In fact, at first glance, to these Southern eyes this recipe for Cucumber Raita seems to have weird written all over it. I wasn’t familiar with the dish, so I did a little Internet research and found that quite frequently it pops up on cooking-idea websites; it often is served with Indian or Moroccan food. Interesting, since the provider for the recipe was the Native American tribe of which my hubby is a member. Yep, this is yet another dish that inspired by the Chickasaw Nation Health Services (see the inscription on the wooden spoon in the photo?), a favorite recipe source for me. They always have such good, though different, ideas.
Cucumber Raita is a magical, cooling salad that’s perfect for a hot, summer day. I could imagine taking it to a covered-dish picnic and having guests crow about this refreshing dish that’s way past the norm of potluck fare. Cucumbers, raisins, toasted walnuts, and mint leaves are stirred into plain, non-fat yogurt. The mixture is allowed to chill for at least 30 minutes before serving (but the longer, the better). Mint leaves make an attractive garnish.
Forget your ambrosia, cherry dream salad (made with whipped topping), or any of the other blissfully cool but standard summer-day dishes. When high temps are blowing the top out of the thermometer, cool Cucumber Raita with its healthy ingredients blows the top out of all the other choices.
1 cup raisins
1 cup water
1/3 cup walnuts, broken by hand (not finely chopped)
1 large cucumber, seeded and died
2 tablespoons mint leaves, minced
2 cups plain, non-fat yogurt, drained
fresh ground black pepper
In 1 cup water boil raisins for 1 minute. Leave to soak for 5 minutes; then drain well. Toast walnuts for 10 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Cool walnuts completely. In a bowl combine all ingredients. Chill for 30 minutes; stir before serving. Makes 4-6 servings.