A unique feature of many Indian dishes is that they’re often made with opposing flavors. Raita, a popular condiment made of dahi (salted yogurt), is usually paired with spicy foods to tone down the heat and soothe the palate, making any meal it touches truly craveable and hard to put down!
There’s no universal recipe in making raita, although they all have similar ingredients including yogurt, fresh herbs, and warming spices.
The recipes can differ from region to region, season to season and household to household. Savory raita is often made with vegetables and herbs. If you’re craving a sweeter version, you may use fruits and honey instead.
ℹ️ What is raita?
Raita is a yogurt-based Indian condiment that pairs well with spicy and warming foods to help soothe the palate. Raita has a lot of variations and can be made sweet or savory. It’s usually served cold to balance out the spicy flavor of the dishes it’s paired with.
🥗 Raita ingredients
- Plain Yogurt – Use full fat plain yogurt or you can substitute plain coconut yogurt.
- Cucumber – English cucumbers are perfect for raita as they have thin skins and tiny seeds. There’s no need to peel them before using. Instead of grating, just finely dice the cucumbers so the texture remains uniform.
- Cilantro – This is the preferred herb when making raita.
- Garam Marsala – Spice blend of cinnamon, mace, peppercorn, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and cardamon pods toasted and ground into powder. If you’re missing this spice, you could substitute one part cumin with a quarter part allspice.
- Cumin – a warm and earthy spice that can enhance the savory flavor of meat and the sweetness of root vegetables.
👩🍳 How to make it
Making raita is so simple with just two steps!
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small dish with a lid. Whisk until everything is incorporated.
- Cover and refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using.
🥘 What to serve with raita
🥣 How to meal prep, store, and reheat this recipe
Raita can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container. Note that the cucumbers will start to release water as quickly as one day, making the yogurt thinner. To refresh, just add another tablespoon of yogurt to the dip until it reaches the desired thickness.
🍽 Recipe FAQs
Although tzatziki and raita are close cousins, raita uses plain yogurt while tzatziki uses greek yogurt.
Raita is made of plain full fat yogurt, spices and some fruits or vegetables that add texture to the sauce.
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- 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
- 1 cup English cucumber (finely diced)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (minced)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Combine the raita ingredients in a small bowl then set aside in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30-minutes.
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