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Cucumber "Raïta"

This is a delicious starter, specially when the weather gets finer, and is no trouble to prepare.
Serves 4

1 large Cucumber, drained and sliced
1 cup plain Yoghourt
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chopped Basil
2 tablespoons chopped Mint
1 tablespoon chopped Taragon
A few small leaves of each of the above to decorate
1/2 inch squares of red and/or green peppers to decorate (optional)
Onion rings to decorate (optional)

N.B. It is important that the cucumber be well drained otherwise it will release water into the yoghourt if prepared in advance. Thinly slice the cucumber. If you have not drained it using Cyberchef's rapid method, cover the slices with sea salt and allow to drain for 40 minutes to 1 hour. Rinse off salt and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Drain off any excess liquid from the yoghourt and pour into the serving dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cucumber slices and chopped herbs and mix well. Place in the bottom of the refrigerator to chill. Before serving, mix again lightly in case the cucumber and yoghourt have shed more liquid, decorate the surface with a dash of Cayenne and place the sprig of herb leaves in the centre.

Options : Cut 1/2 inch squares out of red and/or green peppers and make a decorative circle round the edge of the dish. Decorate with onion rings, which will also add a different dimension to the flavour. The pepper squares and onion rings can be prepared in advance and kept in the refrigerator until final preparation.

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