In the current hot, sunny weather, often times a curry with its fiery spices and oil floating to the top feels heavily unappealing and even icky. But, alas, in a South-East Asian household carbohydrates are a must and you most definitely must be on a diet/sick/upset/mental if you aren’t going to have a chapatti or some rice on your plate (Quote source: my grandmother).
It’s this kind of weather for which a cooling and fresh raita is used for. Usually, I make a very simple raita with either mint and coriander or cucumber mixed in with thick, creamy yogurt to serve with hot and dry curries such as a bhuna or rice dishes such as Biryani and Pilau. This raita is a much more ‘fancy’ and dressed up version of my regular raita using one of my many favourite vegetables: capsicum, also known as ‘bell peppers’. This raita has a very alluring aroma of roasted, smokey peppers even after chilling in the fridge which pairs beautifully with the flavours from the olive oil and mint.
Capsicums aren’t a commonly used ingredient for raitas – more traditional vegetables include aubergine and spinach. However, capsicums are a big favourite of mine and my Mother’s and I’m always on the lookout for ways to utilise them in various ways. Roasting and frying them really adds a depth of flavour that is irresistible – pair this with olive oil and as cliche as it sounds, you have a match made in heaven! I had really been wanting to cook up some capsicums for quite a few days till I saw Shayma from The Spice Spoon post a picture on her Instagram of a Borani, an Afghan/Persian yogurt side dish much like a Pakistani raita. Her post finally pushed me to finally get into the kitchen and start putting my capsicums to use! And to good use they were put! – Me and my husband really enjoyed this and I can certainly see myself making this soon again!
I absolutely loved having this with some plain basmati rice the first day I made this, however it went oh so well with some fresh, warm bread too. It’s incredibly versatile so don’t limit yourself to having this alongside a curry; enjoy it with bread sticks, crackers, steaks – anything you fancy!
Enjoy, with love x