Aujourd’hui, I tried a recette for a raïta, an Indian sauce consisting of yogurt and vegetables/fruit, to complement côtelettes d’agneau au cari, aka lamb chops with curry. This recette is called Raïta au melon et au concombre. The recette took about 20 minutes to complete. I made it while the côtelettes d’agneau au cari was in the Cocotte Minute, or pressure cooker.
You might be wondering why I chose an Indian sauce – I’m in France, after-all. So, why not choose a more French-like sauce. Well, similarly to American cuisine, French cuisine also borrows meal ideas from outside the country. This just might be the most important cultural lesson Ever: the US is not the only “melting pot” in the world. In fact, Marseille, was deemed the cultural center of Europe in 2013. And, judging by the faces of the locals as well as the unofficial and official quartier names, it still holds this title. With the variety of people living in France, there’s bound to be a swap in ideas. In fact, I nabbed this recette from a French citoyen, or citizen, not from a citoyen of Inde, or India.
*In general, I cook for 2 – unless otherwise noted.
- ½ melon, or cantaloupe (melon miel, or musk melon, will also work)
- ½ concombre, or cucumber
- 125g (or 1 individual cup) of yaourt nature 2%, or 2% plain yogurt (the percentage doesn’t really matter, but I used 2%)
- 1 échalote, or shallot (the échalote offers a better flavor than a purple onion, but a purple onion is better than no onion)
- 1 tablespoon of coriandre fraîche, or chopped cilantro
- ½ teaspoon de sel, or salt
- ½ teaspoon de poivre, or ground pepper (black pepper or white pepper work fine)
- ½ teaspoon d’aneth, or dill weed
Les Consignes (directions):
First, remove all of the seeds from the melon. Then, remove the skin. I used a sharp knife to cut the melon into long, thin slices before removing the skin. I found this to be the easiest and less messy way to remove the skin. This recette only calls for ½ of the melon, so, if you’re not sure about what to do with the other ½, then you can save it for dessert.
Second, peel the échalote.
Third, cut the melon, concombre, and échalote into small cubes and then mix them together in a bowl.
Fourth, add the yaourt nature to the fruit and vegetable mixture. Mix them together.
Fifth, chop the coriandre fraîche and then add it to the bowl. Mix.
Lastly, add the sel, poivre, and aneth to the bowl and mix. Then, serve.
Who knew that melon with vegetables and yaourt would taste so good? I had my doubts at first, but, I’m so glad I tried this recette!
**This recette is great because there will be left-over sauce. As the Aixoises, or French Aix locals, tell me, some portion of all of the recettes used in the south always incorporate a “left-over”. Mon chéri and I used this sauce with côtelettes d’agneau for one meal, and then had left-over sauce for 2 additional meals. We paired this sauce with des pâtes, or noodles, and then again with riz, or rice. It complemented both; however, I preferred it paired with the riz. That stereotype about French meals including small portion sizes is wrong. Very wrong. Especially since we weren’t the only couple to have had left-overs for 2 additional meals. ♦