One of my readers (Thank you Najla) emailed me this yogurt and rice recipe that I tried today. But before I dive into that, I’d like to talk about the yogurt. Most of the yogurt consumed in America comes with added sugar. If you buy the 6-oz individual fruit yogurt cups from the supermarkets, you are getting the nutritional benefits but you are also consuming around 5 teaspoons of sugar per cup.
Yogurt with salt or savory yogurt (raita) is very popular in India and in Mediterranean cuisine, but largely unknown in the USA.
Children usually cringe at eating vegetables, so this recipe not only gets the kids to eat their veggies but pairing it with yogurt also gets probiotics, the ‘good’ bacteria for the stomach (good because it aids digestion), into your little munchkin. If your child is lactose intolerant, making the child eat yogurt is a great way to give your child the nutritional benefits of yogurt. People who are lactose intolerant are able to handle eating yogurt in most cases.
You can also use this recipe for infants when they start eating solids. I would remove the salt. The rice and veggies they are softy and mushy so suitable for infants.
Plain yogurt – either homemade or bought from the store. I used homemade yogurt.
Basmati Rice – if you don’t have basmati rice then any long grained white rice will do. You can use fresh rice or left over rice.
Sea Salt to taste
Cumin powder (optional)
1) Mix the yogurt and rice in equal parts depending on how much you want to make.
2) Grate as much zucchini and carrots as desired and boil them in a separate pan in water for 2-3 minutes.
3) Add the zucchini and carrots to the rice and yogurt mixture.
4) Add sea salt.
5) Sprinkle a dash of cumin (optional). Note: I make cumin powder at home. It is very easy to make. I dry roast cumin seeds on medium heat till they release a fragrant aroma. Cool them and then grind them in a coffee grinder. You can get cumin seeds at most super markets. Cumin is great for digestion.
The Verdict: The first batch I made, I ended up eating the whole thing as my daughter was sleeping and it was too hard to resist. I ate the yogurt rice luke warm (the rice was warm when I mixed in the other ingredients) but you can eat it cold. It took me less than 5 minutes to put this thing together.
The second batch I made for Simone, she ate it and loved it. No third batch for husband.
A cultural tip: Yogurt rice is very popular in Southern India. A typical south Indian yogurt rice would include a lot more spices such as curry leaves, red peppers, mustard seeds etc.
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