Yellow Pumpkin Raita / Parangikai Thayir Pachidi
The first time I had a pumpkin raita, it was at a Maharashtrian friend's place along with Masale Bhaath (Rice with spices). The mild sweetness of the pumpkin was a perfect pairing with the medley of spices in the rice dish.
While the idea is borrowed from the friend, I have stuck to the traditional Tambrahm style of preparing pachidi (raita) by omitting peanuts, coconut, cumin seeds etc, which my friend's recipe had.
I have tried this same raita recipe same with most squashes, including bottle gourd and it seems to work well. Somehow, the addition of yogurt and a crunchy tempering (tadka) makes all boring vegetables fun!
For a low cal lunch, a big bowl of pumpkin or mixed vegetable raita is all you need to keep you filled up for 3 hours. It provides you with the necessary protein, fiber, antioxidants and it makes a really healthy accompaniment to most rice dishes - such as this Vaangi Baath or Capsicum Baath.
- Place the cubed yellow pumpkin in a microwave safe glass bowl. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover and microwave on High for 3-4 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft and cooked through.
- In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt and salt.
- With the back of a ladle or a potato masher, mash the cooked pumpkin coarsely.
- Add this to the yogurt and mix well. Remove this mix into a serving bowl.
- In a tempering ladle or a small saucepan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add udad dal. Allow this to turn golden. Add the curry leaves, red chilli broken into pieces, give it a stir and transfer the tempering over the raita.
- Keep in the refrigerator to chill for an hour or so before serving.
Try this with butternut squash if you don't have access to yellow pumpkins for equally delicious results.
To give it a flavour change, use your favourite spices in the tempering such as fennel seeds or Bishop's weed (ajwain) or even Nigella seeds (kalonji).