Raitas are the salad component of an Indian meal. Their cool, refreshing character serves to contrast with the spiciness of many dishes.

SERVES 4 TO 6

1 large navel orange

1ВЅ cups plain yogurt

ВЅ teaspoon ground cumin

Вј teaspoon salt

  1. Wash the orange and dry very well. Grate half of the orange peel on the fine side of a grater. Put half of the grated rind into a medium bowl. Set aside the remaining grated rind for garnish.
  2. Cut away the remaining peel and pith from the orange with a small, sharp knife and discard. Over a bowl, holding the orange in one hand, with the knife cut away each segment of fruit from the membrane on either side; the sections will fall out easily. Cut each segment in half.
  3. Put half of the slices in the bowl and mash lightly to release their juice. Add the remaining orange pieces and mix.
  4. Stir in the yogurt, ground cumin, and salt. Pour into a serving dish and garnish with the reserved orange rind. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours before serving.