Kaashifal ka raita reminds me of winter season at my parents’ house in Jaipur. Compared to Bangalore, Jaipur is lot more colder during winter season. But despite very cold foggy mornings and chilled nights, Jaipur gets bright sunshine during the day.
My mother used to prepare a variety of raita each day for our lunch during winter season. Among all other varieties my favourite was Pumpkin Raita.
Kaashifal ka Raita has amazing blend of flavours. Sweetness of yellow pumpkin is complimented by slight sourness of curd and a mix of red chilli powder, roasted jeera (cumin) powder and dry mint powder gives a wonderful taste of warm and cold spices.
Around 2 months back my daughter Apoorva was diagnosed with Ulcerative Collites. It was a shock for us as she is just 17 and we have always been very careful with our food habits. And till three years back Apoorva had no special interest or liking in food. She was not able to tolerate spices at all. Can you believe that she never used to eat Pizza!! Slowly her taste buds started changing and she was enjoying and experimenting different types of cuisines at home and outside. Though we hardly eat outside or use frozen food but teenagers along with their friends love to eat outside and explore different cuisines. All of a sudden food related experiments came to a halt. Now she is restricted to rice, curd, lentils, lots of buttermilk, tender coconut water, vegetables without seeds, no raw fruits except banana, boiled apple, nothing with high fibre, no chilly of any variety, no milk products except curd,no fats and no sweet. Anything which causes heat is completely restricted till she recovers and recovery might take 6-7 months. Her board exams are on and so we are following food restrictions very strictly and are trying to to do some experiments with the given choices of ingredients.
Pumpkin as a veggie is Apoorva’s favourite, so I decided to introduce to her pumpkin raita too. I believe with such limited choice of food, she liked it as it was a change from having plain curd every day. Though we are not adding red chilli powder which gives it a wonderful taste, I am mentioning it in the list of ingrediants.
For raita, curd or butter milk can be used. Remember, this buttermilk is different from what we use in baking. In India buttermilk is a mix of curd and water and it is churned nicely.
Pumpkin, thick buttermilk, salt, roasted cumin (jeera) seeds powder,dry mint powder, red chilli powder and asafoetida.
Remove thick peel from pumpkin, wash it and and slice it into small pieces.
Boil these pumpkin pieces in water till they are soft.
Squeeze out the water completely from the boiled pumpkin and mash it as a smooth puree.
If using curd, then churn it with churner and in a big bowl add pumpkin puree and mix it nicely in the curd.
Add salt, red chilli powder, roasted cumin (jeera) powder,dry mint powder and a pinch of asafoetida. Mix it nicely and sprinkle little bit of red chilli powder and roasted cumin powder on top of the raita just before serving.