Seasoned Cucumber Cilantro Soup (Cucumber Raita)

The hospital’s air conditioning is set permanently to “early fall,” and every day around 4pm I find myself dreaming about a fitting dinner.  Hot soup always sounds good.  Maybe some sort of stew.  Or maybe something with a long bake, like a casserole.
Then I step outside into the desert of the real: it’s August in the midwest and I can’t breathe without breaking a sweat.  My dreams of supper quickly turn to freezer pops.
This is a cold soup I made with an amended yogurt recipe — I’ve started incubating the yogurt for as many as 18 hours, as per Ari’s preference, to get a much tangier batch.  In India, yogurt or seasoned yogurt is used as a cooling dip or condiment in most Indian meals.  And if anyone knows about deep heat, it’s those people.


This soup is pretty thin if you use plain yogurt, but it was good accompanied with a hearty bread.  If you’re looking for something thicker, you might try strained (Greek) yogurt, which is pretty easy to make yourself.
  • 3 cups of plain yogurt (mine has become nice and sour this summer)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garlic chips: 5-6 cloves of garlic sliced and fried in a tablespoon of sesame oil
Blend.  Garnish with more chopped cilantro and the garlic chips.  Serve with bread.  Ta da!
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