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An Ode to Raita

March 22, 2006


edit, 6:30 pm – who knew that a poem on raita could get FC?

kr’s note: I drive a lot these days. During commercial breaks of the
Dan Patrick show and/or the Mac, Jurko, and Harry show, I often find
myself ruminating about various matters, some of them complicated,
others quite trivial. During one of my sessions of ponderance, I came
upon a primordial truth that I had known all along but never realized
until recently. It was a self-evident reality that for too long I
hadn’t fully appreciated. Indeed, it was a blessing from God that I
hadn’t truly recognized until this moment of clarity….

…and quite simply, it was the realization that raita (for those who
are woefully ignorant: a condiment made of yogurt and vegetables that
often accompanies biryani) is quite possibly the greatest food known to
man. And it’s not just for biryani, you can add it to nearly every desi
dish for that extra bit of flavor and a sense of culinary completion to
any meal. So for raita, and for the knowledge of its greatness, I
dedicate the following ode:

O raita o raita, you are so very sweet
To have your company in a meal is such a treat
Even your name, to speak it, is such bliss
A meal without you is one I’d rather miss.
Your color, like the angels, is pure and white
One taste of you and I’m in full flight.
The desi answer to crack, that’s what you are
Other condiments simply aren’t at par

Take some yogurt, homemade, if you can find
Use only the storebought stuff if you’re in a bind
Add some water, and mix well with a spoon
Make sure to mix well, don’t be a buffoon
Chop onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes
Don’t be stupid and throw in potatoes
Mix them all together in a bowl
For one taste of that sweet chutney I’d give my soul
A dash of salt and sugar, you’re nearly there
Now top it all off with freshly-cut kothi mair

Some say that raita accompanies biryani
Like a chota bacha walking with his nani
They say that a king cannot be without his rani
I say that my raita is incomplete without biryani.
With chicken, kabobs, and even dhaal
Adding raita to these is a great call
You can enjoy raita with every single dish
To have raita everyday, that is my wish
You don’t have to cook, grill, or bake it
It’s so easy, even a Muslim chick could make it
The only thing I love as much as my ammi
Is the divine taste of fresh dahi ki chutney

kothi mair = cilantro (hmm, how do I explain how I know what this is…)
chota bacha = a small, young boy
nani = maternal grandmother
rani = queen
dhaal = a lentil curry that is often served with rice or bread and is considered as a staple food throughout the subcontinent
dahi ki chutney = alternative name for raita; literally means “chutney made of yogurt”

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43 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    wow…you can’t possibly make your posts any more cheesier.

  2. Anonymous permalink

    …than this.

  3. wow…you really have too much free time. but i like how it’s the “desi answer to crack” =P

  4. lol…. that was pretty gay but your rhyming was superb Great job!

  5. kamran, i like putting crack in my raita…it gives it a little more “edge”…if you know what i mean. try it sometime…iz gudh fur yu.

  6. ROFL, KR, you had to get that rip on Muslim chicks in there, didn’t you?

  7. Anonymous permalink

    “Take some yogurt, homemade, if you can findUse only the storebought stuff if you’re in a bindAdd some water, and mix well with a spoonMake sure to mix well, don’t be a buffoonChop onions, cucumbers, and tomatoesDon’t be stupid and throw in potatoesMix them all together in a bowlFor one taste of that sweet chutney I’d give my soulA dash of salt and sugar, you’re nearly thereNow top it all off with freshly-cut kothi mair”
     
    if you know how to make it so well why force your future woman to make it for you? Tish Tish

  8. this is so sad…..

  9. lol…yes…u do hav too much free time…and i also agree wit Da3e, almusafir, and zabehapork. but i hav to admit it was funny in sum parts

  10. Anonymous permalink

    lol i agree with zabeha_pork hahaha…
    and with you.. haha raita rocks.. yesterday i had it with dhaal.. mmm mm good haha

  11. kr, Id rather eat from the Tree of Zaqqum than eat Biryani without raita!

  12. Hmm that raita looks spookily similar to the one that was prepared by a friend during our honeymoon, right down to the bowl! *twilight zone music*

  13. o yea…i forgot to add that i agree wit u on the fact that biryani cannot be eaten witout raita…i never EVER eat mine without it. and okay i eat it wit kabobs. but i personally don’t know anyone who eats it wit daal or anything else. that’s gross. wit MY daal and roti…i eat Sweet Mango Pickle Chutney. that stuff is damn good

  14. They say that the way you can really know if the biryani is good is to see how good it tastes without any raita on it.
    I say that those people are idiots. Raita rules.

