Recently I found another interesting ethnic grocery store not too far from where I live. This Indian grocery store is pretty well stocked. There’s even a restaurant adjacent to it which I should try one of these days. Judging from the crowd in there, it must be pretty good. This store carries all kinds of basmati rice, flours, spices, and even fresh vegetables. They have all kinds of rotis (flat breads) in their frozen section as well. I especially like their snack aisle as they have a wide selection of snack mixes, boondi, maruku, fried and roasted chickpeas. I have taken a liking to the Kerala and Madras mixes. These are spicy snacks of peanuts, dhal, and boondi (fried gram flour puffs).
One day while I was checking out with two packs of the snack mixes in my basket, the lady at the store suggested that I might like to try mixing it with yogurt as a condiment to go with curries. That really piqued my interest as I have always like raita, a vegetable salad dressed in yogurt but have never tasted it with snack mixes. I was eager to give it a try.
When I got home I mixed two spoonfuls of the boondi with vanilla yogurt because that was the only kind I had in the refrigerator. It was a pretty good snack but not suitable as a condiment for a meal. The yogurt was sweet and the boondi was a little too spicy for me. Not satisfied, I went back to the store and bought plain boondi this time. She suggested that I mix in a little chopped mint leaves. Great idea!
My next stop was the health food store for a container of thick, rich, creamy Greek yogurt, a cucumber, and some cherry tomatoes. I was not disappointed this time. The raita was cool, minty, thick, creamy and refreshing with a nice crunch from the boondi. The addition of cumin and mustard seeds releases a nice fragrance and sweetness to the salad.
- 1 cucumber
- 6 cherry or grape tomatoes
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ½ cup (20g) boondi (gram flour puffs)
- ½ cup (113g) plain yoghurt
- 1 tbsp thinly sliced mint leaves
- Peel cucumber with vegetable peeler leaving strips of the skin unpeeled. Slice cucumber into quarters lengthwise. Slice off seeds. Halve each strip of cucumber again lengthwise and then cut crosswise into cubes.
- Salt cucumber with ½ tsp salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Drain.
- Slice baby boy tomatoes into quarters by cutting lengthwise and then crosswise. Set aside.
- Toast cumin and mustard seeds in a pan for about 2 minutes. Remove and allow it to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well.
- Serve immediately.
This cool tasty Cucumber, Tomato, and Boondi Raita is delicious with curries or grilled meats. The boondi (gram flour puffs) provide a nice crunch.
NOTE: This post was updated on May 16th, 2014 with new pictures. No changes were made to the recipe.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!