Cucumber raita is a delicious creamy condiment which is served with dishes where curries are available. While the curries are spiced and hot, cucumber raita tends to be cooling and refreshing. As cucumber raita is served chilled, having cold yogurt helps to neutralize spicy food while allowing one to enjoy even more spices.
At my favourite banana leaf rice restaurant located in Kuala Lumpur, cucumber raita is served as one of the basic dishes. Besides that, other basic dishes such as Stir-fry Cabbage with Turmeric, Rasam and Fried Snake Gourd are also served along with rice and a selection of curries. A refill of the basic dishes are given without any additional charges.
If you are planning to prepare cucumber raita, do not go running to the kitchen before reading these considerations.
I noticed how cucumber raita in Malaysia has very little yogurt. It is neither good nor bad as having a lot or a bit of yogurt is actually a matter of preference. In fact, I had only learned to love yogurt just recently. So, if you do not want too much yogurt or like cucumber raita to be less creamy, use half of the recommended amount. Regardless of the amount of yogurt used, chill it for at least 30 minutes before serving.
98% of the cucumber consists of water. Usually, the seeds are removed when it comes to cucumber raita as the water content is concentrated within the seeds. This will make the dish creamier since there is lesser water content. To take this a step further, mix the chopped cucumber chunks with half a tablespoon of salt and leave it aside for 15 minutes before rinsing to remove excess water. However, if you would like to keep the water content, then just mix the dish once again before serving. You will notice some water being drawn out of the cucumbers. It is fully acceptable to keep the seeds and have more water content in the cucumber raita as they contain most of the nutrients. So, it is entirely up to you.
I am personally a big fan of coriander (also known as cilantro) but there is a big group out there that detests coriander. It might be a strong word but sadly, it is true. According to Prof Russel Keast, it is all in your genetics which decides if you love or not. Sprinkling chopped fresh coriander on cucumber raita adds a hint of refreshing lemony taste, at least to the coriander lovers! If you do not enjoy coriander, substitute with some mint leaves.
If you are preparing for a big group, you may prepare this dish for up to 12 hours in advanced but keep it chilled. Also to be enjoyed with Nasi Briyani.
Cucumber Raita is also known as: Indian Cucumber SaladCucumber Yogurt Salad
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Remove the skin of cucumber and carrot. Cut cucumber, carrot and tomato into bite-sized chunks.
Add salt to yogurt and mix well. Then, add vegetables to the yogurt mixture. Place the dish in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Optionally, garnish with some coriander.