Friday, July 20, 2018

Zucchini Pachadi/Raita With Onions & Tomatoes (Non-Dairy Vegetable Salad)

Zucchini Pachadi/Raita
Zucchini Pachadi/Raita is absolutely delicious and is never watery like those one might encounter usually or at most restaurants. Zucchinis are our vegetables of choice for making raita/pachadi ever since Amma used them brilliantly instead of the ubiquitous cucumbers! This is how Amma made it but for the dairy yogurt and oil in the talippu; I only made it non-dairy and with no added oils - so it is a slight make-over of the original classic Pachadi/Raita.

Zucchinis are sturdier veggies and not as juicy as cucumbers even though they are both part of the cucurbit family. We do love cucumbers too - just not in our raita! Another great recipe where the tender zucchinis can shine and a fabulous way to use up the abundant crop from the exuberant plants in your garden - those who grow them can attest to the generosity of these plants :D.

This raita also makes a wonderful starter/appetizer by itself or paired with warm Roti (Indian whole wheat tortillas), fried or roasted papadams, and/or your favorite chips.


Any non-dairy yogurt will work; use a plain unsweetened and unflavored non-dairy yogurt such as cashew, almond, or coconut milk yogurt. We love cashew/tofu yogurt too; the recipe is given below. Finely mince the coconut with the chiles (or grind without adding any water (can use a little of the yogurt) in a blender and proceed with the rest of the directions. Lime/lemon juice may not be  be needed depending on the tartness of the depending on the yogurt.

Non-Dairy Cashew/Tofu Yogurt:

1 cup raw Cashews soaked OR 1 block of soft/firm Tofu (14 oz)
Juice of 1/2 to 1 lime/lemon, or to taste
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup Unflavored Almond/Soy/Coconut Milk/Water

Place the drained cashews/tofu in a blender along with as much of the milk/water as needed to blend easily(use a little at a time), coconut, green chillies, lime/lemon, and salt to taste. Blend until smooth like yogurt. Remove the cashew/tofu yogurt to a large bowl. 


2 large but tender Zucchini
2 large ripe tomatoes
1 small Red Onion, finely chopped
1 small bunch Fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
Non-Dairy Yogurt OR Tofu Yogurt (see notes)
2 Tablespoons finely grated Fresh or frozen Coconut
1 green Chile, cored
Salt to taste


1/4 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
1 tsp split skinless Urad Dal
1 tiny pinch Asafoetida (optional)
1 sprig Fresh Curry Leaves, minced
1 Tsp Fresh Ginger, finely grated
1 Serrano/Jalapeno or other green Chile, cored and minced


Place the  coconut and green chiles in a blender along with a little yogurt as needed to blend easily (use a little at a time). Blend until smooth like yogurt. Scrape  into a large bowl. Add the rest of the yogurt.

Wash and grate the zucchinis; squeeze them and discard the juices or save it for additing to another dish or broth. The zucchinis need not be squeezed dry; just remove some of the excess moisture. Add zucchini to the bowl with the yogurt.

Wash, deseed, and chop the tomatoes. Add to the bowl along with the onions and cilantro. Add a little salt to taste but not too much; raita should be sweet and not too salty.

Make the tadka/thalippu: heat a small pan and add the mustard and dal. When mustard seeds subside popping and dancing, add asafoetida, curry leaves, ginger and green chile with a spoonful of water; cover and cook for a couple of minutes to soften the ginger and chile, let cool a little and pour over the raita and mix well. Chill until ready to serve.

Serve as a salad, starter, or with any rice dish, Roti or Naan, curries/dal, DosaAdai and/or Upma. Enjoy!!

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