Spinach and Pomegranate Raita/Palak Aur Anar a cool yogurt preparation with nutritious spinach(palak) or seasonal greens and pomegranate pearls(anar).
Here I bring you one of the easiest dish Spinach and Pomegranate Raita, loaded with goodness of iron rich spinach, calcium rich yogurt and antioxidant rich pomegranate.
India meals are wholesome. Most of the meals consists of dal/lentils, dry veggie or curry, rice and chapatis.The main purpose is to include all the food groups for balanced diet.
Yogurt or dahi is one the important part of Indian meals as it helps in digestion of the food. It also cools off the body heat ,that comes with spices used in food. It is also a source of calcium.
Yogurt is also known as Curd in India. It should not be confused with cheese curds available in Canada, USA and other countries. Yogurt is one of the best side dish or accompaniment with paranthas, pulao or biryani and raita takes away the brownie points with so many variations in it.
What is Raita
Those who do not know about Raita, it is a kind thick yogurt preparation with fruits or salad veggies like cucumber, mint, carrots, boiled potatoes. A versatile dish that can be prepared in numerous ways and so easy to prepare.
Chilled raita with fruits or salad vegetables or even chickpea puffed balls(Boondi Raita) or noodles is one of the best accompaniment with Indian meals.
When Vanitha from one of my facebook food groups Healthy Wealthy Cuisine suggested the 73rd theme #Raitatime for the fortnight theme, I realized I have hardly any raita dish on the blog, though there are other yogurt based dishes on the blog like Chass(Indian Buttermilk), Ragi Kanji(Buttermilk with Finger Millet), Kadhi Pakodi, Gatte Ki subzi. Only one raita recipe is there Mix.Veg Raita, though it is one dish that I make quite frequently. Will be updating more raita recipes soon.
Do check out Vanitha's wonderful blog Curry and Vanilla with versatile and easy to understand recipes from Indian to International Cuisines. I like her way of presenting the dishes ,so simple and yet so elegant. For the theme Vanitha made Tomato Onion Raita that is good to go with any kind of Biryani, Pulao..
Check out other interesting raita recipes that my blogger friends have got for the theme..
Makhana Raita by Poonam, with nutritious Foxnuts or makhana, perfect for fasting days!
Capsicum Raita by Narmada
Achari Aloo Raita by Sasmita
How to make Spinach and Pomegranate Raita
If you want to know the detailed basics on Ratia, click here on Cucumber and Mint raita recipe(updating shortly).
Spinach and Pomegranate both are rich in nutrients like iron, calcium, antioxidants and minerals. These should be included in regular diets in any preferred form. If your fussy eater refuses to eat spinach or pomegranate, make this yogurt preparation serve them chilled. Trust me everyone will love it.
There are two ways in which you can add Spinach to yogurt.
First one is to blanch spinach leaves, then puree and add to yogurt along with other spices.
Second one is to finely chop spinach leaves, saute with cumin seeds(jeera)/mustard seeds(rai),and add to whisked yogurt. Add finely chopped garlic in winters or if you like garlicky taste .
Any of way you can make it. I prefer the first one for everyday meals and second one when serving to guests.
Yogurt/Curd for Raita should be fresh and it should not have a sour taste.
Consistency of Raita depends on how one likes it. Neither too thick like many dips( tzatziki) nor to thin like Chaas (Indian buttermilk).
Let's see how to make Spinach and Pomegranate Raita
Wash spinach very well in running tap water.
Boil water in a pan, add spinach and keep it for few minutes. Transfer it to ice cold water and let it be there for another 2-3 minutes.
Now drain the water from spinach completely(squeeze it a bit) and puree it.
In a bowl take yogurt/curd.
Take fresh plain yogurt. It can be homemade or store bought. I prefer my homemade yogurt.
To it add roasted jeera powder/cumin powder, honey/sugar, red chilli powder and whisk till smooth consistency.
Add spinach puree and mix well in yogurt.
For one cup of yogurt, add about 1/4 cup water. Adjust as per your desired consistency.
Before serving mix black salt in yogurt and add pomegranate seeds to it.
I do not add salt just before serving as it yogurt starts getting sour once salt is added to it.
Serve chilled with dish of your choice.
Variations to Spinach and Pomegranate Raita
You can also add grated or finely chopped cucumber to it or top it with boondi (deep fried chickpea flour small balls). Boondi is available at all the Indian grocery stores.
Spinach and Pomegranate Raita
- 1 Cup Fresh Yogurt/Dahi
- 1 Cup Fresh spinach leaves
- ¼ Cup Pomegranate Pearls
- 1-1½ tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
- 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- Black Salt as per taste
- Wash spinach very well in running tap water.
- Boil water in a pan, add spinach and keep it for 1-2 minutes. Transfer it to ice cold water and let it be there for another 2-3 minutes. Now drain the water from spinach completely and puree it.
- Take fresh plain yogurt. It can be homemade or store bought. I prefer my homemade yogurt.
- To it add roasted jeera powder/cumin powder, honey/sugar, red chilli powder and whisk till smooth consistency.
- Add spinach puree and mix well in yogurt. Cover it and refrigerate till serving time.
- Before serving mix black salt in yogurt and add pomegranate seeds to it.
- During winter months you can add tadka of Garlic in ghee. Since yogurt has cooling properties many people avoid it during rainy season and winters. Elders back home always avoided yogurt during monsoon and added either garlic tadka or some fresh ginger or ginger powder to diminish it's cooling properties.
You can also have during fasting days if you include Spinach in your fasting diet. Add Sendha Namak instead of black salt.
This is very good weightless recipe too. Makes one feel full for long time after having it.
During winter months you can add tadka of Garlic in ghee. Since yogurt has cooling properties many people avoid it during rainy season and winters. Elders back home always avoided yogurt during monsoon and added either garlic tadka or some fresh ginger or ginger powder to diminish it's cooling properties.
For garlic Tadka, heat about a tsp of ghee or oil in a pan or tadka pan. Add cumin seeds/rai, once the seeds crackle add finely chopped garlic( about 1 tps), add red chilli powder if required. Temper Spinach Raita with it.
Do make this Spinach and Pomegranate raita and let me how you liked it.
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