Last month’s recipe contest called for the most refreshing, cooling raita recipes, and while there were many contenders, our favourite is this smoky, subtle baingan ka raita submitted by Nirupama Nair who inherited the recipe from her grandmother. “Although my mother and my aunt whip up this dish once in a while, it feels like my naani’s fragile hands sprinkled a secret ingredient that seems unmatchable,” writes Nirupama.
RECIPE: BAINGAN KA RAITA
For the raita
1 eggplant weighing about 250-300 g (the large variety used to make bharta works best)
500 g yoghurt
2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
A handful of coriander, chopped
Salt, to taste
For the tadka
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
2-3 red chillies
1/2 tsp grated ginger
A sprig of curry leaves (optional but recommended)
1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
A pinch of turmeric
Roast the eggplant over a flame until cooked through. Once done, peel the eggplant, mash it with a spoon and set aside to cool.
In a serving bowl, mix the yoghurt with chopped green chillies, coriander and salt.
To this, add the cooled eggplant mash. Mix with a light hand to retain some texture.
For the tadka, heat the oil, and add mustard seeds. As the splutter, add the ginger and sauté until golden.
Add the curry leaves next, followed by the asafoetida and red chillies. Turn off the heat and add the turmeric. Pour this tadka into the raita and mix lightly. Serve chilled.
Photograph by Pratiksha Mohanty
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