This is an East Indian recipe for Tomato Ginger and Green Chile Raita. Raita provides a cooling contrast to the spiciness of the other East Indian dishes and is typically served as a side dish. Some recipes refer to it as a condiment or even a salad. Generally raita is seasoned yogurt most often including raw or cooked vegetables but sometimes is made with fruit.
As the name implies this Tomato Ginger and Green Chile Raita has green chiles. Anaheim chiles are not always easy to find so I often use green pepper as I did in this photo. Just use what’s available. The overall combination of cilantro in the yogurt, tomato with chiles on top, and the warm, spicy mixture of ginger and mustard seeds is magic.
Some people collect recipes, some collect cookbooks and some people just cook. There is no right way but it is helpful to save some tried and true recipes plus have a way to retrieve them when you want them. Every system evolves over time.
I would guess that I have about twenty favourite East Indian recipes in my collection. I’m always interested and willing to try new ones but these are the ones that come to mind and end up on my dinner table throughout the year. The recipes are kept in various places but I can find them when I want them. I make any one of them as part of an everyday Indian meal and several of them when I’m entertaining.
World travel is fabulous but bringing those cuisines into your kitchen is another way to be transported to a different culture. If you read my blog you may have heard me talk about a Gourmet Dinner Club. It is a fun way to learn to cook different foods, challenge yourself with new cooking techniques and share the whole experience with friends. Make it a gluten free club and add an extra challenge for your friends. You never know…you might just have some fun.
Dinner Club or not, every kitchen needs a spice collection. Some days I marvel at how salt and pepper can bring out the best in food but it doesn’t take long to move beyond that. You can expect to add to your spice collection for your whole life. I still find it amazing how the same spices can be used in various combinations to create a completely different taste…I guess that’s why I’m a foodie.
In this recipe black mustard seed is the spice you need. These tiny dark brown, slightly reddish seeds are the most potent of all mustard seeds and are commonly used in East Indian cuisine. Be ready with a lid to cover the pan as they will sputter shortly after hitting the hot oil.
In Calgary you can find black mustard seeds at the Silk Road Spice Merchant and a trip there is an adventure in itself. Look for a spice shop in your area.
In the comments below let me know what you thought of this Tomato Ginger and Green Chile Raita and what you served it with. I enjoyed mine with my Tandoori chicken.
|1½ cups plain yogurt|
|½ cup sour cream|
|2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro|
|½ tsp salt|
|2-3 tomatoes, chopped|
|½ cup finely sliced Anaheim chile, green bell pepper or a combination|
|2 Tbsp vegetable oil|
|2 tsp black mustard seeds|
|¼ cup finely shredded fresh ginger|
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