Raita is a traditional side dish served with many Indian curries and naan. This very easy and quick recipe is also functional as it is made to balance out the heat of very spicy food and cool the palate.
Don’t get confused with tzatziki because the basic ingredients we use are very similar. Now, how different is this dish really? There are several kinds of raita such as mint, cucumber, banana, and pineapple. A thick version can be prepared but there is a more liquid version, and it is more versatile in some ways.
Cumin powder is a spice and should not be forgotten in raita as it helps to transport you to India and its typical flavours. Cumin adds cooling properties, it is a great digestive, and it adds a smokiness. Coriander is the second ingredient that should not be omitted. We personally like to add mint too because of the freshness it brings.
Some people add chillies which in our view takes away the functionality of raita. Remember, it’s meant to cool the palate while eating hot food or grilled dishes.
You already understand that raita has many variations and we can start discussions on what is traditional or not, as you can add absolutely anything to it. We share the version we like a lot which features cucumber and mint, a refreshing delight during a meal on a hot day in Shanghai.
Read also: 14 Common herbs and spices
Fresh Indian Herb Raita
- Blend the fresh herbs with the lemon juice, garlic, mixed spices and the Greek yoghurt together.
- Add the mixture to the diced cucumber and shallots.
- Season to taste and refrigerate.