What Is Raita?
Raita is a traditional Indian side dish that is yogurt or curd-based. Chopped fruits or vegetables, either raw or boiled, are immersed in a somewhat spicy yogurt to make this dish.
Many people confuse raita with salad. Salad is made with raw vegetables and fruits, and it is often topped with sauce, yogurt, or honey. Salad is normally eaten by itself, whereas raita is used as a side dish with the main course.
No grand Indian meal is complete without raita. This dish is always on the menu for any special occasion.
Raita can be made using many varieties of fruits and vegetables. But only a few vegetables and fruits make perfect raita, namely: cucumber, potato, beetroot, onion, eggplant, leafy vegetables, okra, and raw plantains.
Raita can be made in two different ways. In the first method, chopped vegetables or fruits are mixed with yogurt or curd, chopped green chilies, cumin powder, and salt. In the other method, coconut is ground with green chilies, cumin, or mustard seeds, and the paste is mixed with chopped vegetables and yogurt. Tempering can be made for both methods.
Cucumber and onion raita is a traditional flavorful dish that goes well with boiled rice, pulao, fried rice, or Bisi Bele bath. It is considered comfort food in hot temperatures. This recipe took me only 10 minutes to make.
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- 1 heaping cup cucumber, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup carrot, grated
- 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups yogurt or thick curd
- 2 pinches hing (asafoetida)
- 2 green chili, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, powdered
For the tempering:
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon ghee
- 6 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 red chili
- 1/4 teaspoon dehusked split black gram
- Remove skin from cucumber and carrot. Finely chop the cucumber and grate the carrot. Finely chop the onion.
- Combine chopped cucumber, onion, grated carrot, green chili, cumin powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add yogurt or thick curd to it. Mix well and set aside.
- Heat ghee in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds until they pop up. Add cumin seeds, black gram dal, asafoetida, curry leaves, and red chili. Mix once. Turn off the fire. This process is called tempering.
- Add the tempering to the raita (see the third image below for a visual representation of this step). Mix at the time of serving.
- Serve cucumber and onion raita with cooked rice, pulao, ghee rice, fried rice, Bisi Bele bath, etc. Enjoy the taste!
- Use tender cucumber.
- Use yogurt or curd that is not too sour.
- Add 2 tablespoons of finely ground coconut to enhance the flavor.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
- Keep raita in the refrigerator when not in use. It may become sour if you keep it for a long time at room temperature.