While strictly speaking this may not be a Raita, it is made in the same style, so the folks over at Recipezaar, where this recipe originated, gave it that name. They got it from Madhur Jaffrey. Here is the recipe for the Captain’s adaptation:
2 medium zucchini
1/2 medium cucumber
3/4 tsp salt
1 medium onion
a bit of raw, grated garlic
a bit of raw, grated ginger
1.5 Cup yogurt (350 ml)
3 Tbls vegetable oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
grindings of fresh black pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
1. Wash and trim the zucchini, and grate them coarsely. Put it in a bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt. Mix well and let sit for half an hour. Grate the cucumber and set it aside.
2. Drain the zucchini and squeeze or press out as much liquid as you can, then toss it about with a fork to get rid of any lumps.
3. Peel the onion, cut in half, and slice very thin (a mandolin or slicing gadget would be useful here; I found a great one at the Rapallo mercato). Add the bit of grated raw garlic and ginger.
4. Put the yogurt in a bowl and whisk it until it is creamy.
5. Heat the cooking oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. Don’t leave! As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop, a matter of seconds, add the onion, garlic, ginger mix. Stir and fry for about about two minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring for another three minutes. Turn off the heat.
6. Let the zucchini cool for a while, then fold it into the yogurt and add the grated cucumber, the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, and the black and cayenne peppers.
7. Cover and refrigerate.
This dish is a lovely foil for spicy hot dishes, and its a wonderful side salad on a hot summer day. It’s also a great way to use up a pair of zucchini.