During the fall and winter months, I look forward to a bowl of this cooling spiced pumpkin raita. Serve it as a side with a warm stew or curry and some rice or flatbread. Make a big bowl because it disappears quickly.
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings
For the Raita
2 cups/about 400 g grated pumpkin
2 cups/480 g plain unsweetened yogurt
1 cup/240 ml chilled water
2 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
2 shallots/120 g, minced
¼ cup/15 g fresh cilantro both tender stems and leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
Fine sea salt
Ground black pepper
For the Tadka
2 Tbsp vegetable oil with a high smoke point such as grapeseed
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder plus extra for garnishing
10 to 12 curry leaves, dried or fresh
1 tsp ground chaat masala (see Notes) homemade or store-bought
- Place the grated pumpkin in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a microwave-safe lid, and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes and 30-second intervals until the pumpkin is completely tender. Keep aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the yogurt, water, and lemon juice until smooth.
- Fold in the cooked pumpkin, shallots, cilantro, and mint—taste and season with salt and pepper.
- When ready to serve, prepare the tadka. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add a single mustard or cumin seed to the oil; if it is hot, the seeds will sizzle. Add the mustard and cumin seeds, followed by the curry leaves, and cover with a lid. The oil will start to spurt. Swirl the oil in the saucepan for a minute and remove from the heat. Immediately, add 1 tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder. Swirl and pour the hot mixture over the yogurt in the serving bowl. Garnish with a sprinkling of chaat masala and Kashmiri chilli powder and serve immediately. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
- If you use Greek yogurt, add 1 ¼ cup/ ml of chilled water to every 1 cup/240 g of Greek yogurt.
- Butternut squash can be used in place of pumpkin.
- If you don’t have Kashmiri chilli powder, use this substitution: ¾ tsp ground smoked sweet paprika and ¼ tsp ground cayenne.
- Diet: Gluten Free