Raita is an accompaniment to Indian meals.
It consists of various vegetables and fruits such as shredded cucumber and carrots, diced tomato or onions, boiled and diced potato, spinach and beets, diced fruits such as banana, grapes mixed into plain yogurt. This mix is seasoned with various spices and herbs such as cilantro, cumin, mint, cayenne pepper, basil, black salt, black pepper.
The mixture is served chilled or at room temperature. Raita is excellent with Indian meals as it balances spicy Indian food.
It could be considered similar to the Greek tzatziki and Persian yogurt dishes.
There are endless variations on a basic theme of seasoned yogurt. Feel free to experiment.
Raita Mix 1 - contains cooling mint, warming black pepper and digestive spices oc cumin, black salt
Raita Mix 2 - contains cooling mint, basil, cilantro herbs, green onions, garlic, black pepper, warming black pepper and digestive spices such as cumin.
The following are the common Raita dishes in India.
- Spinach Raita (steamed and chopped or pureed)
- Radish Raita
- New Potato Raita (boiled and peeled)
- Grape Raita
- Banana Raita
- Mango Raita
- Cucumber Raita
- Tomato Onion Raita
- Potato Raita (boiled and peeled)
- Beetroot Raita
- Carrot Raita (blanched carrots)
- Smoked Eggplant and Garlic Raita
- Boondi Raita (used in all seasons for entertaining)
- 2 cup plain yogurt (we prefer biodynamic, organic yogurt as they come close to the traditional Indian homemade yogurt)
- 1 cup of the above vegetables/fruits diced - cucumbers and carrots may be shredded.
- 1 tsp. or more to taste of Ajika Raita spices
- salt according to taste.
Mix all the ingredients in plain yogurt. Keep refrigerated.
- Garnish with fresh herbs or more of the Ajika spices as seen in the picture - shown here is radish raita.
© Kavita Mehta
photo credit Kavita and Vinay Mehta