A simple and popular yogurt based dish, Boondi Raita is served as an accompaniment to biryani, pulav or tehri. This dish is even today a regular part of the meal in any home in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Simple and quick to put together, specially if you have the boondi available. The black salt gives a distinct and pleasant flavour to the raita.
Most Raitas are made with fresh vegetables such as onion, tomato or cucumber, sliced small and whisked into yogurt, seasoned with ground cumin, pepper and salt. Fresh coriander leaves are placed as the garnish. In South India, Raitas, called Pachadi are also made in a similar fashion, usually tempered with mustard, cumin seeds and chilli, in hot oil.
What distinguishes the Boondi raita, is its special ingredient, that is, the boondi, used instead of fresh vegetables. Boondi is made from a paste of ground chick pea flour with a little turmeric, salt and chilli powder added to the paste, little drops of the paste are deep fried. The Boondi is then added to beaten yogurt flavoured with black salt, powdered roasted cumin seeds and garnished with pomegranate arils and fresh green coriander leaves. Try out this easy Boondi Raita, the next time you make a pulav or a biriyani or just about any type of rice recipe.
The contrast between the crisp spicy boondi and the soft yogurt, the distinct taste of the black salt and cumin makes for a delicious side dish.
Add the boondi just before serving, so that it is crisp to the taste and does not become soggy.
In India, boondi is usually readily available in ‘Chips’ shops and in Sweet shops. However, if you want to make it at home, the process is easy and is given in the recipe below.
Link to my recipe on Matar ki Tehri for which the Boondi Raita makes a great accompaniment: Matar ki Tehri. The recipe for the Tehri is a traditional one followed by my husband’s family in Eastern Uttar Pradesh.