Burani Boondi Raita is a spiced yogurt dip with a tempering of garlic. It hails from the Hyderabadi cuisine & is a very flavorful accompaniment for Biryani.
This is a super quick and famous raita recipe from the Hydrabadi cuisine. Raita in general is served at mostly all Indian restaurants along with any biryani or pulao as accompaniments. Raita is nothing but a yogurt-based side dish which is mostly savory but sometimes sweet as well. It's served as a side with any curry or rice because it acts as a cooling agent when eating something hot and pungent plus the combination tastes so good. It is very similar to the yogurt dips of the west. There are innumerable varieties of raita that one can make. In traditional Indian thali, we always serve a bowl of raita just to balance all the flavors. More than me, KR loves raita and will always ask me to make it whenever we eat a rice dish. On some days when I am too lazy to even make raita, I make something that I call The Lazy Raita. It's just whisked yogurt seasoned with chilly powder, salt, and cumin powder. That's it! A quick fix when we are craving for it! But normally, raitas have some vegetable or fruit in it to give it a crunch. The most popular one is the Cucumber raita. My mom would pack some every day in my dad's lunchbox as it was his favorite.
The other insanely popular raita variety is the Boondi Raita. Boondi is made from chickpeas flour. They look like little pearls and are deep-fried. It's crispy and crunchy and can also be enjoyed as a dry snack. It gets very addictive mind you. Plus it is easily available at any Indian grocery store if you want to try it out. You get plain boondi as well as spicy boondi. Both taste great. Whenever we have any occasion at home, Boondi raita is prepared. This raita is very easy to make and doesn't need much prep work. Burani Boondi raita is a very interesting alternative that you can try. I had this first at a Biryani special restaurant in the South of India. I had ordered Potato Mint Pulao as always and it came with Burani raita. I had never heard of this kind of raita before but I loved the taste of it instantly! The reason was the flavor of garlic in it. It was a first for me and that is why this raita stayed on my mind for a very long time. I wanted to make Burani raita ever since but was waiting for the right moment. The occasion arrived in the form of last year's Holi party at our house. At every house party, I make a variety of raita every time. This year I thought making Burani Boondi Raita would be a great choice. Although it's a side dish, it has the potential to make my party a Hit!
Actually, we love hosting parties, especially on festive occasions. Ever since we got married, we started having our friends over for Holi and Diwali. Now, these parties have become a celebration in itself. Our Holi parties are filled with water balloons, pichkaris, dry colors, fun props like colorful sunglasses and garlands, and of course party food. Yes, I normally always cook food for 40+ people on these occasions and I enjoy every second of it. Diwali parties are all about dressing up in the finest Indian traditional clothes and jewelry, bursting firecrackers, and lots and lots of exotic and rich party food. This tradition has been going on for 6 years now and everyone in our group looks forward to these parties now. But do you know my most favorite part of these celebrations? It is menu planning. Each year, a few days before the actual party, I sit down to prepare the party menu. I hate repeating dishes on such occasions. I feel that everyone who comes to our house obviously expects great food but I want and like to surprise them with something new and different. The recipes I plan for these events need to have a certain WOW factor in them. That is what excites me the most and I look forward to cooking these dishes for my friends.
There are many recipes floating online showing how to make Burani Raita. It actually is a Mughlai dish and very much popular in Hyderabad. This raita is not only refreshing but is packed with the flavors too. I decided to give this accompaniment my own twist. Let me show you how to make it. In a mixing bowl add yogurt. You can use regular dairy yogurt or Greek yogurt or any plain non-dairy yogurt. I have used yogurt made from whole milk with full fat. It just tastes better with it. Whisk it till it becomes creamy and smooth. Add black salt, chilly powder, and roasted cumin powder. Heat ghee in a tadka pan. Add and temper mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add curry leaves, minced green chilies, and minced garlic. Fry for a minute or till the garlic turns lightly golden. Pour this tadka over the whisked yogurt. Add chopped mint leaves and crisp boondi to the bowl before serving. The other alternative is to soak the boondi in water and then add them to the raita bowl. I like the crunch so added them as is. You can also add chopped cilantro for garnish. Mix and serve. Serve this as a side with any Biryani/Soya Chunks Pulao/Paratha. Adding this dish to your dining table will surely attract all eyes to it and it will all be gone within minutes.
Looking for dishes to serve this raita with? Here are some ideas - Tendli Bhath, Mint & Pistachio Vegetable Rice, Vegan Pistachios & Dill flavored Turmeric Brown Rice, Lahsuni Palak Rice | Spinach & Garlic Rice, and Green Peas Pulao.
Burani Boondi Raita
- In a mixing bowl add yogurt. You can use regular dairy yogurt or Greek yogurt or any plain non dairy yogurt. I have used yogurt made from whole milk with full fat. It just tastes better with it. Whisk it till it becomes creamy and smooth. Add black salt, chilly powder and roasted cumin powder. Heat ghee in a tadka pan. Add and temper mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add curry leaves, minced green chillies and minced garlic. Fry for a minute or till the garlic turns light golden. Pour this tadka over the whisked yogurt. Add chopped mint leaves and crisp boondi to the bowl before serving. The other alternative is to soak the boondi in water and then add them to the raita bowl. I like the crunch so added them as is. You can also add chopped cilantro for garnish. Mix and serve. Serve this as a side with any Biryani/Pulao/Paratha.