- Dish type
- Side dish
This creamy condiment made with plain yogurt goes perfectly with spicy dishes and takes just a few minutes to toss together. Instead of chopped fresh fruit you can use a mixture of chopped cucumbers and tomatoes.
5 people made this
- 475ml plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon freshly toasted cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 160g chopped red or green grapes
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint or coriander
MethodPrep:5min ›Ready in:5min
- Whisk together yogurt, cumin seeds, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir in chopped grapes (or vegetables) and herbs. Adjust seasoning to taste. Chill thoroughly.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)
Reviews in English (2)
Cucumber Raita, An Easy Indian Side Dish
Cucumber Raita is one of the quintessential side dishes in Indian cooking. It is ever present on restaurant menus and equally so in homes across India. There are many variations of raita in Indian cuisine. In general, raita is made up of a combination of yogurt and cucumbers, beets, onion, pineapple or boondi. But even a cucumber raita will vary by region and then even by the cook making the dish.
Cucumber raita is the best cooling accompaniment to any meal. It’s so quick and easy to make and compliments almost any Indian dish because of its cooling effect which balances out the spice.
Cucumber raita is a lot like Greek tzatziki, but unlike tzatziki, raita is usually made with chilies. But even with chilies added, raita cools the palette. Like milk, the yogurt helps to neutralize the spiciness and it’s even served cold, which helps the cooling effect further.
Raita is a very flexible dish with many variations. I’ve shared a modification of the one I grew up with but feel free to make it your own. If you want to leave out the cumin or the cilantro, go ahead. You can choose to grate your cucumber using a box grater instead of finely chopping it if you prefer that texture better. You can also add a vaghar (tadka tempering spices) of mustard seeds and curry leaves if you like. In my home, cucumber raita always included mint but that can be optional too if you’re not a fan.
However you decide to make it, cucumber raita is a wonderful pairing with biryani, vegetable curries or really just about anything. Some restaurants will add a little sugar to their raita to sweeten it up. But I come from a Gujarati household, Gujju’s add sugar to everything but we didn’t add it to Raita. I’ve never liked it that way.
In my family we didn’t eat cucumber raita a whole lot. Often we simply ate yogurt with some salt and cumin with our meal. Growing up, my brother and I each had our favorite raita as well and it wasn’t cucumber raita. Boondi (little fried chickpea balls) raita was my favorite and pineapple raita was my brother’s. So the poor cucumber raita only came out when we had guests.
As an adult I really appreciate the cucumber raita a lot more as it is so much healthier than the boondi raita that I love.
House full of cilantro haters here, so I used mint instead. It was perfect.
This is a great recipe. Made a few tweaks. Added a pinch of kosher salt and chopped carrots for color. And the best improvement on the recipe, instead of mixing in a bowl. Put into a blender. It makes the raita less clumpy and a bit more liquidy like you see in an Indian restaurant.
I'm sure the recipe is fine, but come on, what's with the stock photo? That's dill not cilantro! SMH. :)
This recipe is delish. A perfect condiment. I had it on the side with flatbread and chicken shawarma. I also added chopped tomatoes and pinch of salt. Iɽ probably add a bit of mint and lemon next time. :)
Taste is excellent but I feel the tevture is a little thick maybe i'm just used to eating it in Indian or Nepalese restaurants.
Delish! I made this with dairy-free coconut yogurt and it was the perfect compliment to my dal
Good recipe. I shredded the cucumber, sprinkled with kosher salt and allowed to drain in a colander for 30 min before combining with rest of ingredients. Also used mint instead of cilantro.
Very simple and delicious.
This was a really good recipe and so simple to make. I had the Raita with Chicken Shish Kabobs. Yumm. Yumm. Excellent.
Fast & easy. I grated the cucumber and drained well before adding to yogurt & spices. Like others, I used mint. Very cooling and delicious with our fish curry. It does need a little salt at the finish.
