Pumpkin Raita

Nik Sharma

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Pumpkin Raita

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

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