Boondi raita is one of the those few north indian dishes that I am most fond of since childhood! This dish happened to enter my life when I spent my glorious childhood years in Pune. My maushi (aunty) who had already lived in Pune since many years taught my mom one day how its made and since it was like a 5 minute dish,it became a staple in my house. At first I was intrigued, it was like that one of many side dishes during our meals but slowly slowly I became so fond of it that there came a point where just chapati and boondi raita was my favourite go to meal. The habit never left me all these years to this date.
I remember there was a brief period when I was in Trivandrum for my engg , and I used to crave for boondi raita there but alas nobody even knew about what it is in my hostel!! I would go to shops nearby and ask for boondi packet to the mallu chettans with the hope of making it myself and they would look at me smiling and hand me the sweet boondi packet or even worse a boondi ladoo🙄 Then i would go through the futile attempt of explaining the salty version of boondi to them only to get disappointed. I am sure times have changed and this humble raita has now become more popular all over the country.
Even today, whenever I feel like it , I grab the packet (now-a-days u get plain boondi and masala boondi), soak it in lukewarm water for about 3-4 minutes, then squeeze the water/oil out of the boondi balls and mix vit yogurt, some salt,a little jeera powder, chilly powder,some chopped coriander and voila!!! If you want to make it healthier ,just add finely chopped onions , cucumbers and tomatoes too and there you have your healthy salad desi style! You can even use rock salt or black salt in it! Some people suggest adding a little sugar to it as well for a balanced taste but if you are a savoury loving person like me,just skip it! Also a lot of people like to directly mix the boondi balls in yogurt making the raita crunchy- to each, their own!
I dont know who invented the boondi raita but I am deeply indebted to him/her. I know its widely publicized as a yummy combo with biriyani/pulav yet for me its a humble companion even to our plain rotis/chapatis.
All this talk has now made the namkeen-loving tongue of mine to water! Toh chalo,thoda raita phailaye?!