There may be nothing more tragic post-travel than losing photos so you’ll understand my devastation around the fact I can’t find any of my snaps of my visit to Udaipur. Instead I decided to save the moment in edible form with this Chilled Cucumber Avocado Raita Soup recipe.
Udaipur was my favorite of all the towns I visited in Rajasthan, if only for the stunning sunrises and epic sunsets. I stayed in a lakeside haveli — which I would move in would life so permit — and that meant I woke every morning to birds fluttering, cows mooing, and people starting their day with a visit waterside. And I’d have naan with loads of raita. So much raita I becamethat girl. I mean I love raita so much I could drink it — the spicy, cool, sweet cuts through the heat of an Indian morning like no other.
So, like a record on repeat, I made raita each and every day when I returned in some vain hope it’d take me back. And when the following summer came, I knew I’d want it chilled, in a soup, but California-fied with a good dose of avocado. That’s how this Chilled Cucumber Avocado Raita Soup came about and came to be in Keys to the Kitchen. And though I have no plans to go back to India any time in the near future, I can thumb through Flickr and daydream while sipping this Chilled Cucumber Avocado Raita Soup.
peeled, pitted, and chopped
trimmed, halved, and sliced paper thin, for garnish
Sprinkle cucumbers with salt, toss to coat, place in a colander over a plate. Let sit 30 minutes then drain excess water. Meanwhile, combine onions and garlic in a small nonreactive bowl, cover with vinegar, and set aside for 10 to 30 minutes.
Combine cucumber, onion mixture, and all remaining ingredients except scallions and radishes in a blender or food processor (you may have to do this in batches). Process on high until very well blended and smooth, and aerated, about 5 minutes. Pass mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a nonreactive bowl.
Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 30 minutes. Before serving, whisk, taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve topped with scallions and radishes.
The soup can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored refrigerated in an airtight container.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp