Easy Raita

easy raita in ceramic bowl with a spoon
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A creamy, cooling Indian yogurt-based condiment, this easy raita recipe makes a refreshing dip or a saucy side dish. We especially love it with spicy, juicy Tandoori chicken. 

What is Raita?

Raita is a classic Indian yogurt sauce that’s one of the most versatile condiments we’ve ever encountered! There’s no one way to make raita—recipe vary from region to region, family to family, and season to season. That said, it’s always made with yogurt—typically plain, full-fat yogurt—spices, and some kind of fruit or vegetable that will add heft and texture to the creamy spiced yogurt. Some people finish the raita with a handful of fresh herbs or even fresh, hot chilies. For our cucumber raita recipe, we’re keeping things as basic as possible, but once you’ve got the hang of it, feel free to play around!  

Ingredients for raita in small bowls

What’s In Our Raita Recipe

With so many variations out there, we were almost overwhelmed with choices. But ultimately we decided that simpler was better, and our cucumber raita recipe only has a few easy-to-find ingredients:

  • Plain yogurt. We’re partial to whole milk yogurt, for its deeply rich and creamy texture. But low-fat is OK, too!
  • English cucumber. Some recipes call for grated cucumber, but we prefer our Indian raita sauce to have a chunky texture, with obvious cubes of cucumber in it, so we’re calling for it to be finely-diced. Be sure to use an English cucumber—with their thin skin and tiny seeds, they don’t need to be peeled or seeded before use.  
  • Spices! If you associate Indian food with liberal use of spices, you’re spot-on, and our easy raita recipe is no different. Cumin and Garam Masala—which is actually a spice blend, akin to Chinese five-spice or French Herbs de Provence—are our species of choice. As ever, be sure your ground spices are not more than six months old. If they are, it’s time to replace them!
  • A pinch of salt—to take this creamy Indian yogurt dip solidly into savory territory.

How to Make Raita

This cool and lush Indian yogurt dip, or saucy side dish, is much easier than it seems. It’s more about texture and temperature than anything else—cool, creamy, a little crunch from the cucumber—and so the preparation is as straightforward as the ingredients. 

  1. Cut your cucumber into tiny cubes, and mince some cilantro. If you don’t use an English cucumber, you may want to peel it.  
  2. Stir together the yogurt, salt and spices. 
  3. Add the cucumber and cilantro. Stir to combine. And you’re done!  Raita is good right away, but it also benefits from a few minutes in the fridge to let the flavors meld. 
raita in a ceramic bowl with a spoon

Tools You’ll Need: 

More Indian-Inspired Recipes: 

Indian flavors are easier to come by than you’d think—these Indian-inspired recipes are as weeknight-friendly as it can be!

How Did You Serve Your Raita?

Once you’ve got the hang of it, we bet you’ll be whipping up a batch of raita at least once a week. It’s such a versatile condiment, we’re sure you’ll find lots of ways to use it. Let us know how you used yours! Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can see! Happy eating!

Easy Raita

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup English cucumber, finely diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp salt

Method

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Serve with our tandoori chicken or lamb curry!