Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Zucchini Pachadi (Raita) With Onions and Tomatoes (Vegetable Salad In Yogurt)

We love raita but unless made and eaten right away, the cucumbers make it runny with its abundant water content. So at our house zucchinis are the vegetables of choice ever since Amma used them instead of the ubiquitous cucumbers. (It is also a great way to use the tender zucchinis from your exuberant zucchini plants in your garden.) Now the raita is absolutely delicious and is never watery at all! This is exactly how Amma made it.

Ingredients
:

2 large ripe tomatoes
2 large Zucchini
1 small Red Onion
1 small bunch Fresh Cilantro
1 tsp Salt
2 Tablespoons finely grated Fresh or frozen Coconut
2 cups fresh thick Yogurt
1 cup Sour Cream

Tadka/Thalippu:

1 Tbsp Oil
1/4 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
1 tsp split skinless Urad Dal
1 tiny pinch Asafoetida
1 sprig Fresh Curry Leaves
1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, finely grated
1 Jalapeno or other green Chili


Method:

Wash and chop the tomatoes. Wash and grate the zucchinis. Peel, wash and finely chop the red onion. Sort and wash thoroughly the cilantro, drain well and finely chop; set aside a little for garnish. Mix all the veggies with the coconut and salt in a bowl.

Make the tadka/thalippu: heat oil in a small pan and add the mustard and dal. When mustard seeds subside popping and dancing, add asafoetida, curry leaves, ginger and green chili very carefully; cover quickly to avoid hot oil splashing and cook for a couple of minutes to soften the ginger and chili and pour over the veggies. Add yogurt and the sour cream and mix well. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with any rice dish or roti (Indian breads such as Naan, Chapati, etc.), curries or dal, Dosa, Adai and/or Upma.

This raita makes a wonderful appetizer paired with warm chapati or whole wheat tortillas, any kind of chips, and/or fried or roasted papadams.

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