Before I share with you the recipe for this healthy and yummy Sweet Potato Leaves Raita, let me give you some background.
Raita, the forever loved Indian side dish hardly needs any introductions. I however did a quick search to see how Sir Google describes it. One of the top few definitions was courtesy of the Cambridge English Dictionary, which describes it as below:
What Is The Big Deal About This Humble Side Dish?
- A good Chicken Biryani or any biryani for that matter is just incomplete without a well-made raita
- Too little time to cook? Plain ghee rice and raita is a complete meal
- Eating chapatis and no time to make a full-fledged curry? Raita to the rescue!
- Parathas– stuffed or plain again taste divine with a raita
- Kulchas again pair very well with raita
- A veg or meat pulaao is perfect with raita too!
So, there you are, some great examples of dishes you can pair raita with!
Why Is This Raita Special?
The recipe I am sharing today is my take on this versatile dish. It happened because I absolutely LOVE sweet potato leaves! Yes, you heard me right! The leaves are delicious and full of nutrients. I am not a huge fan of sweet potatoes themselves but LOVE fresh sweet potato greens that make great stir-fries.
This time, however, I was in the mood to try something different and hence this dish. I usually make spinach raita in a very similar fashion but I am so happy I tried this version as it turned out much creamier and yummier than the original.
Unlike most raitas, the veggies a.k.a. sweet potato leaves were cooked before adding. One can consume them raw too but they are a tad bitter and cooking with some garlic really helps balance the bitterness and adds tons of flavour to the final dish.
So, after thoroughly cleaning the leaves, I chopped them finely. Next, I cooked them for approximately 5 minutes on a low flame with some finely chopped garlic and hing (asafoetida). Once the raw smell disappeared and the leaves looked dryish, I added a pinch of salt and mixed it well. Do keep it aside to cool to room temperature.
While the cooked leaves cooled off I prepared my curd. Now, you may or may not need to add some water to the curd depending on how watery it is and what consistency you want your raita to be. Usually, store-bought yogurt is thicker than home set curd. I would recommend you add water to think out the yogurt as desired. I added half a cup of water to two cups of yogurt and whisked well.
Then I added the spices. I used roasted whole cumin which was coarsely hand pounded, roasted red chili powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper too (you can skip the latter), half a teaspoon of oregano, rock salt (you can use regular salt too) and mixed it all well.
Tadka Is Optional But Great
If you are feeling indulgent you can also do a tadka with mustard seeds and dried red chilies. I skipped it as I wanted to keep it light. I chilled the raita in the refrigerator for half an hour and served it topped with some chili flakes. And since I am HUGE fan of the Japanese Mixed Chilli Pepper Togarashi I added some of that too. It is hot and nutty with sesame and great on raitas!
- Sweet Potato Leaves, washed and finely chopped-3 cups
- Garlic, finely chopped - 2-3 cloves
- Hing (asafoetida)- 1/4 tsp
- Yogurt-2 cups
- Water- 1 cup or as desired
- Red chilli powder, lightly roasted and cayenne pepper- 1.5 tsp
- Whole cumin- 2 tsp
- Oregano- 1/2 tsp
- Togarashi (Japanese Mixed Chilli Pepper)- 1/2 tsp for garnish (optional)
- Oil- 1 tbsp
- Salt-to taste (use rock salt for best results)
- Wash the sweet potato leaves well and patty dry on a kitchen towel, then chop fine
- In a heavy bottomed pan heat oil and once it is hot, add hing and garlic and saute on a low flame for a few seconds
- Then add finely chopped sweet potato leaves and cook until water evaporates and raw smell disappears, then add salt and mix well ; set aside to cool
- Roast the whole cumin in a dry pan on low flame , stirring continuously for almost a minute or until fragrant ; pound it into a coarse powder using a mortar-pestle and set aside
- Whisk together yogurt and water as per the desired consistency (I added half a cup water to 2 cups yogurt), then add the dry spices- red chilli powder, cayenne pepper, cumin powder and oregano and salt and mix well
- Chill in the refrigerator for half an hour , garnish with Togarashi if using and serve right away