A perfect cooling accompaniment to almost any spicy main course. This raita can be enjoyed as a side dish or dip.
Raita is a side dish made with yogurt and spices. It is popular throughout India offering a cooling balance to accompanying spicy dishes.
There are many different types of raita, some are made with small pieces of fried batter, a tadka (a tempering of spices), fruit or vegetables.
Cucumber and onion raita is rather like a salad in yogurt. The combination makes a wonderful side for any vegetable or meat curry, kebabs or even rice and daal. It can also be enjoyed as a dip with freshly made roti or paratha.
The contrasting textures of smooth yogurt with crunchy onions and cucumber, is really quite satisfying, while the mixture of cold with fresh, raw ingredients is deliciously refreshing.
Try it with any of these spicy dishes:
In India raita is prepared with dahi which is curd and whey. This is preferable to using strained yogurt such as the Greek or Turkish varieties.
This recipe is very easy as no cooking is required and it only takes a few minutes to prepare the raita. You can serve it straight away, but I recommend making it 30 minutes to an hour ahead to allow time for it to chill. This allows the flavours to come together beautifully, and it tastes better cold.
Cucumber and onion raita
- 2 cups yogurt
- salt, to taste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup cucumber, grated
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 small green chilli, chopped
- a pinch red chilli powder
- a pinch cumin powder
- black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
- In a bowl, stir the yogurt till smooth. Then add the cucumber, onions, garlic, salt, and green chilli. Sprinkle the cumin and chilli powder over the top and some ground black pepper. Refrigerate and serve chilled.
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