Cucumber raita and pappadums is a tasty after-school or work snack with a good hit of calcium. Or if you’re cooking up your favourite curry, these go well with some chopped mint for a refreshing taste. Raita is a famous Indian condiment that’s ultra healthy and helps cool down your tongue after a spicy curry. For those science nerds, capsaicin (the spicy component of chilli) dissolves in fat, oil or alcohol, but not in water. Hence, downing water will only make it worse by spreading the capsaicin around your mouth’s pain receptors. But, yoghurt and other dairy fats will dissolve the capsaicin and eliminate the burn.
Pappadums are usually made of moong (mung bean) or urad dhal (black gramme) flour together with salt, spices and oil. So like all legumes, they’re a source of protein and carbohydrate (and fibre). Beware that pappadums can be rather salty, so look up the sodium content in the nutrition information panel to choose one that has less!
There has been an interesting study showing that microwaving produced the least amount of acrylamides (nasty chemicals that might cause cancer). Less than that of frying or roasting. Hence we’d recommend microwaving the pappadums. It gives a softer and moister texture than frying, but it’s the healthiest way to cook it. To heat the pre-packaged pappadums evenly, microwave four pieces at one time by spreading them out on the turntable of the microwave.
Cucumber Raita and Pappadums
Serves: 4 Time: 10 mins
- 1 medium sized cucumber, seeded and grated
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- 350g low-fat unsweetened yoghurt
- ¼ tsp salt
- 8 pappadums
1. Stir in yogurt, grated cucumber, cumin powder and salt in a medium bowl till it is mixed properly. Cool in fridge.
2. Place pappadums in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high heat for 30 seconds or until it turns golden brown.
3. Plate pappadums with raita and serve.