Boondi raita

Boondi raita

By
From
Spice Kitchen
Makes
500 ml
Photographer
Jana Liebenstein

Raitas are yoghurt salads eaten with the main meal to provide a fresh balance for the palate. Plain yoghurt may be combined with raw salad vegetables, steamed or roasted vegetables such as corn or eggplant, fruit and sometimes even seafood or bone marrow. Boondi raita comes from North India. It is a mix of boondis – which are tiny balls, or droplets, of besan (chickpea flour), deep-fried – plain yoghurt and spices. Even though some people think of raitas as being ‘cooling’ and thus unspiced, a good raita will always have one or two spices to enhance its main ingredients.

Boondis

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
110g besan, (chickpea flour)
pinch salt
vegetable or canola oil, for deep-frying

Raita

Quantity Ingredient
250g plain yoghurt
1/2-1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds, roasted and ground
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted and ground
1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder

Method

  1. To make the boondis, whisk together the besan, salt and 125 ml water in a medium bowl to make a stiff batter.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fryer to 200°C. Using a frying spoon with round holes, get a spoonful of batter, hold it over the wok or deep-fryer (about 10 cm from the hot oil to avoid splashing) and press down on the batter with a ladle or other object with a flat unbroken surface to force the batter through the holes in the frying spoon. Little balls of batter will drop into the hot oil and solidify immediately. Deepfry until golden brown, turning frequently with a clean slotted spoon, for about 1 minute. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen towels. Leave to cool while deep-frying the remaining boondi batter.
  3. Soak the boondis in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes, until they swell to about double their size. Gently squeeze the boondis to remove excess water, being careful not to break them.
  4. To make the raita, put the yoghurt, boondis, salt and all but a pinch each of the yellow mustard, cumin and chilli powder in a small bowl. Mix together, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, or until ready to serve.
  5. Transfer the raita to a serving bowl, sprinkle over the remaining pinch of yellow mustard, cumin and chilli powder, and serve.

Note

  • There are boondi spoons specially designed to make this dish, but any frying spoon with round holes will work. Look for a slotted spoon with round holes in Indian and Asian grocery stores.
Tags:
restaurant
Indian
India
Asia
Asian
Spice Kitchen
Ragini
Dey
restaurant
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