Raita (Yogurt Sauce/Dip) with Pomegranate Seeds and Mint

pomegranata_raitapI thought this colourful raita might be like a ray of sunshine after a week of horribly cold rainy weather. The funny thing is that as soon as I prepared it, the sun really went out and suddenly the day felt like an extension of summer… so my roast chicken dinner felt particularly joyful. In spite of its summery appearance, this it is definitely an autumnal dish: here pomegranates are abundant (in full season from what I read, though of course imported) and, when it comes to fresh herbs, they still thrive on my balcony, so I am still able to pick fresh mint every day.

This delicious version of raita is one more jewel from Made in India: Cooked in Britain by Meera Sodha. As soon as I made it, I ranted once more about the boring almost identical choices in every Indian restaurant I went to in my area… but luckily I have wonderful cookery books and time to cook! Anyway, it’s the first time I added pomegranate to yogurt and I loved it! It can be served just like any raita (i.e. with Indian dishes), but it’s also fantastic with simple roast chicken, any kind of wrap and any heavy and/or fiery dish (such as my previous recipe, Spare Ribs in Guchujang), since it’s particularly mild and refreshing. I didn’t really look at Meera Sodha’s exact ingredients’ amounts, so I invite everyone to check the recipe in its original source.

TIPS: The recipe calls for dried mango powder (it’s available in Indian shops and on internet; I bought it from Amazon in UK), but I think you can easily replace it with tamarind juice.

Do not skip the tiny amount of sugar! It does add an additional flavour to the tangy raita.

If you are afraid of splashing pomegranate juice all around the kitchen, fill a big bowl with cold water, cut the pomegranate into 4 or two pieces and then tear it up under the water, taking out the seeds. The yellowish “skins” will float at the surface and thus will be easy to remove. All you need to do afterwards is straining the seeds.

Preparation: about 10 minutes

Ingredients (serves two):

seeds from 1 small pomegranate (or 1/2 big one)

1 natural unsweetened full fat yogurt (125 ml/about 4 oz)

a pinch of salt

a pinch of sugar

1/2 flat teaspoon dry mango powder

a pinch of powdered cumin (the best taste is obtained with freshly toasted whole seeds, which are then ground just before being used)

1 heaped tablespoon chopped mint leaves

Combine all the ingredients, taste and adjust the flavours, if needed. Chill for one hour (or not, if in a hurry) and serve.

Do not prepare it a day before: mint becomes soggy and spoils the whole raita.


12 Replies to “Raita (Yogurt Sauce/Dip) with Pomegranate Seeds and Mint”

  1. I enjoy the taste of pomegranate and seeing those bright red arils in a raita would be a real treat. I really must pick up some amchoor powder the next time I go to the Indian grocery store. 🙂

    1. Thank you, A_Boleyn. Not only does it look nice, but most of all it tastes great, so I hope you will like it if you make it one day.

  2. I’m enjoying the festive look of your pomegranate in your raita – you’re right, it is appealing to the eyes – and it’s been too long since I’ve combined this beautiful autumn jewel with yogurt (I make a pomegranate mousse with kefir and/or yogurt) – such a lovely combination and I suspect the mint and cumin would be so delicious and come together to complement a fiery dish – yes, your gochujang for sure! What a good idea. My son has a thing for dried mango – I wonder if I can make powder from them… maybe in my coffee grinder? 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly. I don’t know, but given the amounts of yogurt I have, quite often with passion fruits, I should have thought earlier of adding pomegranate instead… Now I’m hooked obviously! I make powdered garlic (I posted it once) in my cheap coffee grinder (I don’t grind coffee in it, it’s just for spices) and it works perfectly, so why not dried mango? Oh, and I also grind prunes for my prune and chilli furikake, but first I put them into the oven at lowest temperature to make it really super dry. The drier, the easier to grind. Let me know if you do it with mango. I’d love to try too. (I only wonder if the Indian powder isn’t made with green mangoes which aren’t sweet…since it’s tangy).

  3. Love the addition of pomegranate seeds to this simple condiment, I’m certain the slightly sweet and sour flavour of the seeds would work perfectly with the traditional raita. Once I made a jewelled guacamole and it was so pretty and tasty too.

  4. Beautiful presentation Sissi! Love the ray of sunshine and all of the color. Too bad the sun went away shortly thereafter. Don’t you just hate a beautiful day being ruined by a bunch of clouds. 🙂 I’ve never made raita, but I have had it a couple of times. Compared to yours, those were boring. The addition of the pomegranate puts a whole new spin on the flavor and texture. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Thank you so much for all the compliments. You are so kind! I wanted to take a “normal” photo, but then I thought maybe these were the last really sunny afternoons this year (in winter the sun is not as strong here, unless one goes up to the mountains), so I left the sun’s presence on the photograph. Raita is usually with cucumber and mint, but I’ve seen other versions in Indian cookery books, so I’m wondering why every single restaurant I went to served always the same one??? This is the main reason I cook Asian food so often: restaurants usually serve always the same and even if it’s good sometimes, it becomes boring.

  5. I am cooking a whole Indian menu on Saturday for my best friend’s 40th birthday. For 8 people… I was still searching for a nice raita, as I don’t want to make my regular cucumber one again (I have another cucumber relish). This sounds great!

    1. Thank you, Adina. Good luck! This would be a nice addition to your Indian meal. Let me know if you make it. I hope I’m not the only one who loves this version of raita…

      1. I forgot to get back to you about the raita. I made it for my friend’s birthday and loved it. It was all gone. I didn’t change anything and it fitted perfectly the other dishes. Thank you for the recipe.

        1. Hi Adina. Thank you so much for this kind comment and feedback! I’m thrilled to learn you liked it. It’s such a pleasure to share one’s favourite food, even if it’s only by internet 🙂 Learning that a dish I learnt was cooked and enjoyed is certainly the biggest pleasure of food blogging, so thank you once more.

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