By Jessie Lehail,
Special to The Post
Yogurt sauce can be the perfect accompaniment to many dishes. My version is a play on Indian yogurt sauce called raita (pronounced rie-tha), and the creamier Greek version, tzatziki.
Growing up, raita was a sour cream and buttermilk based condiment that we had with almost every Indian meal. It was thinner than yogurt, and cooled down our mouths when things got too spicy.
One ofGreece’s most famous dipsistzatziki.Like its Indian counterpart, tzatziki is a simple dip that uses few ingredients: yogurt, cucumbers,and a lot of garlic.
I deconstructed the two and the basics to a good sauce are creamy yogurt, flavourings like herbs and spices, and chilling to let the flavours develop. Using Greek yogurt makes a thicker, creamier sauce. Green ingredients like chopped dill weed, cilantro, parsley, or mint add a nice contrast to the yogurt, while very thinly sliced red onions or chopped jalapeno can add bite. Spices such as pepper, cumin, turmeric, sumac, and paprika add depth to the sauce.
You can also serve this with more pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of olive oil. This recipe is flexible so you can experiment and make it your own. If you love garlic, add more, or if you hate garlic, leave it out. You can also substitute green onion for the garlic or chopped jalapeno.
This raita-tzatziki is a crowd-pleaser, with its sweet and tangy flavor. Serve it with pita bread, rice, quinoa, grilled meats, chicken kebabs, or on spicy roasted potatoes.
• 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
• 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
• 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• ¼ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• ½ teaspoon ground cumin
• ½ cup pomegranate seeds
Spoon the yogurt into a bowl and stir until smooth. Stir in the cumin, garlic, pepper and salt, and mix well. Then add the olive oil, garlic, cilantro, and pomegranate seeds. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Jessie Lehail is the author of Indian Influence, a food blog that takes global eats and reinterprets them with a South Asian influence. Visit her blog at www.indianinfluence.ca