Cucumber Raita

Cucumber Raita - Recipe for Delicious Indian Yogurt Sauce with Spices by Tori Avey

Raita is a traditional Indian salad that is most commonly used as a condiment. It is made with yogurt and a combination of other ingredients including cucumber, eggplant, beets, chickpeas, spinach and sometimes even fruit. The cucumber version, which is most popular, is quite similar to tzatziki, a Greek yogurt sauce. The big difference between the two condiments is spices and sweetness; raita is usually spiced and often lightly sweetened by honey or fruit. The flavor is delicate, not overwhelming– cooling, creamy and a wonderful addition to spicy foods. The spices and herbs vary but most often they include mint, dill, parsley, coriander and cumin. Here I’m sharing a cucumber raita recipe; I make it with Greek (strained) yogurt to give it a thicker and more creamy texture. Raita is especially tasty when served with curry dishes, as it helps to offset the heat.

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing a super yummy curry dish that goes perfectly with this raita!

Tip: for a thicker raita, you may strain the Greek yogurt using the method outlined in this post before making the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 large Persian cucumber, grated
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • Pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of salt (or more to taste)

You will also need:

  • Cheese grater with large holes, small mixing bowl
Servings: 1 cup raita
Kosher Key: Dairy
  • Grate the cucumber using using a cheese grater with large holes. Squeeze the grated cucumber in a cheesecloth or in a mesh strainer to remove excess liquid.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the grated cucumber with the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined. Add more salt if desired. Chill and serve.

Comments (22)Post a Comment

    1. I will answer for Tori on this. The English cucumber is very similar in both flavor and texture to the Persian cuke, except it is about twice as long. So, they may be used interchangeably.

    2. Thanks Mike! Jocelyn here is some additional info: Persian cucumbers are smaller and thinner than traditional English cucumbers. They are slightly sweeter than the English variety, and they have less seeds. Persian cucumbers are great for snacking. They have a wonderful mineral flavor to them, and they’re used frequently in Middle Eastern cooking. Unfortunately some grocery stores only carry Persian cucumbers seasonally, and some don’t carry them at all. If you can’t find them, substitute English cucumbers—those are the long thin ones wrapped tightly in plastic. Avoid using regular fat cucumbers (unwrapped), as they are coated with wax and prone to bitterness. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods both carry the Persian variety here in Southern California. Hope that helps!

  1. My kind of food. In Israel, the food is much the same as it is in Middle Eastern regions surrounding Israel. I’m always surprised when my friends stick up their nose at some foods they think are from Arab countries. In Israel, people are more alike than they are different.

    One of my favorite restaurants in North CA is Lebanese. The first time I went there, I put my Star of David necklace under my blouse. The owner waited on my friend and me, and, of course, was standing over me. Abdul could see my necklace. As he walked away, he said, “Sooo, you come to eat with the enemy…” I laughed at his comment knowing I had just met a great comic.

    Needless to say, the family and I became close friends. Abdul called me “one of those David people” and introduced me to every Israeli or Jew who came into his restaurant.

    So many times, in my life, food has been the bridge between differences.

  2. I saw Persian cucumbers advertized in my supermarket yesterday. They are tiny and cost $2.49 each. for a more economic rait, I would go with the English cucumber.
    More bang for your buck!

    1. Hi Kimberley– if you can find unflavored unsweetened soy milk you can use it, however I would recommend straining it beforehand to remove excess liquid. Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier due to straining.

    1. Lauri I am not a nutritionist, but I would think one would want to eat healthy healing foods after surgery to aid the body in repairing itself. Here is a list of healthy recipes on my site: link to theshiksa.com Also, I would think a little comfort food might be in order! Here are a couple of my favorite healthy comfort food dishes: link to theshiksa.com link to theshiksa.com I’m not sure who had the surgery (if it was you or a friend), but wishing whoever it was a speedy recovery!

  3. Thanks for the Tzatziki recipe! It’s exactly what I need for dinner tonight. I am making falafel in pita bread pockets. Do you think I should add some tahini to the Tzatziki ?

Leave a Comment

Please read through the entire post and comments section before asking a question, as it may have already been answered. First time commenting? Read the comment policy.