Indian Dinner – Spinach Raita

Raita is a standard side dish designed to offset the spiciness of many Indian dishes. It can be made with fruit or vegetables, but the base is always yogurt. It’s like a savory version of the whipped topping & marshmallow “salads” you find in American church basement dinners – it’s creamy and light, but not sweet or sticky.

Spinach Raita
Ok, so not terribly appetizing – but still a great compliment to many spicy curries

Cucumber raita is very common, but I am not fond of the way the cucumbers’ juiciness leaks into the yogurt without bringing much flavor or color, so I like this recipe much better. The cooked spinach in this recipe helps bind all the ingredients together and the nuts and raisins provide a nice variety of flavors and textures.

Spinach Raita Ingredients

Dressing:
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
If you feel like it, you can add chili powder too. I like it as a counterpoint to spicy dishes, so I don’t.

Salad Ingredients:
1 10 oz. pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1/2 cup cucumber, shredded
1/3 cup dried fruit – currants, sultanas, raisins, etc. (one or a mix)
1/3 cup chopped nuts – walnuts, cashews, almonds, etc.
1/4 cup chopped herbs – mint and cilantro, preferably.
paprika, for garnish
Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl, then stir in salad ingredients. Sprinkle with paprika.

Note: To thaw the spinach, you may need to microwave it and then squeeze out the juice in a mesh drainer or by hand. If the spinach isn’t well drained, the salad will be more watery than creamy.

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