My two grandmother’s could not be more different. One has a PhD, was a career woman and takes pride in the fact that she ‘cant boil a kettle of water’. She is a connoisseur of fine food, but never enters the kitchen herself. My other grandmother works miracles in the kitchen. She can effortlessly turn out simmering pot after pot of the most delectable sambars, kuzhambus, rasams, poriyals, and kootus. She instilled in me a love for cooking; and not a week goes by when I’m not on the phone with my grandmother asking for recipes, techniques or clarifications. As different as they are from each other, both my grandmothers are remarkable women, and I continue to learn so much from them.
My grandmother (the non-cooking one!), grandfather, father and aunt. Late 1950s
When its too hot to cook, I always turn to this mixed vegetable raita. Its cool, refershing and there is no cooking involved. I am happy just eating a huge bowl of this for dinner. But this colorful raita will be a great accompaniment to and Indian dinner of rice, roti and curry.
Its easy to remember this recipe – just remember the 6 Cs- cucumber, capsicum, corn, carrot, curd, cherry tomato. Then add pomegranates. Thats it! I didnt use pomegranate seeds in this recipe because I couldnt find any; but I highly recommend you use them!
My grandmother adds salt to the raita only just before serving. If you add salt any sooner, it will draw out the moisture from the vegetables and make your raita watery. And make sure you let the raita sit in the fridge overnight, it tastes much better than eating it right away.
My Grandmother’s Multicolored Mixed Vegetable Raita Recipe
serves about 10 as a side dish
1 large seedless cucumber, the kind with the plastic wrap or 4 small cucumbers (about 3 cups when chopped)
3 medium carrots (about 1 1/2 cups when chopped)
1 small green pepper (about 1/2 cup when chopped)
1 small orange pepper (about 1/2 cup when chopped)
1 cup cherry tomatoes
2 cups drained canned sweet corn
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (I didnt use, because I couldnt find them)
3 cups yogurt
Peel the cucumber and carrots, and chop into very small pieces. Chop the peppers into tiny pieces as well. Cut each cherry tomato into 2 or 3 pieces. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, except salt. Place the raita in the fridge. Raita tastes better if it sits over night. Add salt just before serving and stir well. Serve chilled.