  15. LOLZ, that’s hot!!! …I love raita with paratha :D. Muslim chicks CAN cook…I got evidence. šŸ˜›

  16. Anonymous permalink

    wow you really need to get married….
    nigger-ul-haq

  17. haha, only kr156 could pull off a whole post about raita (and still get all those props).. yet not just a post but complete with a poem and background story and all, hahaha.  i must admit tho, i’m craving some now…

  18. Anonymous permalink

    Haha…this is hillarious.
    Btw…I just noticed what you said about me in the last post.  I must have missed it before.  Hey man…my “V”s and my “W”s are totally clear and separate like night and day. Sadly, the ears just hear what the mind wants them to hear.  You’re wrong man, I’ve never said voman, wery, vhy, vhat, Harward, and so on and so forth.

  19. Anonymous permalink

    this is a bit too much u krapscallion scoundrel.
    saima makes the BEST dahi ki chutney ive EVER FOREVER had! it’s SO DAMN thick iz amazing. like i request it with plain white rice sometimes!

  20. Love the post, as they say in the homeland, “aray, waaa [hands up in the air] kamal kiyah yaar, kamal [head bobbing], too much yaar, yay tho too much hay”
    Though, properly speaking, your poem is more ballad than ode.  Almost like a French balad, which is 3 stanzas of 8 lines each and a fourth stanza of just 4 lines. Plus you’d have to end each line with the same line, kinda like a refrain [yeah, I was an English major once].
    I love you for the fact that you can say “even a Muslim chick could make it” in public. You are letting the world know now that you will not be on the short end of “whipped.”  That’s courageous, I only hope the price of your courage is not bachelorhood for the rest of your life.
    Umar 

  21. nice!  I had Biryani three days ago, but I’ve been having the left over raita since then….i’ve had it with four different types of food…
    How can people eat Biryani without Raita?  Worse than that is when people eat biryani with chicken curry or meat curry!  blah!
    You know your wife has made some good raita when your guests are having bowls of raita on its own without anything else….people!…raita is not a dessert…. šŸ™‚

  22. how the heck can you get 21 comments in a day on such a weird post but barely 21 in three days on the Hajj Memoirs?!?! people are lame….

  23. I’m in awe of how you can take the most randomest topics and make them into a post šŸ˜›

  24. memons call it kachoomber, you should encorporate that somehow

  25. ….which of the blessings of your Lord do you deny?…hehe

  26. In the words of the great Shahjehan Baig: “This guys a moron!!!!”

  27. forget ice cream, we want raita!

  28. Raitah with daal? Gotta try that.
    This poem is cheesy, but it made me laugh, so props.

  29. Anonymous permalink

    biryani without raita…that’s just wrong.
    and loving it as much your mom, huh…i’m sure she’s proud of her raita-lovin’ son.
    never thought i’d see a poem on raita…but then again, this xanga is interesting in it’s own way.

  30. Anonymous permalink

    My brothers and I use raita as a dip for potato chips. Try it with plain Ruffles or Tostitos.
    – Saima

  31. Bro, best raita is at Sheesh Mahal Dhaba next to Jaamia masjid, you ever tried it? it ROCKS man.

  32. You’re right about adding potatoes to raita. It’s just wrong. Also, I’ve never heard cilantro called “kothi mair.” We call it “harathania” in my house.

  33. FUNNY! haha

  34. Anonymous permalink

    someone needs to start his rotations asap.. and not all muslim chicks can make raita .. not even close. hence one of the reasons you and I are still single chief.

  35. lol! Gujus call it kachoomber too…that’s wat i call it

  36. Anonymous permalink

    LOL

  37. that was amazing.

  38. raita is awesome…. but mirchi ka salan is also amaaazing with biryani….. but this is coming from a true hydro though  =P

  39. and i thought i wasted time…haha. jk jk…

  40. Assalam-u-‘alaikum wa rahmatullah,The MSA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign presents:Spring Camp 2006: A Sketch of the Seerah, Drawing a Contemporary PictureMarch 31 – April 2, 2006Confirmed Speakers:Dr. Ingrid MattesonDr. Muneer FareedRami NashashibiAatif Abdul-QadeerAzam NizamuddinMore info and registration available at http://www.uiucspringcamp.complease come if you can =)

  41. Anonymous permalink

    nice poem
    tomatoes aren’t good in raita

  42. ^dude, tomatoes add a new dimension to raita. it’s unreal.

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