Thursday, March 16, 2017

Amla Raita With Cabbage And Onions.

Spicy Amla Raita With Cabbage And Onions ....... This Raita with Amla / Gooseberry / Nellikai / Avalo ...... Goes very well with Biryani / Roti / Paratha / Poori or Dal - Chawal ..... Yummy ...

Raitas are an accompaniment to lunch / dinner with other spicy dishes. Whenever I prepare Biryani or spicy pulavs, Raita is a must in my home. We love having spicy rice dishes with raita rather than curries. My hubby loves raita with roti too. The curd based salad goes very well with many a dishes. Raita should always be served fresh. Once the beaten curd is added to the cut vegetables, it should be mixed, tempered and served within an hour at maximum period. Once the veggies are added to the curds it tends to turn sour. Salt also should be added towards the end. All said and done Raita is a common dish in my home during summer time. I always prepare curds in bulk and store in fridge, so that I can prepare raita, curd rice or other curd dishes without having to worry to go to store to buy the same. I have hardly bought store curds except when I come back from holidays and I need them as culture for preparing curds again. I have already written in my blog about the preparation method of curds. You may check on the same. I will provide the link at the bottom of this recipe. Do include curds in any form in your daily diet as they are very good for health and for the stomach. 

This particular raita has the added goodness of Amla which is too good and beneficial for overall health. Amla is a very well known Indian gooseberry which in itself is a powerhouse of nutrients. Used extensively in ancient Indian medicinal practice of Ayurveda. High in Vitamin C it also contains iron and calcium which is very good for health. A faourite among those who are very conscious of health, they are consumed either raw, juiced, powdered or simply added in preparation of pickles, jams, murabbas etc. Amlas are now available almost all round the year barring a few months. So it is that much easier to prepare the same. I have used fresh amla here but you can use brined one’s too. If using brined amla, just see to it that you soak it for 30 minutes and change the water at least 4-5 times, to reduce salt content in them. Also be careful when you add salt to raita. Check before you add on as brined amla tends to be salt. 

Wash and wipe 4-5 large sized amlas and pressure cook them in half a cup of water in a small pressure cooker pan to 3 whistles. Let the pressure drop on it’s own. When you are able to open the lid, remove the cooked amlas and allow them to cool properly. Once they reach room temperature, cut them into pieces, discard the inner seed and then put them in a mixer grinder along with 3-4 green chillies (less spicy one’s) along with 1/3 inch of ginger piece and grind coarsely. Remove in a wide bowl.

Finely chop 2-3 medium sized onions and about 150-200 gms of cabbage and add them to the cooked amla in bowl. Add 2 cups of thick beaten curds and mix well. If the raita is too thick you can add in the cooked amla water from pressure cooker. However, do not make the raita to thin, as raitas should always be thick. They should hold the veggies bound together without running from sides. Add in salt to taste.

For Tempering : Heat 1 tblsp of coconut oil (Optional, any oil will do) in a small pan. When hot, lower the heat and add in ½ tsp of urad dal, when the colour changes slightly add in 1 tsp of jeera, ¼ tsp of methi seeds, ½ tsp mustard seeds and fry till mustard splutter. Now add in 6-8 curry leaves, fry for a few seconds and pour over the Amla cabbage onion raita. 

The raita is now ready to be served as an accompaniment along with any dish of your choice. If at all you have prepared this before hand, do put it in the fridge to avoid the dish going sour. You can prepare this a few hours before serving too and put it in fridge and serve later on. In which case just remove the raita about 20 minutes before serving time from the fridge and keep it aside to loose coolness a little bit. An easy and quick recipe which will be loved by people who love a little bit of sourness in dishes.

** Note : The same can be prepared with brined amla (mitta gallelo avalo / gooseberry in salt water preserve) too. In which case just rinse the brined amlas, crush, them deseed and use it directly. No cooking necessary. But be careful with addition of salt as it is brined.

** Note : Again you can leave out cabbage or onion or both and prepare the same too. It is all individual preference.

** For the Method of preparation of Curds, Please follow the link given below …..

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