Aloo Raita refers to a condiment made with potatoes and curd, with a few spices added in. This might feel like a weird combination of ingredients to some but, let me tell you, it tastes absolutely lovely!
All of us in our family are big fans of raita. Come summer, and raita of different sorts begin to make an appearance on our lunch table more frequently than ever. They are super cooling and very refreshing, after all.
Aloo Raita is a relatively lesser known variety of the dish. It goes very well as a side with rotis and pulav/biryani. Let’s see how to prepare it, the way it is done in my family!
But first, what is a raita?
‘Raita‘, for the uninitiated, means a side dish prepared with different fruits and/or vegetables and curd, an integral part of Indian meals.
There are a vast number of raita prepared across the length and breadth of India, with variations from one place to another. Check out the recipes for Boondi Raita, Methi Raita and Dangar Pachadi (a forgotten Urad Dal Raita from Tamilnadu) on my blog.
What is called ‘raita‘ in most of the northern parts of India becomes ‘Thayir Pachadi‘ in Tamilnadu and ‘Mosaru Oggarne‘ in Karnataka. The ‘Arachu Kalakki‘ of Kerala, ‘Dahi Ki Chutney‘ of Andhra Pradesh, and ‘Kichadi‘ of Kerala are also types of raita.
Like I was saying earier, Aloo Raita is a comparatively lesser known type of raita.
Ingredients used in Aloo Raita
Potatoes and curd are the two major ingredients used in Aloo Raita. Potatoes are cooked first, then peeled and chopped, after which they are mixed into whisked curd.
Apart from regular table salt, some roasted cumin (jeera) powder, red chilli powder, black salt and powdered sugar are also used in this raita, for flavour.
The tempering for this Aloo Raita is simple – just some mustard seeds and asafoetida in oil.
Finely chopped fresh coriander is used to garnish the raita.
How to make Aloo Raita
Please find the detailed proceedure below.
Ingredients (serves 2-4):
1. 2 medium-sized potatoes
2. 1/4 teaspoon black salt
3. Salt to taste
4. Red chilli powder to taste
5. 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin (jeera) powder
6. 3/4 teaspoon powdered sugar
7. 1 cup thick curd
8. 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander
9. 1/2 tablespoon oil
10. 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
11. 2 pinches of asafoetida
1. Wash the potatoes well under running water, to remove all the dirt from them. Cut them into halves and transfer them to a wide vessel. Add in enough water to cover the potatoes fully. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 2 whistles. Let the pressure come down naturally.
2. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the potatoes out. Drain out all the water. Let the potatoes cool down fully, then peel and chop them into cubes. Take the potato cubes in a large mixing bowl.
3. To the potatoes, add black salt, salt, red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder and powdered sugar. Mix gently to ensure that all the potato pieces are evenly coated in the spice powders.
4. Whisk the curd along with a little water, to make it smooth.
5. Add the whisked curd to the potatoes in the mixing bowl.
6. Add in the finely chopped coriander.
7. Now, we will prepare the tempering. Heat the oil in a small tempering pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Then add in the asafoetida and switch off the gas. Add this tempering to the mixing bowl. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl gently. Your Aloo Raita is ready to serve.
This Aloo Raita recipe is completely vegetarian. There is a small amount of oil and powdered sugar used here.
This raita is free of onion and garlic.
It is not vegan because of the use of dairy-based curd and, hence, not suitable to those following a plant-based diet. I think you could make this with plant-based curd as well, though I have not tried that out.
To make this dish gluten-free, simply skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most Indian brands of asafoetida contain wheat flour, so it is best to avoid them when one is following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, do go ahead and use it.
Tips & Tricks
1. Use curd that is slightly sour, but not overly so, for best results.
2. Adjust the quantity of water depending upon the consistency of the raita that you require.
3. Adjust the quantities of red chilli powder, salt, powdered sugar and roasted cumin powder as per personal taste preferences.
4. Do not overcook the potatoes. They should be cooked through but not overly mushy.
5. Do not skip the sugar. It adds a lovely flavour to the raita.
6. You can crumble the cooked potatoes and add them to the raita too. I prefer chopping them into cubes, the way I have done here.
7. This Aloo Raita is best made fresh and consumed immediately after preparation.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!