Thick, creamy and good for your health, yogurt lends itself to a variety of delicious dishes. At my home, we make many varieties of “raita” —yogurt mixed with vegetables or fruit.
Here is one of my simplest raita recipes. Ready in seconds, and a sure hit even with kids who don’t enjoy spinach.
8 ounces plain low-fat yogurt, preferably homemade
1 scant cup spinach leaves, washed and cut into thin ribbons
1 medium-sized red onion, chopped fine
1 tsp olive oil
Salt and paprika to taste
Whisk the yogurt in a deep bowl, adding a little water if you like your raita a bit thinner in consistency.
In a pan, heat the olive oil and toss in the onions. Stir fry for a couple of minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
Add the spinach and toss well.
When the spinach has wilted, toss it into the yogurt, and mix well.
Season with salt and paprika to taste, and enjoy slightly warm or at room temperature.
This raita makes a great accompaniment to hot bread or steamed rice and lentils. I often enjoy a bowl of it as a healthy and satisfying snack.
According to an article in Fitness magazine, yogurt is loaded with good-for-health bacteria that regulate your digestion and strengthen the immune system. What’s more, an 8-ounce serving of yogurt provides about 60% of the day’s vitamin B12 requirement to adult women.
Ayurvedic healers advise making yogurt fresh at home, rather than buying it from a store. The reason they offer is that the fresher the yogurt, the more active live cultures—beneficial bacteria—it contains.
Here is a good resource for learning how Ayurvedic physicians view yogurt, along with a simple recipe for making it at home.
As for spinach, the queen of greens, the list of health benefits is long and widely recognized. Even so, let me remind you of a few spinach benefits:
- Improves blood glucose levels in diabetics
- Rich source of protein
- Contains vitamin K, fiber, phosphorus and thiamine
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves bone health
Variations on Raita:
Add some fresh chopped strawberries, which are a great source of antioxidants.
Mix in a few pomegranate seeds, which regulate blood pressure and make nutrients more easily available to your body.
Sprinkle some chopped walnuts, the wonder nut that boasts some incredible health benefits, ranging from skin care to cancer prevention.