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Radish Turnip Dip (Raita)

An innovative and refreshing way to use radishes or small turnips !

An especially good use for “hot weather” or late season radishes and turnips that can get a pretty strong flavor.

With a perfect touch of Indian spices, this dish transforms the somewhat challenging flavors of  Radishes/Turnips into a very desirable, inviting palette… The addition of yogurt dampens the spicy radish/turnip taste making this recipe very kid friendly with a super inviting and pretty pink color !

A Note about “Tempering”

Tadka translates as “tempering.” It is a method widely used in Indian cuisine, in which whole or ground spices are heated in hot oil or ghee and the mixture is added to a dish. Hot fat has an amazing ability to extract and retain the essence, aroma and flavor of spices and herbs and then carry this essence with it when it is added to a dish. American cooks are familiar with tempering as a way of heating and cooling chocolate. No relation.

 Radish Turnip Dip

from Aparna (see her video below)


  • Radishes and/or small turnips (about 10) coarsely shredded-about 2 heaping cups
  • Yogurt-1 C.
  • Salt – 3/4 tsp.
  • Sugar – 3/4 tsp.
  • Mint or Cilantro for garnish

For Tempering

  • Oil – 1-1/2 T
  • Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp.
  • Mung Daal (optional) – 1 tsp.
  • Curry leaves – 4 large (torn into pieces)
  • Asafoetida – just a pinch (1/16 tsp.)
  • Cumin powder- a pinch

In a skillet over medium high heat:

  1. Heat tempering oil to proper temperature by dropping in a few mustard seeds and wait for them to crackle.
  2. Lower the heat when they start to crackle.
  3. Add the remaining mustard seeds, tilting the skillet to make sure the seeds remain submerged in the oil.
  4. Add Mung Daal, Curry leaves, Asafoetida and cumin powder one after the other coating each with the hot oil.
  5. Add the shredded radish and turnips and mix thoroughly.  Spread the mixture evenly in the pan.
  6. Cover and cook for one minute
  7. Stir well.  They should be cooked but retain a slight crunch.
  8. Cool completely and move to a serving bowl.
  9. Add salt, sugar and yogurt and mix thoroughly.
  10. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Top with mint/cilantro and serve with chips or crackers.  It also makes an excellent side dish for rice dishes and flavorful Pulavs.

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