cucumbers
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly powder cumin`
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups low fat yogurt
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
- Zest the tangerines and set the zest aside. Peel the tangerines and cut into sections, this is a little messy, but it does not have to be very even. Squeeze in the remaining juice into the sections.
- Peel and grate the cucumbers and set aside to drain in a colander.
- Peel and grate the ginger and add into a large mixing bowl. Add in the salt, cumin, black pepper and sugar and beat in the yogurt until well mixed.
- Stir in the cucumbers and mix in the tangerine mixture. Let the raita chill for at least an hour.
- Stir in the chives and serve.