Basic Indian Recipe: Sweet & Savory Pineapple Raita

Many of us have had a basic raita, comprised of yogurt and a few fresh vegetables to form the much–needed cooling antidote to spiced foods, but did you ever think to throw some pineapples in the mix? Get ready for your new favorite condiment.
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I spotted pineapple raita during a brief trip to Northern India. This beloved side dish made perfect sense because the foods in this area were heavier and meat–oriented than their Southern counterparts. The pineapple in the raitia set off dishes such as buttered naan and saag paneer in a refreshing, bright way. I now reach for this version at least once per week — the ingredients always seem to be on hand and it's a real show stopper to add to any meal.

I also have a confession: pineapple raita is the perfect snack when you've got a box of British digestive cookies on hand, or French butter cookies work too! I love to dunk a bit of my biscuit into the raita. The play between the sweet and the savory, the salty and the tangy is just extraordinary!

Have you encountered pineapple raita? What would you pair this wonderful, simple condiment with?

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Pineapple Raita
makes approximately 1 1/2 cups

1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
4 slices canned pineapple, diced (or 3/4 cup fresh pineapple if you have it)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and black pepper to taste

In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt until completely smooth. Stir in spices and pineapple, season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with curries, rice, naan, and even cookies.

Related: How to Cut a Pineapple

(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)

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