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Cooking with Kids: Raita cool as cucumbers

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Name: Anjali Raman

Anjali Raman

Age: 9
Parents: Karen and Srini Raman
Community: Cranberry
School: Fourth-grader at Seneca Valley Rowan Elementary
Hobbies: Crafts
Sports: Dancing, aerobatics and basketball
Favorite food to cook: Cookies
Favorite food to eat: Tandoori Chicken
Favorite subject in school: Math
Favorite TV show: "Lizzie McGuire"
What she wants to be when she grows up: A pediatrician

Anjali's father, Srini, is from India, so she likes to make Indian foods. Her mom, Karen, taught her how to cook.

"This is my favorite Indian salad," Anjali said. It is easy to make and is a good way to use up fresh cucumbers from the garden.

Cucumber Raita

  • 1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound cucumber, finely chopped (we used 1 large)
  • 1 green chile, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, dry roasted, see note
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, dry roasted, see note
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves

Beat the yogurt with the salt and pepper to a smooth consistency. Add the cucumber and chile and blend well. Garnish with the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and mint. Serve well chilled. (We found that this doesn't keep well for more than a day; it's best to eat it within 24 hours of preparation.)

Note: To toast small quantities of seeds or spices, use a dry skillet (cast-iron is perfect). Heat over direct heat and add seeds or spices. Toss or stir frequently (they scorch easily) just until a toasted color or aroma is achieved. Pour out in a thin layer on paper towel to cool, then store in an airtight container.

-- Tested by Kathleen Ganster


To submit a recipe to Cooking with Kids, please send the recipe, along with the name of the child, a head shot (preferably a school picture), and a telephone number where the child can be contacted to: Cooking with Kids, Kathleen Ganster, 3142 Camberly Drive, Gibsonia, PA 15044. Questions? Call Kathleen at 724-443-1664 or e-mail at kganster@fyi.net.

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