(Thayir Pachadi, Yogurt Salad, Dahi Salad)
Raita is a popular accompaniment served with spicy biryani or parathas in India and Pakistan. It is basically raw vegetables mixed with some beaten yogurt. It is known to cool your palate while eating the traditional spicy Indian food. It is also known as the Indian Salad and its a way of consuming raw vegetables. Mostly raw vegetables are used but in some cases, we need to cook the vegetables. The most commonly served vegetable raita is the one with raw onion. Other vegetable raitas include cucumber raita, carrot raita, tomato raita, mint raita, beet raita etc. I've also made raita with yellow squash, zucchini, brinjal, okra, bitter gourd etc. The combination of vegetables with the cool yogurt makes it very delectable. Raita can also be made with fruits like the pineapple raita, banana raita, pomegranate raita, mango raita, strawberry raita etc. Raita can also be made with boondhi, sprouts or boiled grains like wheat berries.
In North India, it is commonly referred to as Raita whereas in South Indian it is known as pachadi. The onion raita served with biryani is called the 'Vengaya Pachadi'. For the North Indian raita, the yogurt is spiced with some roasted cumin powder, red chili powder or chaat masala. In South India, chopped curry leaves, green chilies and coriander leaves are added. In Kerala, pachadi refers to a preparation where the chopped vegetable or fruit is cooked along with a paste of coconut, cumin seeds and green chilies. Finally, beaten curd is mixed with it. A seasoning os mustard seeds and curry leaves are often times added to the raita.
Vegetable Raita and Pachadi
Fruit Raita and Pachadi