Indian Raita is a yogurt and fresh vegetable dip that’s served with Indian curries and rice recipes such as Biryani and Matar Pulao. There are many variations of raita, such as this cucumber raita, mint raita and boondi raita. It’s the perfect creamy, cooling condiment to your favorite curry!
What is Raita?
Raita is such an important side dish or condiment that’s served with almost all Indian and Pakistani recipes. It’s got a cooling effect so it compliments spicy curries really well.
Basic Raita Ingredients
- Yogurt (Regular or Greek is fine)
- Herbs such as fresh coriander and mint
- Spices such as roasted cumin and red chilli powder (lal mirch powder)
- Green chillies
- Fresh vegetables OR fruit such as tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, pomegranate and pineapple.
What Kind of Yogurt is Used in Raita?
You can use any kind of yogurt you like. I like to use plain yogurt, but greek yogurt would also be good.
But since I like my raita to be a bit thin when it comes to consistency, I almost always use plain regular yogurt with a little bit of water.
If you prefer your raita to have a thick consistency, then definitely use greek yogurt.
Herbs & Spices Commonly Used in Raita
The most commonly used herbs in raita are fresh coriander and mint. These both lend a cooling and earthy effect to the raita, and compliment most Indian and Pakistani flavours really well.
When it comes to spices, roasted cumin powder is a must in raita.
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.
How to Make Easy Raita Recipe
The raita that I’m sharing with you today is the most commonly made raita in Pakistani and Indian households. It goes really well with rice recipes such as biryani, yakhni pulao (recipe coming soon!), and other rice recipes.
All you need for this tomato and onion raita is:
- Chopped tomato
- Chopped onion
- Chopped cucumber
- Roasted cumin powder
- Green chilli
- Water (to thin out the consistency of the raita if desired)
Just toss all the vegetables and spices into the yogurt and mix away. Add some water if you would like a thinner raita, and that’s it! Chill in the fridge, until ready to serve.
There are many, many ways to make raita.
Here are just a few variations of delicious raita:
I’ve shared this recipe on my blog, and it has to be one of my favourite raita recipes. I like to serve it with biryani. All you need is shredded cucumber, yogurt, salt and black pepper. Get the full recipe here.
It’s made from boondi, which are tiny fried chickpea or gram flour balls. I like to use Haldiram boondi for this raita. At first they’re a bit crunchy, but as they absorb the yogurt, they become soft and juicy. I also like to sprinkle boondi raita with some chaat masala, to give it a bit of tang and spice.
Mint & Coriander Raita
This is another commonly made raita, and it’s super easy to make. I actually use my Green Chutney recipe (pictured below) to make this raita, by just adding yogurt to it. All you need to do is make some green chutney, and mix it with some plain yogurt.
This mint and coriander raita goes really well with chicken tikka and Chicken Seekh Kabab.
Aloo (Potato) Raita
Aloo or Potato Raita is another lovely raita, which is made with chunks of boiled potato, chopped onion, green chillies, salt, roasted cumin powder and of course yogurt. It also goes really well with Indian and Pakistani rice recipes.
Looking for a fruity raita? Then look no further than pomegranate raita. Just mix together pomegranate seeds, yogurt, roasted cumin powder and salt. That’s it, super easy peasy!!!
Pair this Easy Raita with:
- Yogurt 1 1/2 cup
- 1 medium tomato chopped into small chunks
- 1 large cucumber chopped into small chunks
- 1 medium red onion chopped into small chunks
- 1 green chilli optional
- 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup water
- Add all the vegetables, roasted cumin powder and salt to the yogurt. Mix until combined.
- If you would like the raita to be of a thinner consistency, then add the water and mix. If not, then don’t add the water.
- Serve immediately.
- Raita can be stored up to 2 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.