Pyaz ka raita used to be a favourite in our childhood days. I am not joking. I know many people whose most favourite raita would be boondi ka raita and most Banaras families made the best boondi ka raita I have ever tasted anywhere else. That boondi ka raita used to be a little sweet and sour and a very little hot. Raita is considered the digestive condiment served with the first course of meals and more serving are had till the end of the meal. For some people using any vegetables in a raita is blasphemy but I somehow always loved the ones with vegetables in some form or the other.
This pyaz ka raita used to be different from all the other raitas that were made at home. This was the one where the dahi (home made yogurt) will be thinned down a little bit and the raita would be a little runny. All the other raitas will be thick and creamy but not pyaz ka raita. And this was the only raita where the vegetable (onion in this case) would be fried till pinkish brown and then mixed with thinned yogurt. Other vegetables were just grated and added raw to the raita (like cucumber, carrots, radish etc) or were cooked or steamed (spinach, bathua, grated lauki etc) and then added to the raita.
Now you know this raita used to be a little different in all aspects. The roughly chopped onions will be shallow fried in mustard oil with a few tempering ingredients and the extra oil would always float on the raita. Now I make it low oil but my mom's version still has a layer of oil floating on the surface.
roughly chopped red onions 3/4 cup
scissor cut dry red chillies 2 or to taste
hing (asafotida) 1 pinch
cumin seeds 1 tsp
chopped curry leaves 1 tbsp or more
mustard oil or any oil you want 2 tsp
salt to taste
black pepper powder to taste
yogurt 1 cup
water 3/4 cup
Heat mustard oil in a pan and tip in the hing and cumin seeds and let them splutter. Now add the cut red chillies, chopped curry leaves and then the onions. Add slat and fry the onions on low flame till they get pinkish brown.
Let the mixture cool down. Then whisk the yogurt and water together and add the fried onion mix to it. Add pepper powder and mix well. Serve at room temperature.
This pyaz ka raita used to be always accompanied with some sookhi subzi. We used to eat a lot of parwal ki bhujia, kachhe kele ki subzi, arbi ki sookhi subzi or beans cabbage or cauliflowers cooked with minimal spices.
This arbi ki sookhi subzi is cooked with loads of green coriander leaves and some dhaniya-jeera powder or all blended into a paste together. I like the later version for its convenience and better aromas.
ingredients of arbi ki sooki subzi
boiled and peeled arbi (colocasia or taro roots) 250 gm
chopped coriander greens with stems 1.5 cups
coriander seeds 2 tsp
cumin seeds 2 tsp
green chillies 2-3
chopped ginger 1 tsp
chopped garlic 1 tsp
mustard oil 1 tbsp
salt to taste
lime juice 2 tsp
Chop the arbi in roundels. Keep aside.
Blend together all the whole spices and chopped ginger garlic and green coriander leaves. Make a coarse paste. Keep aside.
Heat the oil in a thick base kadhai and tip in the hing and wait for a couple seconds to infuse the hing in oil. Add the green paste and fry till it gets aromatic.
Add the arbi roundels and fry well, occasionally turning them. The arbi should absorb the flavours of the green spice paste.
Add lime juice and mix well. Serve hot or on room temperature. This sookhi subzi is a good option for lunch boxes too.
We enjoyed this meal with multi grain kasoori methi parathas. This was a lavish (read heavy) Sunday brunch one day. We normally have only this kind of meals on Sundays and a very light early dinner.
The arbi ki sookhi subzi makes the whole meal for me sometimes. I love it sometimes if not always.