Yoghurt Recipe Corner: Raita
Raita is a yoghurt-based side dish usually made to accompany biryani, pulao or kebabs. Raita is mostly made with fresh raw vegetables like onions, tomatoes, cucumber and mint leaves with an addition of mild spice powders and herbs.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
(For Tomato, Onion, Cucumber Raita)
- Yoghurt, beaten – ½ kg
- Tomato, in 1 cm dice – 1
- Onion, finely chopped – 1
- Cucumber, finely chopped – 1
- Coriander, chopped – ½ cup
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp, (toasted and coarsely ground)
- Sugar – to taste
- Kashmiri mirch powder – for garnishing
- Zeera, roasted and ground – for garnishing
- Combine yoghurt, tomato, onion, cucumber, coriander, cumin seeds and a pinch of sugar in a serving bowl.
- Add season to taste and add more sugar if the Raita is sour.
- Garnish with Kashmiri mirch powder and zeera.
Yoghurt Recipe Corner: Dahi Vada
In North India, they are known as Dahi Vadas or Dahi Bhallas and in the South as Thayir Vadai. A very popular street food, it is part of the spicy and very tasty chaat family.
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
(For Dahi Vada)
- Urad dal – ¼ cup
- Yoghurt – 1 cup
- Green chilli – 1
- Ginger – small piece
- Green chutney – to taste
- Sweet chutney – to taste
- Chaat masala – ¼ tsp
- Red chilli powder – ¼ tsp
- Zeera powder – ¼ tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp
- Oil – as required
- To prepare, ground urad dal batter and soak the dal in water for 1 hour. Grind into a smooth batter along with green chilli and ginger.
- Transfer batter to a bowl and add salt. Mix well. The batter is ready.
- Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.
- Pour dollops of the thick batter in pan and fry bhallas until they are golden brown. Drain excess oil in a kitchen towel.
- Soak bhallas in an open bowl filled with water for about 30 minutes, or till they soften.
- This makes the bhallas soft and they will absorb the yoghurt mixture easily.
- To prepare yoghurt mixture beat the yoghurt well, add red chilli powder, chaat masala and jeera powder. Add salt on top of this. Keep the yoghurt mixture chilled.
- Take bhallas out from water, gently squeeze extra water and arrange them in a serving bowl.
- Pour the yoghurt mixture to the bhallas and add green and sweet chutneys according to taste.
- Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and a dash of zeera powder just before serving to enhance the flavour.
- Dahi Bhallas are ready to serve.
Yoghurt Recipe Corner: Gatte ki Sabzi
One of the popular and traditional curries of Rajasthan, Gatta ki Sabzi is gram flour dumplings in a delicious gravy of yoghurt curry. Easy to cook, it tastes better when cooked in pure ghee.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Ingredients (For Gattas)
- Bengal gram flour – ¾ cup
- Chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
- Carom seeds (ajwain) – 1/8 tsp
- Yoghurt – 1 tbsp
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Bengal gram flour – 1 tbsp
- Yoghurt , beaten – 2 cups
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
- Coriander powder – 2 tsp
- Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
- Asafetida – ¼ tsp
- Cinnamon – 1 inch
- Cardamom – 1
- Curry leaves – 4-6
- Bay leaf – 1
- Cloves – 1
- Oil – 4 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Fresh coriander – 1 tsp
(To make gattas)
- In a bowl, mix Bengal gram flour, chilli powder, salt, fennel seeds, carom seeds, yoghurt and oil.
- Knead into a firm dough using 1-2 tbsp of water.
- Roll small portions of the dough on a roller board with your palms into long strips. Remove the thin strips onto a plate.
- In a pan, boil plenty of water. When water starts boiling, add the dough strips and cook for 10-15 minutes on medium flame.
- Remove strips from water with a strainer and keep them on a plate.
- Cut strips into small cubes and keep aside.
(To make curry)
- Mix beaten yoghurt, Bengal gram flour, curry leaves with ½ cup water. Stir well so that no lumps remain. Keep the yoghurt mixture aside.
- Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, asafetida, bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom and cook for 2 minutes.
- When the seeds start to crackle, add turmeric powder, coriander powder and chilli powder and sauté for about a minute.
- Immediately pour the yoghurt mixture with 1 cup water into the pan and stir continuously for about 3-4 minutes.
