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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