Cucumber Raita (Indian Spiced Yogurt with Cucumbers)

This refreshing Indian side dish is known for its cooling effect on taste buds, so try pairing with a spicy main course. Our girls love raita as a snack, anytime of day. Try some of the variations listed below including adding summer tomatoes while they’re at their peak.


  • 3 cups plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded and grated cucumber
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground roasted cumin
  • Cilantro leaves and paprika for garnish


  1. Place yogurt into a bowl, add a bit of water to thin and stir. We like our raita on the thin side – like crepe batter, but others prefer it thicker.
  2. Add salt to taste, a little at a time. When you have enough salt, the yogurt will no longer have a strongly sour taste. You will probably use about ½ to 1 teaspoon salt for this amount of yogurt.
  3. Add cucumber and cumin and stir.
  4. Garnish with cilantro leaves and paprika and serve.

Note: to roast cumin seeds, place into a small dry sauté pan and cook over medium heat until fragrant. Be careful not to overcook – the seeds will turn bitter. Grind in a clean coffee grinder or spice grinder, or smash with a mortar and pestle.

Variations – add any of these to the raita, separately or together:

  • Chopped tomato.
  • Minced scallions or red onion.
  • Small amount of finely chopped mint.
  • Small amount of finely grated carrot or radish.
  • Pinch of cayenne or freshly ground black pepper.
  • Cooked potatoes or greens
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