Pachadi or raita or yoghurt dip are all similar due to the fact that the star ingredient is yoghurt or curd. Within the Indian subcontinent, different regions have different styles of preparation – in Kerala, pachadi is a cooked dish using different veggies tempered with spices and added to thick curd (addition of coconut paste is optional); in Tamil Nadu, it is similar to the North India raita where chopped raw vegetables are added to thick curd and eaten as an accompaniment with parathas or Biriyani. For the Western and Middle Eastern world, this is essentially a yoghurt dip – again an accompaniment on the mezze platter or as dressing with meats.
The recipe listed below is a Kerala style cooked pachadi using thai baby brinjals. This is quite a versatile recipe and you can use several different vegetables like cucumber, small brinjals/aubergines, bittergourd, beetroot etc.
And the best use of this in my household – getting all of us to eat brinjal which is not really a favorite veggie among the three of us!!
1. Thai baby brinjal – 6, finely chopped
2. Onion – 1 small, finely chopped
3. Tomato – 1 small, finely chopped
4. Curd – 2 cups, good quality thick curd/yoghurt
5. Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
6. Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
7. Curry leaves – 4-5 leaves, finely shredded
8. Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
9. Salt – to season
10. Vegetable oil – 3 tbsp.
• Beat the curd well into a thick, creamy consistency and keep aside. If the curd is too thick, then add some water but make sure it’s not runny.
• In a pan, heat oil, crackle mustard seeds, add curry leaves and add the chopped onion; sauté till light brown.
• Add the chopped tomatoes, brinjal and the spices. Season with salt and sauté till cooked and lightly mushy.
• Take off flame and allow to cool.
• Once cooled, add to the curd and mix well. Season with salt if necessary.