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Malabar Spinach Raita
India - Andhra
2 cup  
45 min  
Raitas are often used as a cooling salad for contrast with heavily seasoned cuisine, but "cooling" can vary a lot depending or region. I consider this recipe as given here excellent as a spread, but if I wanted a "cooling" salad I'd cut the amount of both chilis in half. Use your own discretion.




Malabar Spinach (1) s 
Chili Serrano (2)
Yogurt, plain
-- Tadka
Chili, red (3)
Cumin Seed
Urad Dal (4)
Curry Leaves (5)
Asafoetida (6)
Mustard Seed
-- Finish
Salt (opt)
Prep   -   (10 min)
  1. Chop MALABAR SPINACH fine. Chop CHILI SERRANO fine. Mix.
  2. Cap RED CHILIS, spill out loose seeds and crush them lightly. Mix together all Tadka items except Oil and Mustard Seed.
Run   -   (20 min - 5 min work)
  1. In a sauté pan heat Oil. Stir in Mustard Seeds and fry stirring until they are popping well, then stir in all Tadka items. Fry stirring for 15 to 30 seconds until the urad and/or chilis are darkening but not too dark, then stir in Spinach mix. Fry stirring until Spinach is well wilted and cooked through. Let cool, then chill in refrigerator.
  2. Whisk YOGURT in a mixing bowl. Fish out the Curry Leaves and whisk in Spinach mix.
  3. Check for salt. Serve as a cooling side for spicy dishes or as a spread on roti or chipatis.
  1. Malabar Spinach:   (Mong Toi, Saan Choy) Weight is for leaves and tender tips after removing large stems, because steminess can vary. Around here it'll be about 8 ounces with stems. For details see our Malabar Spinach page.
  2. Chili Serrano:   Indian chilis are scarce even here in Los Angeles - most Indian groceries stock Serranos. These are hotter than most Indian chilis and around here they've become rather large, so I suggest just half of one - adjust as you desire. For details see our Chili Page.
  3. Chili, Red:   Use small dried red chilis according to your best judgement. Since this should not be very hot I use the common Japones. For details see our Chili Page.
  4. Urad Dal:   This very white dal is split and peeled black urad beans (gram dal). In India they are used both in bean dishes and a very common ingredient in tadkas, so are easily available in Indian markets. If you don't have them they can be omitted without greatly changing the recipe. For details see our Urad Bean page .
  5. Curry Leaves:   Fresh curry leaves are essential to the true flavor of southern India. They are now grown in Southern California and can be found in Indian markets here. They may not be common where you live but can be purchased on the Internet. If you freeze extras, freeze them in water or they will dry out. Dried curry leaves are inferior. Some people do not like the resinous flavor of curry leaves, so use caution if you are not familiar with them (I consider them optional in this recipe). For details see our Curry Leaves page.
  6. Asafoetida:   This is the resin of a giant fennel plant. It is used in India in many recipes, particularly because some sects there are forbidden onions. If you don't have it you can stir in 2 Tablespoons of finely chopped onion just before stirring in the spinach. For details see our Asafoetida page.
  7. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required, tt=to taste
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