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Raita is a traditional Indian condiment made with yogurt, cucumbers, onions, and spices. Serve it with your favorite Indian dish to balance the heat!
Featured with this recipe
I was first introduced to Indian cuisine by my dear friend Meena. She is from India and when we first became friends she invited us over for dinner. She cooked the most amazing Indian dishes for us! I loved all the flavors, but since we are not used to eating a lot of spicy foods (some people in our family think ketchup is spicy), our mouths were on fire! Luckily, Meena also makes amazing Raita and she told us that you can use the cold, creamy sauce to cool things down a bit. Now, we eat enough Indian meals that we have developed more of a tolerance to spice, but we still like to order a side of this delicious sauce anytime we go out or make Indian recipes at home.
Ingredients in Raita
- To make this Raita recipe, you start with a base of curd or plain yogurt. You can use Greek yogurt and I have seen some recipes with sour cream, but for our recipe we use just plain regular yogurt.
- Then you add the cucumber and onion. I like to peel and seed the cucumber. You can also grate cucumber, but make sure to squeeze the moisture out with paper towels or a dish towel. I like to use red onion, but you can use white as well. I have seen some recipes with carrots too.
- Lastly, you add the fresh herbs and spices. Cilantro is a must! It adds so much freshness. We also add ground coriander.
What is Raita?
Basically, Raita is a classic Indian condiment that cools down extra spicy dishes and tastes delicious on just about everything! The sweet, slightly salty flavors pair beautifully with veggies, flatbread, curries and more.
Variations to this Raita Recipe
There are a few different types of raita and some things you can add to make it your own!
- This recipe is a cucumber raita but there is also pineapple raita, boondi raita (a chickpea version), and mint raita.
- To our basic recipe you can add bell peppers, cashews, a teaspoon ground cumin, mint leaves, salt, pepper, mustard seeds, mango, lemon juice, red chili powder and curry leaves.
- To make it vegan, you can use a plant based yogurt instead of whole milk yogurt.
Store Raita in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Frequently Asked Questions About Raita
Raita is a traditionally Indian condiment, and Tzatziki is a traditionally Greek dish. However, both start with the same base – yogurt, cucumbers, and onions. The difference comes in the spice profile. This recipe has cilantro and coriander. Tzatziki has dill and lemon.
It can be eaten with all different kinds of Indian food like pulao, curries, vegetable dishes, rice dishes and naan bread, paratha, or roti. I also love to use it as a dip for pita chips or kebabs.
It tastes very fresh and cool with a little bit of salty and sweet. It is the perfect side dish to rich and savory Indian dishes.
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How to Make Raita
How to Make Raita
- In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients until combined.
- Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- There are a few different types of raita and some things you can add to make it your own! This recipe is a cucumber raita but there is also pineapple raita, boondi raita (a chickpea raita), and mint raita.
- To our raita you can add bell peppers, cashews, cumin powder, mint leaves, chili powder, salt, pepper, mustard seeds, mango, and curry leaves.
- To make raita vegan, you can use a plant based yogurt instead of whole milk yogurt.
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