Cucumber Tomato Raita

Salads, in the conventional sense, hardly feature on the table in India. Some regions, like Maharashtra, are exceptions. But on occasions when a salad is made, it is invariably a few pieces of sliced cucumber, tomato and onion. With a whole green chilli thrown in. But this is changing slowly with the adoption of the ‘western’ concept of salad. The more interesting ‘salad’ dishes are called raita (or pachadi in the South). There are several such recipes that are made to accompany a meal. It is normally uncooked vegetables that are  used. Sometimes, cooked vegetables are also used. In the South of India, a pachadi invariably has a seasoning of mustard seeds.
Here is an interesting cucumber and tomato pachadi. Very simple and delicious when served with any kind of flavoured rice.

2 cups vegan yogurt
1 small cucumber, chopped fine
1 large tomato, chopped fine
1 green chilli, chopped fine
Salt to taste
To Temper
1 dried red chilli
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1/2 tsp split black gram (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
Combine tomato, cucumber and green chilli in a bowl
Add the yogurt and mix well (add a little water, if necessary)
Add salt
Mix well
Heat a wok and add mustard seeds
When they begin to splutter, add the split black gram and red chilli (broken into two)
Remove from flame once the gram turns golden brown
Add to the raita
Serve with biryani, pulao or any other form of flavoured rice
Or even with a regular meal of rice and dal

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