Thursday, February 28, 2019

Carrot Raita | Carrot Yogurt Dip



Carrot raita is a yogurt dip, prepared with grated raw carrot, yogurt and seasoned with mint, pistachios, chaat masala and served alongside Indian meals.


Raita is a whipped yogurt condiment, mixed with vegetables or fruits and seasoned with cilantro, mint, chaat masala and other herbs and spices. It goes well with paratha, biryani, kabab or just as a dip with any spicy meal. Similarly, Carrot raita is a simple yogurt dip, prepared with grated raw carrot, yogurt and seasoned with mint, pistachios, chaat masala and served alongside Indian meals.

Raita has so many variations, you can add any vegetables or fruits into it. It can be sweet, salty or savoury. I added grated raw carrot but you can make raita of almost anything you like. To make a good raita use a full, fresh, thick yogurt. You can also use greek yogurt if you like. It totally depends on your choice.

I love to make carrot raita during the sizzling days of summer. It’s refreshing, looks super fancy and tastes great! The carrots make the raita lighter, healthier and fun to drink. There are more ingredients which you can add but they are totally optional. You can also use it as a spread on the bread or as a salad dressing.

The ingredients couldn’t be any simpler - yogurt, raw carrot, pistachios, mint, salt, and sugar. You could also use cilantro instead of mint for garnishing. It’s high in protein and get ready in just 10 minutes.

Did you know carrot is rich in vitamin A, B8, C and other nutrients like potassium, folate, iron, copper and manganese. There are several other nutrients that are found in yogurt as well like vitamin b2, b12, calcium, iron and magnesium. They are great for immunity, digestion and strong bones.


Carrot raita



Serves: 4-5 People
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Author: The Food Root


Ingredients


1 large carrot, peeled and grated
2 cups yogurt, thick
1/4 cup milk or water, to adjust the consistency
1-2 tsp of pistachios, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cumin, roasted
1/2 tsp chaat masala, optional
2-4 mint leaves, garnish



Method


1. In a big bowl, whisk yogurt till smooth. Add milk or little water to adjust the consistency. Give it a nice mix.

2. Add, grated raw carrot, some pistachios into the yogurt. Mix. Cover with a lid and refrigerate it for 1-2 hours.

3. Transfer to a serving bowl. Add salt, cumin, chaat masala and sugar. Garnish it with pistachios and mint. Serve!



Notes


1. You can use regular or greek yogurt in your raita, both will work well. I prefer using a thick and regular one.

2. Add 1/4 cup of milk or water to adjust the consistency of the raita.

3. I love adding salt and sugar in the same ratio. You can adjust the ratios, according to your preferences.


Saturday, February 9, 2019

Herb Gardening For Beginners : Tips For Growing Herbs


There is no better reward than walking into your garden and picking up your own fresh, homegrown herbs. They are easy to grow and can add lots of flavors to your recipes without adding calories. You can use them in soups, salads, smoothies, sauces, stews, and dips. Herbs are mostly sown in spring in 2-3 intervals. You can grow them from seed or buy a baby plant from nursery or supermarket. They don't need much care and attention. You just need to feed them with good soil and place it somewhere where it can get plenty of sunlight and air, and water it regularly.



7 simple tips for growing herbs in pots

Beginner's guide for growing herbs in pots



While setting a herb garden first think and ask yourself what all herbs you want to grow? What are the climatic conditions of your place? Do you want to grow these herbs in a pot, container, garden or you want to set up your deck, patio or balcony. If you a growing them indoors, you should be able to control the environment in terms of humidity, sunlight and temperature. If you are a beginner, i would suggest try growing herbs in pots or containers.



Mint is a perennial herb, it's very easy to grow and doesn't require much care and attention. I like to plant mint separately in pots as it's spread all over the place.


Tips for growing herbs 



1. What Herbs Should I Grow


Make a list of what all herbs you want to grow. Do you want to grow them for culinary or medicinal purposes or both? There are so many herbs to choose from. You can grow whatever works for you. The purpose is to grow your own food. Just be creative and do a bit of research while growing your favorite herb. Below is the list of some of my favorite herbs;

Annual

Basil, Holy Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Garlic, Carom and Parsley

Perennial

Mint, Oregano, Chives, Lemon Balm, Sage, Lavender, Ginger, Thyme and Rosemary


2. Find a suitable location for a herb garden


You don't always need a large space to begin. You can start planting your herbs in a smaller area as well. You will be surprise to see so much can be grown in smaller places as well but this hugely depends on your climate, weather and soil.

3. Pick the right containers and ensure the drainage


Pick the garden containers with drainage holes to keep the sufficient place for the roots when they grow. There are varieties of pots to choose from. They are made of terracotta, metal, clay etc. I prefer choosing clay pots as they help in drainage and tend to dry out quickly.

Most of the herbs like Basil, Cilantro, Lavender etc. grow well in containers but herbs like Mint, Lemon Balm should be planted separately in pots or garden as they bushy and spread all over.


4. Pair herbs in same planter or plant them individually


You can group as many as herbs in one big planter or in several other small pots. This of course depends, if your herbs enjoy the similar climatic conditions. So, be careful and pick out the plants with similar growing requirements to grow in the same planter.

For example, Parsley and Basil enjoy the similar growing requirements, they love more water, you can pair them together in a same planter whereas, Rosemary and Thyme likes it dry, so you need to keep them separate in other planters.


5. Planting


If you are growing the herbs from seedlings than remember to read the packet instructions carefully. It will tell you about how to sow the seeds. You can also choose to purchase young healthy plants from the nearest nursery store or supermarket and then transfer the entire plant into the container, making sure that the roots are well planted.


6. Feed your plants


Feed them with good soil and place it somewhere where it can get plenty of sunlight and air, and water it regularly.

Soil

Herbs can thrive in garden soil but I prefer to use organic potting soil mix while planting them in pots or containers. Avoid using soil from the outside as it may be contaminated.

Sunlight

While planning your herb garden, choose a location where the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold. The herb plants needs plenty of sunlight so keep your plants in a sunny location to grow well. You need at-least 4 to 6 hours of good sunlight until your herbs are ready to harvest.

For example, herbs like Rosemary, Thyme and Lavender, Oregano, Dill and Garlic perform best in full sun, whereas, herbs like Parsley, Mint, Chives and Lemon Balm requires partial sunlight and requires shade.

Water

Provide them with plenty of fresh water but be careful not to over water them. Certain herbs like Oregano and Rosemary prefer well drained soil. And, some herbs like Mint and Parsley like more moisture.


7. Harvesting


Harvest your herbs on time to ensure fresh growth and prune your plants regularly to keep them growing well. Good pruning keeps the plant bushy, green and healthy.

Like in case of Basil or Mint plants, you need to pinch off the top set of 2-3 leaves, this encourages them to have a bushy growth.


So, what are your favorite herbs? Do you grow your herbs in containers or do you set up your deck, patio or your balcony garden. How do you use herbs in your recipes? There are varieties of recipes you can try with your favorite herbs. Have you tried our mint-cilantro dip recipe yet? It's a tangy and exciting combination of mint, cilantro and raw mango along with a kick of green chilli. It pairs well with salads, chips and taste great when spread on sandwich and wraps. You are going to love it!

I hope you've enjoyed our first post in herb-gardening series and are inspired to create one!
Happy Gardening!