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Kela Ka Raita (Banana Yogurt Relish)


Whole cumin seeds
¼ tsp (heaping)
Plain yoghurt
½ cup
Minced cilantro
½ tbsp
Finely minced fresh ginger
1 tsp
to taste 
Freshly squeezed lime juice
½ tbsp
Banana – peeled and thinly sliced
1 large

The yogurt-based condiments known as raitas in India are an invaluable accompaniment to intensely spicy foods as the sooth and cool. The most common raita in Indian restaurants in the United States is cucumber raita. This recipe is for a rarer banana raita that is both sweet and tropical flavored and thus a good companion for the pungently fiery dishes of southern India.

In a heavy, dry skillet over low heat, gently toast whole cumin seeds, stirring gently and often, until they turn a shade darker and grow aromatic. Be careful not to burn them or they taste nasty. Then crush them with a mortar and pestle. Combine the yogurt, spices and citrus juice in a small serving bowl and stir until smooth. Mix in the banana slices. Cover and refrigerate about an hour. Serve the same day.