Kickin’ with Kiwi

Kiwi is the secret ingredient in this tasty flatbread wrap.

When life gives you kiwi, make kiwi raita, of course.

More precisely, when Zespri, the largest marketer of kiwifruit, sends yours truly a case of the brown furry fruit to try, that’s just what I get a hankering for.

Especially when this twist on a traditional Indian condiment comes from pioneering Florida chef, Norman Van Aken.

The easiest way to eat a kiwi? Cut in half, then scoop the flesh out with a spoon.

With kiwi in this cool, creamy yogurt sauce, you don’t get the crunch you would from using the traditional cucumber. What you get is a subtle sweetness instead, a counterpoint to the warm spices of cumin, coriander and black mustard seeds.

I wrapped some grilled chicken, a sprig of fresh cilantro, some slivers of red onion and a big dollop of the raita inside a soft flatbread for a quick and satisfying dinner.

Because green kiwi contains actinidin, an enzyme that can prevent gelatin from setting and cause dairy products to curdle, be sure to stir the kiwi into the yogurt just before serving. And go to town with the raita, as two kiwi have more potassium than a banana, and 240 percent of the recommended daily requirement of Vitamin C.

Good-for-you Indian-style raita with kiwi.

Kiwi Raita

(Serves 4)

1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds

2 kiwis, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1/4 cup low-fat sour cream

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 tablespoon coarsely chopped cilantro

1/8 teaspoon red chile powder or crushed red pepper


In a dry skillet, combine mustard, cumin and coriander seeds and toast over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Coarsely grind seeds in a spice grinder or mortar.

In a bowl, combine all but 1 tablespoons of the kiwi with the yogurt, sour cream and onion. Stir in the spices, cilantro and chile powder and season with salt. Garnish with reserved kiwi and serve.

Adapted from a recipe by Norman Van Aken published in Food & Wine magazine, January 1998

More Indian Flavors: Masala Shrimp

More: Pan-Fried Zucchini and Yellow Squash with Cumin

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Date: Thursday, 2. September 2010 5:27
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Asian Recipes, Chefs, Fruit, General, Recipes (Savory)

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  1. 1

    Perfect timing! Abundant kiwifruits are available here, and most of them are on sale in supermarkets : ).

  2. 2

    I had no idea kiwi can curdle dairy…thanks for the tip and recipe! :)

  3. 3

    Keen! I never think savory when I think kiwi; sure will now!

  4. 4

    Will have to look out for kiwi in my next trip to supermarket!!

  5. 5

    Tami: According to the Zespri folks, the golden kiwis apparently don’t have that issue. So you can add the golden fleshed ones to dairy without worrying about curdling.

  6. 6

    What a great recipe!! i love kiwi’s & zespri’s too! a kiwi raita!! COOl!

  7. 7

    That’d be a great summer lunch outside on the patio (dreaming here).

  8. 8

    Wow, I’ve never had kiwi raita! A nice change from cucumber!

  9. 9

    It;s amazing the things you can do with kiwi fruit, I tend not to use kiwi fruit in cooking, only because I’ve never known how to do it. thanks carolyn

  10. 10

    What a unique idea, we have the most wonderful kiwifruit available at the moment, in New Zealand :) will have to give this a try!

  11. 11

    kiwis are such a pretty, tasty fruit. that crunch from the seeds is absolutely my favorite aspect. this raita sounds GREAT, and so unique.

  12. 12

    What a wonderful use for kiwi! I never would have thought to use it in a savory dish…brilliant idea!

  13. 13

    This sounds great. I’m always looking for ways to use kiwi.

  14. 14

    Brilliant! Thanks for the tip on actinidin too! You know, Zespri visited my daughter’s elementary school to give a talk/magic show and goody bags. It was amazing – they got my girl to eat Kiwi fruit in an hour what I could not do for years! I was so impressed I actually blogged about it and they circulated that post to the Zespri network! LOL!

  15. 15

    Absolutely fantastic dish with kiwi. I think about kiwis in sweet versions, not in a savory one: just creamy and gorgeous :)

    All the best,


  16. 16

    I love kiwi for the colour as well as the taste. Your recipe looks great!!!!

    In 2007, I had photo projects with kiwi and made me tired of seeing kiwi. Then, I just took some time from it. And my love to kiwi is back now :)

  17. 17

    Carolyn, this is a great idea for kiwi! They usually come in packs of 10 and I don’t really eat them by themselves. BTW I have to ask you, have you been to NZ? They have kiwi berries and they are amazing!

  18. 18

    Lorraine: I wish! But no, have not had the pleasure of seeing New Zealand yet. Kiwi berries, huh? So like tiny kiwis you can eat in one bite? I am intrigued!

  19. 19

    I was thinking of making some fruity raita in the coming weeks too! This is indeed good inspiration for me. Thanks!

  20. 20

    OMG! this is one of your most delicious and yet simple recipe, I like it. Here we have plenty imported kiwi’s!

  21. 21

    I’ve only ever made cucumber raita, I’d never have thought of kiwi, but I love the idea. I bet this tastes so nice and fresh. The wrap you’ve made looks divine! I must remember to try this.
    Have a fantastic weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  22. 22

    A kiwi raita what an amazing idea. It sounds just delicious and I never in a million billion years would have thought of this one Love it!

  23. 23

    I’ve yet to make raita myself but your kiwi version sounds refreshing and tasty, not to mention nutritious!

  24. 24

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