Raita, savoury yoghurt spiked with spices, is traditionally eaten in North India with every meal as a digestive and to douse any flames caused by chilli consumption.
1 large aubergine
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp whole cumin
Half tsp black salt (Kala Namak, or just use normal salt)
250 gm low-fat yoghurt
Oil, as needed
Slice the aubergine into 1 cm discs and soak them in ice-cold water in a bowl. I often stick a plate on top to keep them submerged.
When you are ready to cook, drain the aubergines well and sprinkle the chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt all over them. I give the bowl a little shake to ensure the aubergines are coated evenly.
In a frying pan, bring two tablespoons of oil to heat on medium high. When it’s hot, place four-five aubergines in a single layer and cook until deep golden on one side, then flip over and do the same on the other side.
Take them off and place them on a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil. Repeat with the rest of the aubergines until they are all crispy fried.
When the aubergines are all done, roast the cumin in a small frying pan for 10 seconds and pound or grind to a fine powder. I use a small coffee grinder, but you could use a pestle and mortar too.
Now assemble your raita. Whisk the yoghurt well. Layer the sliced aubergine on a shallow dish. Pour the yoghurt over the top evenly. Then sprinkle the chilli powder, the roasted cumin and the black salt evenly all over and stick in the fridge until dinner if ready to be served.
This recipe is part of Mallika's vegetarian set menu. Get the complete menu.