When I was a child, my parents almost always made raita and served it with dinner. "Raita" is a condiment made with yogurt, spices, and herbs. My parents served it with dinner because it is a way to add more raw vegetables into a meal, and because it nicely balances a hot and spicy dish.
There are many varieties of raita--the yogurt may be mixed with vegetables, fruits, or other items. If you are familiar with Greek food, raita is very similar to tzatziki sauce. This is my recipe for a very simple vegetable raita; but feel free to try your own combinations and variations!
My mom, mother-in-law, and all my female relatives in India keep a "masala dabba," or spice tin. Typically the tin is made of stainless steel and contains seven separate cups to keep various spices. Of course, you can keep more spices than that in your home; but this gives the cook easy access to the spices she uses most frequently. You can purchase your own masala dabba here and here and receive free shipping!
When I started this project, I asked my mom what seven spices I should keep in my masala dabba; of course, every cook has a different idea of what spices are the most necessary, but these seven are the most necessary to my mom (and by extension, to me):
Exploring Indian cuisine and trying to learn the recipes of my family. I hope to help and inspire others along the way.