I've seen cookbooks use the term salad to describe a raita, but that's a bit like referring to caviar as eggs.
A raita is almost without exception creamy and luxurious to the palate, and holds its own at the most special occasions.
What makes the raita a perfect dish for weekday meals is that its richness isn't necessarily linked to puddles of fat.
The pumpkin raita for example, uses the creamy texture of pumpkins to add richness to the final dish.
Here's how it goes from pumpkin to table.
1/4 kg pumpkin, cooked and mashed (the quick way is to cube and steam the vegetable, but it's great roasted too)
3 T yoghurt
1 green chilli (left whole or chopped, depending on your spice tolerance levels)
Salt to taste
1 t oil
Chopped coriander leaves (optional)
Blend the mashed pumpkin with yoghurt and add salt.
Heat oil in a tempering pan or any small pan, add mustard seeds. When the seeds start popping, add the green chilli and pour the hot flavoured oil into the cold pumpkin mixture.
Stir and serve!