Cucumber Raita is a yogurt based Indian condiment consisting of cucumber, herbs and spices. Its very popularly sighted in most Indian restaurants and paired with spicy curries and rice dishes like pulao and biryani to contrast the heat due to its cooling properties.
Sharing two ways you can make this delicious and healthy Cucumber side dish!!
What is Raita
Raita is an Indian condiment or side dish made with yogurt, (also known as curd or dahi in Hindi) flavored with herbs, spices and some type of raw veggies, fruit or gram flour drops called boondi.
It is very healthy, easy to make, delicious and helps balance the heat from spicy dishes.
Is Cucumber Raita and Tzatziki same
Raita is often compared with tzatziki because both yogurt based side dishes/dip. Here is how they are same yet different
Origin: Raita is a side dish from India while Tzatziki is from the Greek cuisine.
Ingredients: They both have more or less the same ingredients like cucumber, yogurt salt but spices and herbs used differ for both.
Consistency: Raita is more thinner consistency as it uses plain yogurt while Tzatziki has greek yogurt base and is thicker.
Serving options: Raita pairs well with many Indian curries and rice dishes as a side dish and as a dip with appetizers. Tzatziki is mainly served as a dip/sauce with appetizers.
Cucumber Raita Ingredients
Cucumber - I'm using long cucumber that is peeled and grated. You can also dice it.
Yogurt - I prefer using full fat plan yogurt for this recipe. Greek yogurt may be too thick for raita but you can always thin it out using water or milk.
Spices - some roasted cumin seeds powder, salt, sugar and chaat masala to flavor and garnish. I also like to add either red chilli powder (optional) or slit green chillies to my yogurt for some heat
Herbs - My choice of herbs for raita are cilantro/coriander or mint leaves give a nice fresh taste to the raita.
Along with these basic ingredients you may also need
Pomegranate - these give a nice color contrast as well different texture to the smooth raita.
And if you prefer to temper the raita (like in option 2 in recipe card), then some oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves.
How to make cucumber raita
I'm sharing two ways you can make this cucumber raita recipe. One without tempering and the other with. Tempering provides a nice smoky flavor to the raita. With minimal twist you can almost create another delicious tasting condiment.
Basic Cucumber Raita :
In a mixing bowl add the yogurt and whisk until smooth. Stir in the spices (salt, black salt, cumin seeds powder, chaat masala, black pepper powder), sugar and green chillies. Mix well. Add in the grated cucumber. No need to squeeze off the water from the cucumber it helps thin out the yogurt consistency. Finally add the chopped cilantro, mix and basic cucumber raita is ready!
You can serve the basic cucumber raita as is garnished with some cumin seeds powder, chaat masala, chilli powder and pomegranate pearls
Option 2 - with tadka (tempering)
To make the tempering - In a pan heat oil and add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter add the cumin seeds, curry leaves and switch off the heat. Let the tempering cool a bit and add it to the basic cucumber raita. Smoky flavored cucumber raita is ready!!
Raita pairs well as a side dish with most Indian rice and curry dishes and as a dip/sauce with appetizers, few are as below
Hope you enjoy this Cucumber Raita as much as we do!! If you give this recipe a try, we did love to hear your feedback ❤️ Please rate by clicking stars ⭐️in the recipe card. Thank you!
- 1 cucumber long variety, peeled and grated - approx ¾- 1 cup
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 green chilli slit vertically using long chilli
- 1 tsp sugar adjust to taste
- ½ tsp roasted cumin seeds powder
- ¼ tsp red chilli powder optional
- ¼ tsp black salt kala namak, rock salt, pink salt
- ¼ tsp chaat masala
- salt to taste
- pinch black pepper
- 2 tbsp cilantro leaves
Option 1 (without Tadka)
- ¼ tsp roasted cumin seeds powder
- ¼ tsp chaat masala
- 1-2 tbsp Pomegranate pearls
Basic Cucumber Raita
- In a mixing bowl add the yogurt and whisk until smooth.
- tir in the spices (salt, black salt, cumin seeds powder, chaat masala, black pepper powder), sugar and green chillies. Mix well.
- Add in the grated cucumber. You can squeeze off the water if needed. I like to add the cucumber as is as the water helps thin out the yogurt consistency.
- Finally add the chopped cilantro, mix and basic cucumber raita is ready!
- You can now serve this either as is mentioned in option 1 or with tempering as mentioned in option 2
- You can serve the basic cucumber raita as is garnished with some cumin seeds powder, chaat masala, chilli powder and pomegranate pearls. Cucumber Raita is ready!! Serve as a side with your favorite main meal.
Option 2 – with Tadka (tempering)
- To make the tempering – In a pan heat oil and add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter add the cumin seeds and curry leaves and switch off the heat. Let the tempering cool a bit and add it to the basic cucumber raita.
- Smoky flavored cucumber raita is ready!! Serve as a side with your favorite main meal.
- To make this vegan, just replace yogurt with vegan yogurt of choice.
- You can also add a few mint leaves to the raita.