- When the curry starts boiling, add salt to the curry and simmer for about 10 more minutes.
- Add the prepared gatta cubes and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Pour the gatta in a serving bowl and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve Gatte ki Sabzi hot with rotis.
Yoghurt Recipe Corner: Curd Rice
Curd rice is also known as Dahi Chawal in Hindi, Thayir Sadam in Tamil, Mosaranna in Kannada, and Dahi Bhat in Marathi. Generally served at the end of a meal in South India, it cools down the stomach after consuming a hot curry. It is a must in the hot summer season.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
- Cooked rice – 1 cup
- Milk – ½ cup
- Yoghurt – 2 tbsp
- Salt to taste
- Oil – 1 tsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Split Urad dal – 1 tsp
- Green chillies – 2 no.
- Curry leaves – 4 sprigs
- Ginger, chopped – 1 tsp
- Asafetida (Hing) – a pinch
- Heat oil in the pan and add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds begin sputtering, add spilt Urad dal and fry till it becomes golden brown in colour.
- Add asafetida, chopped ginger and green chillies, and fry for a while.
- To this, add chopped curry leaves and fry for some more time.
- Remove pan from heat. Add cooked rice and pour milk and yoghurt. Mix rice thoroughly.
- Add salt.
- Curd Rice is ready to serve.
Yoghurt the Superfood
Yoghurt, also called yogurt, curd or dahi, is one of the healthiest foods in the world. Prepared by bacterial fermentation of milk during the fermentation process, the bacteria produce lactic acid from the lactose of milk and gives the milk a thick texture.
There are three types of yoghurt: regular (whole milk), low-fat and skimmed. Low-fat and skimmed yoghurt are good for those on a cholesterol-lowering diet or weight reduction programmes. The body can digest yoghurt in about one hour as compared to the three hours it takes to digest milk.
Yoghurt is consumed in various forms in households all over India. It is used in its original form, as part of a preparation’s cooking ingredient, as an accompaniment, eaten or drunk with sugar or salt and can be part of the breakfast, lunch or dinner.
It has many health benefits. Here is a list of health benefits of yoghurt:
Stronger Teeth and Bones
Being rich in calcium, phosphorous and Vitamin D, yoghurt strengthens the teeth and bones, that is, the skeletal system, and helps in prevention of arthritis.
Yoghurt boosts the body’s immune system and prevents various infections by stimulating the white blood cells which fight infection. Probiotics boost the count of infection fighting white blood cells and improve overall immunity. Look for “live active culture” on the label, as all yoghurt available in the market is not probiotic.
Good for Heart
Eating yoghurt daily helps in the reduction of cholesterol levels thus lowering the risk of high blood pressure and hypertension.
Controls Blood Sugar Level
The live yoghurt culture and easily digestible protein in yoghurt help control the blood sugar level. Greek yoghurt has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and controls blood sugar in people with diabetes. Flavoured or a sweetened variety of yoghurt must be avoided by diabetics.
Probiotic yoghurt helps proper functioning of the digestive system. Easily digestible, it can be consumed by lactose intolerant people. It helps resolve diarrhoea, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer and gastrointestinal infections. It also prevents the formation of ulcers in the stomach and small intestines and decreases the risk of stomach cancer.
Rich in vitamins and minerals, yoghurt is an excellent energy booster. Working as an antioxidant, it helps faster recovery after intense workouts.
Excellent Skin Remedy
Using a mix of besan (gram flour), lime juice and yoghurt as a face mask makes the skin fair, soft and glowing. Wash mixture off after 15 minutes using lukewarm water.
For radiant skin, apply a mixture of yoghurt, almond and honey to the face for 20-30 minutes.
Sour yoghurt applied on the face and neck for 15 minutes removes acne and dead skin cells.
A mixture of orange peel powder with yoghurt lightens skin tone.
For fair soft skin, apply a mix of rosewater, turmeric and yoghurt to face 15 minutes. Then wash with lukewarm water.
Exfoliate skin by mixing egg, oats and yoghurt and apply to the face.
Its anti-fungal property makes yoghurt the best home remedy to fight dandruff. Apply a mixture of yoghurt and henna on the scalp and wash it after 30 minutes. This helps get rid of dandruff and makes the hair shiny and soft.