An ideal accompaniment to any Indian main course
2 English cucumbers (about 12 ounces each)
1 tablespoon salt
1 pint plain yogurt
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 medium red onion, finely minced (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro plus additional leaves for garnish
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1. Slice cucumbers thinly, and place in a colander set over a bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of the salt and stir. Allow to drain for 2 hours.
2. Place yogurt in a colander lined with a layer of cheesecloth and allow to drain for 2 hours. (Yield after draining should be 1 cup.)
3. Combine cucumbers and yogurt in a medium bowl and stir well. Add tomato, onion, lemon juice, mint, cilantro, cumin, and the remaining teaspoon of salt (or to taste). Mix well. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours to allow flavors to mingle.
The thin, watery side dish served in many Indian restaurants does not even suggest the sumptuousness of a proper Indian raita, or yogurt salad. For starters, Indian yogurt is quite rich, and so in this recipe we recommend draining American yogurt in cheesecloth. An Indian raita can have a variety of ingredients, from raw vegetables to cooked vegetables to fruits and nuts. We love the following recipe -- crunchy with raw vegetables, fragrant with fresh herbs -- which serves as an ideal accompaniment to any Indian main course. Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish