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Kakri raita
Cucumber and yogurt salad

Hari Caran dasa, the headcook of Gopal’s Restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand, says that cucumbers are at their best when they’re about 10 inches (25 cm) long, firm, bright green, and shiny. If the skin is tough, you can peel or score it; if the seeds are large, it will be worth the extra time to scrape them out.

Preparation time: 15 min
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 medium-sized cucumbers
11/4 cups (300 ml) plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pinches asafoetida (optional)

Dry-roast the cumin seeds and grind them into a powder. Wash the cucumbers and grate them through the large holes of a metal grater. Squeeze out the excess liquid and combine the grated cucumber with all the other ingredients in a mixing bowl. Toss. Serve chilled.