My sister is not a fan of cucumbers, which, incidentally, is my personal favorite fruit in the whole wide world. I have no clue why this happens, but apparently there’s a law somewhere that siblings must have a few things in contrast, that can actually become topics of future fights.

In our case, it is sad but true. She is an ardent fan of fresh fruits. I run at the sight of fresh, raw, fruits. She detests pointed gourd and ridge gourd. I can cheerfully live off it for the rest of my life. She despises anything that contains chillies, and I do not leave the table without crunching on a few of the green ones.

So well, cucumbers. We were talking about them. I love them. They are so fresh, summery and cool! And, they make me happy, especially topped with a bit of chat masala and lemon juice. But she screws up her nose at that, and walks the other way.

That is when I bring out the big guns. An make raita.

I have seen that I do not like my raita watery and diluted, so I generally mix it about 20 minutes before eating. But I prep everything ahead in time. Here’s what I do.

First, combine 150 ml. plain yogurt with 50 ml. milk, 2 teaspoon sugar and whisk gently. Put the bowl in a fridge and let it chill, and allow the sugar to melt, about half an hour. 

Peel and cut a cucumber into small pieces. I generally cut them into tiny bits, but you can grate them, or cut them in larger pieces, too. To this, I add 1/2 a medium onion, minced, 1/2 medium tomato, minced, 2 green chillies, chopped fine, and a few sprigs of mint leaves.

Add the chopped cucumber mixture to the yogurt about half an hour before serving. At this point, also add some salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of of either chat masala or jal jeera masala, or a combination of roasted cumin and red chilli powder. The third option is my favorite one. Stir briskly, and keep it in the fridge for another half an hour before serving. 

This is a sister-pleaser, who claims that it is the only place where she can tolerate cucumbers.

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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