About this dish
Boondi raita is arguably one of the most popular raitas in Punjabi cuisine. Boondi are little fried bits of besan (gram flour) batter. My grandmother often made boondi at home especially with the leftover batter from making pakoras. At my parents place however, we always bought some from Supreme Bakery in New Delhi. Every trip to Supreme Bakery meant stocking up on pantry and snacking essential like boondi, kulchas, cheese twists but also some of their delicious panner patties (paneer bhurji in puff pastry) for chai time that evening.
You can find boondi in most Indian stores. It's usually stored in the Haldiram snack section because it's not only great for making raita but is a great crunchy snack too, not to mention, gluten free!
- 1 cup or 250ml yoghurt or dahi
- 35g boondi* (salted fried besan puffs)
- 1/2 tsp dried mint powder**
- 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder***
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 green chilli (optional)
- 6-8 sprigs fresh coriander
- Finely chop the coriander leaves (and stems) and de-seed and finely chop the green chilli.
- Whisk the yoghurt together with the salt, dried mint powder, and roasted cumin powder till well combined.
- Mix in the chopped green chillies and coriander. Then add the boondi and mix well.
- Let the boondi soak in the yoghurt for 15-20 minutes till they are soft. Mix again and serve cold.
Note: If your boondi raita is too thick you can adjust the consistency by adding some water, buttermilk or milk. We added around 1/4 cup of water since our yoghurt was very thick and creamy.
* Boondi: Haldiram's Boondi is easily available internationally at most Indian stores. I usually prefer to buy the classic plain salted version but they often also sell flavoured or masala variants.
** Dried mint powder: Dried mint is a common ingredient in North Indian and Persian cuisines. In India, people often sundry and grind mint at home. Dried mint powder is used in raita, chaach, paranthas and many other dishes. Note that this isn't dried spearmint or peppermint but regular mint (mentha species 'Nemorosa'). You can find dried mint in your local Indian, Turkish or oriental stores. If all else fails, you could try crumbling in some mint tea (but not peppermint please).
*** Roasted cumin powder: Beware! Packaged cumin seed powder is not the same thing as roasted cumin seed powder. If you are using store-bought cumin seed powder, it's most probably not roasted, even if it's from the India store. If you are making this recipe, I would highly advise you to toast and grind the cumin seed powder at home. It's has a totally different flavour and aroma to the non-toasted variety and makes a world of difference in raitas.