I think this recipe is amazing and, really makes the raita special. I think they have made it to have a great texture and, I think adding a bit of lemon is nice.
I think it has a great texture and, a very smooth great taste I also think adding a bit of lemon is nice
Really good, perfect complement to the chicken vindaloo I made in the crockpot, adding a much needed cooling element. I thought it needed the dash of salt when I scooped and ate it with the leftover cucumber spears, but hubby thought it was good w/o any salt, and he was eating it with the vindaloo. Winner either way. I used the cilantro that comes in a tube and sour cream instead of plain yogurt because that was what I had on hand. I did omit the cumin, since the vindaloo had plenty of heat on it own, but it was very tasty.
This is the closest recipe I've found to that of my favorite Indian restaurant. It's a must try.
It was so good, but I used mint instead of cilantro. Very cooling very good.
I usually grate the cucumber and let it drain in a collander before using. I prefer to use finely chopped mint instead of cilantro. Refreshing as a dip for some grilled naan as well as a condiment for lamb kebobs.
my ma makes da best raita and der r different kinds of raita..dis is the most simple one ..to the above recipe she adds 1/2 tspn sugar+2-3 tbsp of Pomegranate seeds+juice of 1/2 of a lime..n sprinkle a pinch of red chill pwdr . try it am sure u'll love it
This is the perfect Raita! It's very easy to make and is delicious. I make mine with fat-free Greek yogurt and chop my cucumbers very fine.
Delicious and goes very nicely with the ground coriander/cilantro flatbreads. Unfortunately had to use dried cilantro as it was all I had on hand at the last minute. I also threw it into the mini-processor to make it a finer consistency. Make more than you think you need as this is addictive.
This was a big hit at a party I hosted and so simple to make. I chose to use greek yogurt for some extra tang and thinned it out with a little regular plain yogurt. Delicious.
mint in place of coriander also works well.
really nice with the coriander and cilantro flatbread. I may finely dice my cucumber next time as it was too big to stay on the flatbread without falling off.
Simple and very good. Choice of yogurt definitely matters, I would avoid low-fat or fat-free yogurt for this recipe.
How to make mint raita or pudina raita
1. Dry roast cumin and powder it in a blender.
2. Wash pudina and coriander leaves in surplus water and drain off. Add them to the blender along with green chili, sugar, salt and one tbsp of yogurt to help in blending.
3. Add the blended mint puree to yogurt. Whisk everything together.
- Make cucumber raita fresh though you can make it a day ahead and chill in the refrigerator but the fresh one tastes best.
- If you want to make it ahead, the best way is to keep everything ready and mix them just before serving. Like chopping the cucumber, herbs, chilies and whisking the yogurt can be done ahead. Mix all of these just before serving. Then sprinkle all the spice powders.
- Usually cucumber raita is made with just cucumber as the main ingredient. However you may add other veggies like onions, tomatoes etc.
Though both are dips made with yogurt and cucumber as the main ingredient, Tzatziki is thicker than raita, flavoured with olive oil, garlic, kosher salt & lemon juice. But raita is thinner and does not use any of those but uses cumin powder for flavor.
It is good to make and serve cucumber raita fresh. Refrigerate it if you don&rsquot intend to serve it sooner. Finish it before 24 hours as the flavor of cucumber in the raita begins to change.
The most commonly used herbs in raita are fresh coriander and mint. These both lend a cooling and earthy effect, and compliment most Indian and Pakistani flavours really well.
When it comes to spices, roasted cumin powder is a must.
Some recipes also call for red chilli powder which is also known as lal mirch powder. Lal mirch powder is not the same as chilli powder or cayenne pepper.
Green chillies are also used quite commonly in raita, but if you don’t want lots of spice then you can definitely skip them or use them after removing the seeds.
Raita Recipe Ingredients
Now you have a better understanding of what raita is. Not only that, but you also know how raita is different from tzatziki.
