Pomegranate and Cucumber Mint Raita

I love tzatziki. It’s very easy to make, and it tastes yummy! But there are times you don’t want to have garlic breath but also have the same kick of flavours in your dip. This is based on Nigella Lawson’s refreshing raita, using Greek Yogurt and pomegranate. I use the traditional tzatziki crunchy refreshing vegetable here – cucumber, and a few leaves of mint thinly sliced. It goes really well with spicy food – it helps cool down the tongue!

Ingredients: (makes a big bowl for 2-4 people)

1 cucumber, chopped into cubes.
500g of Greek Yogurt
Pomegranate seeds (from half of the fruit)
4-5 leaves of mint, thinly sliced (If unavailable, dried mint does well too. Or mint sauce!)
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt

Preparation:

1. In a big bowl, salt the cucumbers. Leave for about 5 minutes, and you will see that there is pool of cucumber water at the bottom. Drain and rinse the cucumbers in a mesh strainer. Toss it about to rid of the excess water. Return to a clean bowl.
2. Add the pomegranate and mint leaves.
3. Top with yogurt, and fold. The yogurt is going to be thick, but be patient. Gradually add the olive oil until you can easily stir the mix. (I use about 50ml of olive oil usually.)
4. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and season with salt.
5. Stir again and chill in the fridge for about at least an hour before serving.

 

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2 comments

  1. […] 1. Marinade the chicken in all the marinade ingredients. Toss and coat thoroughly and chill in the fridge for at least an hour and no more than 4 hours. For the last 30 minutes you can have it at room temperature. 2. In a deep pan/wok, heat the oil. Fry the spices until fragrant. 3. Add in the chicken pieces to brown all over. Once its nice and browned add in the leftover marinade and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir. Lower the heat to medium low and leave to simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. The sauce should start getting thick and almost dry, but make sure that it doesn’t burn at the bottom of the pan. Add water to stop this from happening, but not too much – you do not want too much gravy or this will make the biryani soggy. Once the chicken is cooked and the sauce is ready, take it off the heat and set aside. Cover to keep it warm while you make the rice. (This is when I usually remove all the spices that I can see like the cinnamon bark and the cardamom and cloves – this is so that I don’t accidentally bite on it when I eat the rice.) 4. Wash the soaked rice until the water is clear. Cook the rice in 2 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt and when you see ‘craters’ at the top of the rice, take it off the heat and cover. Let it steam for no more than 5 minutes. The rice is not fully cooked, its part-boiled and this will make the rice fluffy when you cook it again later. It is best to assemble the biryani while the rice is still hot. Assembly: 1. In a deep pot or casserole pot, add 3 tbsps of water and 2 tbsps of melted butter/ghee at the bottom of the pan. Spoon in 1/2 of the part-cooked rice. 2. Sprinkle the rice with half of the milk and saffron mix. Sprinkle 1 tsp of the rosewater (or more) onto the rice. My rosewater came in a spray bottle, so I sprayed 3-4 times onto the rice. I love the smell of roses, so I may have used more than 2 tsps here. 3. Pour and spread the chicken mixture onto the rice. Cover with the leftover rice. 4. Sprinkle the rice with the rest of the milk and saffron and rosewater. Garnish the top of the rice with 2/3 of the crisp fried onions, almonds and cashews. 5. Drizzle the rest of the butter on the edges of the rice so it drips down the inside of the pot. 6. Cover with a lid. Cook on high heat for about 2-3 minutes or until you can see some steam rising. (Uncover to check after 3 minutes) 7. When you see steam, cover tight. Lower the heat to its lowest setting and cook on low for about 30 minutes. (tip: if you have a ceramic hob cooker, like me, what I do is to cook it on the lowest setting for 10 minutes, and switch it off. Leave the pot on the hob. The residual heat will help to continue to steam the rice in the pot after that.) 8. Spoon out onto a plate and garnish with more crisp fried onions and nuts. 9. Serve! This dish goes really well with Pomegranate and Cucumber Mint Raita. […]

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