Summer food should be vibrant, fresh and soothing. I keep trying recipes which are refreshing like salads, yogurt dips, smoothies and less spicier. I had been eyeing this beet root raita from my fellow blogger and friend Priti’s blog Indian Khana for a very long time. Last week when I had my in laws home I wanted to make something different for lunch along with mint pulav I had made for them. When I tried this Beetroot or Chukandar raita, it was a perfect blend of spices and the taste was top notch. Its an easy peasy recipe but totally a game changer. Thank you Priti for this incredible raita recipe. This is a keeper.

You can add fennel seeds also as the original recipe said but I skipped it because I am allergic to fennel seeds. I am sure it will make the taste more interesting for people who like it. Leave me a feedback if you try this amazing raita. I am head over heels over its fascinating colour. It tastes as good as it looks. 

1. Wash the beets thoroughly and peel its skin.

2. Grate them using a grater. Place the grated beets in a bowl.

3. Add Chopped coriander and and green chillies.

4. Add rock salt. Roasted Cumin Powder and salt. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The juices of beet will run out and will make it less bitter in taste. 


5. Whisk Curd or plain yogurt and mix with the beets after 5 minutes. Add a little water if you think the yogurt is way too thick,

6. Mix this yogurt with the beetroot and spices. 

7. Garnish with more coriander leaves and serve with you favourite meal.

Other Raita or yogurt based dishes you can try are : Bathua ka Raita  Purslane Yogurt Dip, Aloo Anaar ka Raita, Baigan ka Raita.

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Baingan ka Bhartha or Charred Eggplant cooked with spices is a very popular dish from India. But other than this the Charred or stove roasted big Brinjals are used to make this incredible yogurt side dish. This dish was introduced to me by my mother and to her from her inlaws. Its native to Multan erstwhile Indian state and now in Pakistan. Since both the countries share the same culture, language and cuisine a lot of dishes are common. 

Its a fairly simple dish you need to simply roast the eggplants and remove its skin. Learn how to roast a brinjal on a stove top. Once the pulp is ready, it will take minutes to put this side dish together. I love this raita and its a common side dish in my native family. Baingan or Eggplant is also known as batau in punjabi belt.


1. Take pulp or flesh of Brinjal after being roasted. You can learn to roast them like this. Place the peeled eggplant in a blender.

2. Pour fresh Yogurt or curd on top. Along with Fresh Coriander leaves.



3. Add salt and red chili powder.



4. Also add roasted Cumin powder and ginger powder or saunth.



5. Close the lid of the blender and pulse for 5 -7 seconds until it combines well. Serve as a side dish with Aloo Gobhi, Aloo Methi , Tori Wadiyan and any other dry vegetable dish.

Other Raita dishes you can try on The Secret Ingredient are : Bathua ka Raita, Aloo Anaar ka Raita Purslane Yogurt Dip

You can even try Bharwan Baingan, Baingan Ka Bhartha , Baingan Bhaja and Baingan ka Salan.



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The best part about winters and spring is that you get a lot of green leafy vegetables. They are not only nutritious but also very tasty. I love to indulge in Sarson ka Saag, Palak Paneer, Methi Aloo, Methi Matar Malai every other day. But my favourite is the delicious Bathua Ka Raita. It is a yogurt dip made with a kind of seasonal weed plant known as Bathua or Bathuwa. Its english name is Chenopodium Album. It may be a weed but it is extensively grown as a crop in Northern India.

I had no clue that it was a weed until I moved to Almora. My maid came with a bag of leaves and she said would you mind if I take these home? I asked her what it was and she told me its bathua which she plucked from the wasteland above the house on the hills. I told her to take it on a condition, if she could also fetch for me 🙂

With abundance of bathua around me I can enjoy this raita more than ever before. My husband always avoids yogurt complaining its cold in here. So the other day I decided to make this for myself. To my surprise the bowl was half empty when I decided to pour for myself. He kittenishly said “why you did not tell me before it was going to be so tasty”. He finished half of it and was asking for more. 


1. Separate Bathua leaves from its stem. Also separate the coriander leaves from its stem. Wash both the leaves separately and keep aside.



 2. In a pressure pan put washed bathua leaves and 1/4 cup of water.


3. Also add salt and put the lid on. Cook  for one whistle or 2 minutes after the pressure has reached its peak  and switch off the flame. Let it cook in the steam. After the steam has released open the lid. Drain the water using a colander or wire mesh. You can use this nutritious water to knead dough for rotis.



4. Squeeze out  extra water using your hands.



5. Place the squeezed bathua in a blender.


6. Add to it washed coriander leaves, green chilies. red chili powder and salt.




 7. Add on top curd.



8. Also add ground ginger powder or sonth and roasted ground cumin powder. Pulse this together for two seconds or until the green colour appears.



 9. Transfer it to a serving bowl. Sprinkle more roasted ground cumin powder and red chili powder. Serve as a side dish with anything you please.

Other Raita or yogurt based dishes you can try are : Purslane Yogurt Dip, Aloo Anaar ka Raita, Baigan ka Raita.


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Pomegranate or Anaar is in season. The unusual combination of pomegranate and boiled fried potato with yogurt makes a delicious and hearty side dish with your meal. Its refreshing and full of flavour. I am sure once you taste it you will want it more and more. I tried it for the first time for a dinner party at our place. It was a huge success. The enchanting colors makes it even more inviting.

The beauty of this refreshing dish is that you can eat this even in Navratri Fasting. I pair it with my Barnyard Millet khichdi. Its simply delicious. if you are looking for other Fasting recipes you can try Healthy Kachalu Aloo ChatTangy Mint PotatoesKhajoor Til Ke LaddooVrat Wale Dahi-Paneer KebabsSwang Ke Chawal Ka HalwaSwang Ke Chawal Ki Phirni. For this recipe follow the instructions below.


1. Boil potatoes and peel their skin. Cut them in cubes and fry them with little oil in the pan.


2. Fry them till they get a slight golden colour. Remove them on a paper towel to absorb extra oil. Set aside to cool down.


3. In a bowl whisk some yogurt, so that no lumps remain and add little milk to give it a smooth liquid texture. Also milk will reduce the thickness of yogurt.

4. Add Salt, chat masala and red chili powder . Give them a gentle stir to combine.


5. Add little sugar and mix.


6. Add roasted cumin seeds powder.


7. Add pomegranate to the yogurt mix. Along with freshly chopped coriander leaves.


8. Now add cooled fried  potatoes to yogurt.


Garnish with roasted cumin powder, red chili flakes or powder and coriander or mint. Serve as a side dish with Kathal Biryani or any of your favourite dishes.

Other recipes for fasting you can try are: Healthy Kachalu Aloo ChatTangy Mint PotatoesKhajoor Til Ke LaddooVrat Wale Dahi-Paneer KebabsSwang Ke Chawal Ka HalwaSwang Ke Chawal Ki PhirniTapioca Coconut Milk Pudding with Strawberry PreservePaneer Ki KheerSwang ke Chawal ki KhichdiKaddu Ka Halwa,  Sabudana Khichdi .


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