In Ayurveda, the summer season is a time for fresh, cooling, sweet fruits and fresh flowers!
Cucumbers are a good summer food and they are also thirst-relieving. Ayurveda finds cucumber to be sweet, astringent, and cool. It balances Pitta and Vata but increases Kapha. For Kapha folks, you can eat this with extra hing and mustard seeds. It is a diuretic and good for urinary tract infections.
This yogurt dip, called cucumber raita, is considered tri-doshic, versatile and can be used as a dip with vegetables, breads or alongside a dish of lentils and rice. It really can be eaten with anything! It is simple and flavorful and perfect for the warm weather months.
2 cucumbers (persian are excellent)
2 tablespoons ghee
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pinch of hing (asofoetida)
4 curry leaves, fresh or dried
1 small handful cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 small green chili, chopped OR 1 pinch cayenne
1/2 cup organic plain yogurt (fresh is best)
Skin and grate the cucumbers.
Pour off and discard any excess juice.
Heat the ghee in a saucepan over medium heat and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, hing and curry leaves.
Cook a moment until the seeds pop.
Add the cayenne or chili and cilantro, shake and take the pan off the heat and let spices cool.
Stir the yogurt and grated cucumber together in a bowl.
Add the cooled spices to the yogurt mixture, (you can remove the curry leaves), mix well and serve.
Chill 1 hour before serving. Taste and top with Himalayan Pink salt if needed. Garnish with fresh garden flowers.
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