I’m a firm believer that cooking is a basic life skill, and have always made an effort to teach both of my kids. When they were preschoolers, this cucumber raita recipe was one of the first I had them help with.
The beauty of cucumber raita is, it doesn’t require any chopping – so you can let even your toddlers help with it. Plus, most kids love it, so they will really enjoy digging into the fruits of their labour. As they get older you can pass the grating of the cucumber on to them as well.
When my Zara was about 3 years old she went through this strange phase where she basically ate 4 things; plain white rice, yogurt (plain or flavoured), cucumbers, and plain roti – with no butter. It was a rough 6 months. She also didn’t like having the cucumber grated into her raita, so I would have to give her a plain bowl of dahi to dip her cucumber slices in. Those are definitely not days that I miss.
One thing I took away from the picky eating days is, if you can get them involved in cooking the food, they are much more likely to eat it. And if they don’t eat it, that’s okay. I promise you that kids do eventually out grow this phase. If it makes you feel any better, Zara now eats all sorts of cuisines, and is always willing to try something new. (Although cucumbers are still her favourite!)
If you are looking for some other ideas of what the kids can make, I would suggest jeera rice, a basic masra di dal (they may need some help with the chopping), or even gulab jamun cupcakes. Looking for tips on how to get your kids to the dinner table? Check out this video on dinner time tips for littles.
Cucumber Raita Tips:
- Select cucumbers that are firm. Soft cucumbers will be watery.
- Seedless cucumbers are your best bet for cucumber raita.
- If your kids are not too fussy, you can also add grated carrots, chopped onions, and cilantro.
- These days, we also add white pepper or chaat masala to our cucumber raita.
A simple yogurt and cucumber raita to serve with jeera rice, biryani, and as a dip.
1.5 cups of dahi (Indian style yogurt)
1 cup of water
1/2 English cucumber grated
1/2 tbs jeera (cumin seeds)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1. Roast the jeera in a skillet over medium heat for 60 seconds. Once you smell the aroma, pull it off the stove and cool.
2. Add the dahi to a bowl. Slowly add in the water, whisking as you go to remove any lumps.
3. Add the cucumber, jeer, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
4. Keep raita in the fridge until ready to serve.
Raita taste best when served chilled.
You can also add shredded carrots, chopped onion, and chaat masala if your kids have developed palettes.
- Cuisine: Indian
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup