Tomatoes in Smooth Yogurt
-Recipe from Yamuna mataji
Tomato is probably the most popular raita selection in India, vying for
first position with cucumber. It is simple, unadorned refreshment, with
each region having its own slight nuance in seasoning. The contrast
between the brilliant red tomatoes and the snowy yogurt is vivid and
appealing. To take advantage of the colors, use firm-fleshed or seeded
tomatoes. I like to use marble-sized cherry or sugar-lump tomatoes, cut
into quarters. You can use either fresh coriander, basil or drill for a
garnish –a single leaf or feathery 1/2 – inch (1.5 cm) pieces of dill.
Preparation and cooking time (after assembling ingredients): 10 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6
2 cups (480 ml) plain yogurt, or 1 2/3 cups (400 ml)
Yogurt and 1/3 cup (80 ml) sour cream
¾ teaspoon (3.5 ml) salt
1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) white pepper
3-4 medium-sized firm ripe tomatoes or cherry tomatoes (about 1 pound/455 g), stems removed
1 table spoon (15 ml) vegetable or peanut oil
1 teaspoon (5 ml) black mustard seeds
1 hot green chili, seeded and finely minced (or as desired)
1-2 sprigs fresh coriander, basil or dill for garnishing
Combine the yogurt or yogurt and sour cream, salt and pepper in a
1-quart/liter bowl. Whisk with a fork until smooth and creamy. Wash and
dry the tomatoes and cut into ½-inch (1.5 cm) cubes, or quarter the
cherry tomatoes; drop into the yogurt mixture, without stirring. The
mixture can be covered and refrigerated for several hours of assembled
at room temperature.
2. Heat the oil in a small
pan over moderate heat. When it is hot but not smoking, add the mustard
seeds and green chili and fry until the seeds crackle and turn gray.
Pour into the salad and gently blend. Serve immediately, garnishing
with fresh herb sprigs.