Boondi Raita

Boondi Raita
A quick and easy North Indian side dish made of store bought Boondi and yogurt.  Boondi is a fried snack made of chickpea or gram flour which is also used to stuff Pani Puri.

Boondi - 1 cup
Yogurt/Curds/Dahi - 1 cup
Coriander/Cilantro Leaves - few sprigs
Red Chilli Powder/Cayenne Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Cumin/Jeera Powder - 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida/Hing - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Kala Namak/Indian Rock Salt

How to prepare Boondi Raita:
1. Whisk yogurt, red chilli powder, salt and jeera powder well in a mixing bowl.  Add salt keeping in mind that Boondi has salt too.  If Kala Namak is not available, regular salt would work just fine.  You can add 1/4 tsp sugar or jaggery too if you like.
2. Heat oil in a small pan for tempering/tadka.  Add mustard seeds and asafoetida.  When mustard seeds pop, turn off the heat and pour this tempering in yogurt.
3. Now add Boondi and finely chopped cilantro leaves to the yogurt.  Let the boondi soak in yogurt for 20 - 30 minutes. Soak it for a longer time if you want the boondi to turn too soft.
4. To reduce a few calories, you can soak the boondi in water, drain the water and then add soaked boondi to yogurt.  This way a little oil from the fried boondi can be removed. 
5. There is no standard recipe for this raita.  Feel free to add any of your favorite seasonings and/or spice mixes - black pepper, aamchur, chat masala, garam masala, kasuri methi and so on.  Also, you can add finely chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, same as in Koshimbir (Veggie Yogurt Salad).
Top the raita with a handful of Boondi which will add a little crunch and serve it as a side dish with roti or rice.


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