Raita RecipeGrape raita by Suvir Suran, co-executive chef of Devi restaurant, New York City. Photograph from the book Indian Home Cooking by Suvir Suran and Stephanie Lyness.






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March 2005
Last Updated February 2012

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Cheese-Butter-Yogurt

Raita Recipe

Famous Yogurt Dishes Are Easy To Make



Raita Recipe

Raita (pronounced RYE-tuh) is an Indian side dish used as a cool counterpoint to spicy dishes. It is a refreshing accompaniment to grilled meats that can be ported over to Western dishes (they don’t have to be spicy). Think of it as a sauce, a condiment, a spread or a dip.

Unlike Greek tzatziki, raita isn’t one basic recipe but a family of yogurt-based “salads”—some sweet, some savory. Raita is called a cold yogurt “salad” because it generally includes raw vegetables (cucumbers and tomatoes, for example), although there are sweet and savory versions:

  • Savory Raita Recipes. There are corn raitas, cucumber raitas, eggplant raitas, onion raitas, zucchini raitas and mixed vegetable raitas. 
  • Sweet Raita Recipes. There are coconut raitas, mango raitas, pineapple raitas, and many others, such as the grape raita in the photo above.


Serving raita with grilled meat, poultry and fish is a fresh departure from traditional condiments—and it’s a healthy sauce, especially when made with nonfat yogurt.

Create a raita with your own favorite ingredients. One of our favorites adds chopped apples and nuts for a “Waldorf salad raita.”


Cucumber Raita Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain yogurt, drained
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded
    and finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seed*
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

*For best taste, toast cumin seed over high heat in a small pan, then crush and add to the mix. Using pre-ground cumin will do in a pinch, but, like using dried parsley, will deprive you of the burst of flavor of the freshly toasted and crushed seed.

  Pork Chop With Raita Recipe
Loin pork chop with a raita topping. Photo courtesy National
Pork Board.


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, garlic, cumin, and paprika.
  2. Add the chopped cucumbers and tomatoes; mix thoroughly.
  3. Chill several hours to let the flavors mix; adjust seasonings as necessary.


  • Instead of cucumber raita, make corn raita by substituting 1 cup of corn kernels for the cucumber and adding 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro, and 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander.
  • To serve with meat and poultry and other hearty fare, add heat with a hot green chile, seeded and finely chopped.
  • As an hors d’oeuvre or snack, serve with crudités and/or papadums.


Mastering The Art Of Indian Cooking

Easy-to-make raitas and exciting appetizer-to-dessert recipes. beautifully photographed by Ben Fink, can be found in Indian Home Cooking by Suvir Saran and Stephanie Lyness.

Suvir Saran is executive chef of Devi restaurant, a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City.

  Indian Home Cooking, Suvir Saran