• By Talia Follador
  • In 2020
  • October 5, 2020

Cultural Recipe Series: Rabiya Bower

In order to improve the diversity of its social media pages by highlighting members of various backgrounds, PAND is collecting recipe submissions along with a narrative about the cultural background of the recipe. If you are interested in submitting a recipe, the instructions are listed at the bottom of this post. 

Our first submission is from Rabiya Bower, RD, LDN. Rabiya is a regional dietitian at The Giant Company in Flourtown, PA. Her recipe submission is a Cucumber Peach Raita, which is an American recipe with Indian heritage (specifically Gujarati). 

Rabiya explains that “Raita is a yogurt-based condiment to accompany spicy food. The yogurt is cooling to the palette and helps with digestion.” 

As many people can probably relate to, this recipe is one that Rabiya used to make with her family. “This is a recipe my Nani (maternal grandmother) and I used to make in the summer when we had too many cucumbers from her garden.” The peach “adds just a touch of sweetness and extra fiber.”

Raita is a versatile dish that can be used as a topping or a side dish. Rabiya recommends using this dip “on the side of rice/naan and curry, as a dip with whole wheat pita chips, or served over steak.”

Rabiya explains that her culture (South Asian) emphasizes carbohydrates — “rice and different types of naan (bread), specifically.” While this population has increasing rates of diabetes, Rabiya states that nutrition interventions for this population should not “take away carbohydrates as a part of treatment” because “food is an integral part of our culture.” When working with individuals of a South Asian background, dietitians should also consider that many South Asians are vegetarians. 

Instead of recommending food restrictions, Rabiya encourages dietitians to be “accepting and creative” when counseling/educating individuals or creating meal plans. 

“Telling someone to give up rice, lentils, or bread will not empower them to successfully manage their diabetes. Please teach us creative ways to incorporate those foods appropriately and what other low carb options are available.”

Cucumber Peach Raita

Prep Time: 10 minutes 

Cook Time: 0 minutes 

Yields: 4 servings, about ¼ cup each 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt 
  • ½ cucumber, seeded and diced 
  • 1 not ripe peach, shredded 
  • 1 tsp. cumin 
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger 
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 

Directions: 

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Enjoy! 

Can be stored in an air-tight container for up to one week.

 

If you would like to be featured on the PAND blog and social media pages as a part of this series, please email the following along with a headshot and a link to your website, if applicable:

  1. Recipe.
  2. Cultural background of the recipe. (How you do this is up to you. You can describe how foods are native to the culture, a story about how someone in your family/community created it, etc.)
  3. How dietitians can be more inclusive of your culture in their practice.

Please email your submissions to Talia Follador at txf5062@gmail.com. The submissions will be posted to our blog and social media accounts.