A side, often served along rice dishes like biryani and pulao.
There are two kinds of people. The purists who just want to have their biryani and pulao with no accompaniment. And then there are people like me, who can’t eat biryani unless it is accompanied by raita and marinated onions. Okay, I could let go of the marinated onions for once but never having biryani without raita. For me, it’s like having bread without butter. Where is the fun in that?
Boondi is made from besan or gram flour. A thick batter is prepared and then it is passed through a special kind of sieve making it fall in the form of droplets into hot oil. The result: small crispy balls. I however, do not make it at home. I use store bought boondi as it is convenient.
Making boondi raita using store bought boondi is a pretty straightforward. Some points that you should keep in mind though is that you must add warm water to the boondi first to make it soft before adding yogurt to it (or adding it to the yogurt). Also, I always add the spices before I add water to the boondi. This way the boondi absorbs all the flavors and the raita turns out more delicious.
- ½ cup boondi (I used Haldiram Boondi)
- ½ tsp roasted ground cumin
- ¼ tsp red chili powder (adjust to preferred spice level)
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp black salt
- 1 ½ cup boiling water
- 1 cup full-fat yogurt (beaten)
Foe the tadka
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- Add the boondi to a deep bowl, along with roasted ground cumin, red chili powder, garlic powder and black salt. Add the boiling water, mix gently and leave to soak for 2 minutes.
- Add the yogurt and mix to combine.
- For the tarka: In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute on medium heat. Then add the cumin seeds and fry for another minute (until garlic is golden brown). Add the tarka to the raita.