The type and number of ingredients that go into raita really depend on what variation of raita you are making. And boy! as I have told you at the start, raita has many variations.
But let me tell you all the basic ingredients you need to make good raita.
Yogurt is an integral part of making a good raita. Any raita recipe is incomplete without yogurt. Whenever I visit India and I am making a raita, I use yogurt of “Mother Dairy” brand.
But I am currently staying in USA as I am writing this post. I recommend using yogurt of “Nestle” brand. It is easily available here.
Depending on what variety of riata you decide to make, choose the right spices for it. Choice of spices will impact in giving the right flavor to your raita.
Later in my step by step raita recipe guide, I will tell you exactly what spices to use for which variety of raita you decide to make.
Vegetables Or Fruits
Depending on what variety of riata you decide to make, choose the right vegetables or fruits. Later in my step by step raita recipe guide, I will tell you exactly what spices to use for which variety of raita you decide to make.
How to make this Indian Raita Recipe
It&rsquos also a very easy condiment to throw together, no more than five minutes. You need to grate your cucumber, and when you&rsquove done that, take the cucumber over to the sink, and press out as much water as you can. You don&rsquot want the raita to be watery and soggy.
Next, chop the mint leaves and onion finely. I don&rsquot like it when the onion sticks out too much, because this is a condiment that is supposed to be mild and soothing. You can omit the onion (or use another type of onion) if you want, but I like the body it gives to the raita. I suggest you give it a go, and adjust the next time!
Add all the ingredients into a bowl, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, or more cumin if you like.
Store, covered in the fridge, for about 3 days.
4 easy raita recipes
Four most easy curd based recipes that are served as side dish with any flavored rice.In this post I have shared 4 basic ways of making raita or yogurt dip using same yogurt base for all the 4 recipes.They are easy to make and very refreshing!
red chilli powder – as per taste
roasted cumin powder – a pinch
pomegranate seeds – half cup
grated raw beetroot – 1/3 cup
chopped salad cucumber – half cup
- Firstly prepare raita base by mixing thick yogurt with a pinch of salt,red chilli powder and roasted cumin powder in a mixing bowl.Use this as the raita base.
- To make mango raita mix chopped mango slices into raita base and mix well.Similarly for the other 3 types of raita mix raita base with respective vegetables or fruit.Mixing pomegranate seeds with raita base would make it pomegranate raita,grated raw beetroot with raita base would make it beetroot raita and chopped cucumber with raita base would make it cucumber raita.
- Serve these refreshing side dish with any flavored rice like jeera rice,ghee rice,veg biryani or any other rice items.
Step by step photos:
Prepare raita base by mixing thick yogurt with a pinch of salt,red chilli powder and roasted cumin powder. Mix chopped mango slices with raita base and serve as mango raita. Mix pomegranate seeds with curd raita and serve as pomegranate raita. Mix grated raw beetroot with raita base and serve as beetroot raita. Finally to make cucumber raita mix chopped cucumber with raita base.
Most Indian recipes work well together, this cooling cucumber raita recipe would be great to cool off your favorite spicy Indian recipes like chicken tandoori, rice biryanis, chicken korma or lentil dahls. Naan would also be a delicious side option as would other vegetarian Indian dishes like saag paneer or vegetable korma.
The rice is traditionally made using ghee (clarified butter) along with onions, garlic and ginger. Once cooked vegetables are added in with spices and cooked until the spices bloom. Rice is added along with stock and cooked until fluffy.
Can you skip the cumin seeds? Absolutely. Traditional restaurants include the cumin seeds which soften over time as the raita is refrigerated. Some raita recipes also include chopped cilantro which you could certainly add.
Can you grate the cucumbers? YES. I go for a minced cucumber in this recipe, but many raitas have grated cucumbers which are drained of their excess water before adding to the raita. This helps to preserve the raita for longer in the fridge to eliminate the separation of the yogurt from the cucumbers.