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A good curry simply has to be served up with a healthy dollop of cooling cucumber raita as far as I’m concerned. I love to add some extra flavour with some finely chopped mint and perhaps even a dash of flavourful spice.
While you can buy this from the supermarket it really is so incredibly quick and easy to make at home that I prefer to whip some up myself. Plus that way, you can flavour it to your own personal tastes.
This raita is made from just 5 ingredients (plus salt and pepper). While I used low-fat natural yogurt, feel free to use full fat which will result in a creamier texture (although a higher calorie and fat count).
Make sure to use the freshest mint leaves you can, brown leaves are not a good look in this dish! While this recipe uses garam masala for an extra dusting of flavour, feel free to substitute paprika, cumin or another spice of your choice.
How to make it
This recipe is incredibly easy to make. Remove the seeds from the cucumber and grate it. Removing the seeds will reduce the water content of the finished dip. The seeds are also supposed to be the part of the cucumber that makes you, ahem, burp. I’m not sure how much truth there is behind that though.
Mix the grated cucumber with chopped mint and yogurt. Finish by dusting with the garam masala and chopped coriander.
Where is it from?
Raita hails from the Indian subcontinent. In a nation where food as standard is hot and spicy, a cooling dressing is an absolute must. There are multiple ways you can eat it. Try it with a pickle plate along with some crispy poppadoms, or spooned directly over a hot curry.
Can it be frozen?
Raita is not a good contender for freezing. When you freeze yogurt it typically separates, so you’ll end up with something resembling mush with a layer of milky water over it. You can mix it to combine, but it can often end up tasting more bitter after freezing. The cucumber used in this recipe also does not help with the freezing process as it contains a high water content.
Can you make it in advance?
Yes, you can make it up to 3 days in advance (providing that the use-by date on the yogurt is longer than that). However, the longer you leave it the more watery it will become. The juices from the cucumber will thin the raita out. Make sure to remove the seeds from the cucumber which will reduce some of the liquidity of the mixture.
Can you make raita with sour cream?
Although not traditional, you can use sour cream instead of yogurt in raita although the taste will be ‘sharper’. As sour cream is thicker than natural yogurt, it will also be less refreshing as it is denser overall. Feel free to experiment with different options though to find what you like best.
Products that work well for this recipe:
Steel Herb Chopper
Glass Herb Keeper
Indian Karahi Curry Bowls
A great cooling, refreshing raita is the ultimate accompaniment to a spicy curry or hot biryani. With fresh mint, coriander and cucumber and dusted with some flavoursome garam masala, you won’t believe this takes only minutes to prepare!
The default recipe serves one, with around 2.5 tablespoons per portion.
- 2 tbsp low-fat natural yogurt
- 1/4 cucumber (around 30 g)
- 6–8 mint leaves, finely chopped
- few sprigs coriander, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- Cut the cucumber in half and, using a teaspoon, scoop out the seeds. Grate the remaining skin and flesh.
- Place the yogurt, cucumber and mint into a bowl and mix well. Top with the coriander and sprinkle over the garam masala.
- I use low-fat natural yogurt for this recipe. If you use full fat then you’ll need to adjust the calories accordingly.
- Removing the seeds from the cucumber is optional, however if you choose not to do so then you will end up with a thinner mixture as it will add additional liquid.
- Feel free to swap the garam masala for other spices you prefer. You could substitute nutmeg, paprika or even ground cloves.
- Category: Side
- Method: No Cook
- Cuisine: Indian
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 40
- Fat: 0.5g
- Carbohydrates: 5g
- Protein: 3g
Keywords: raita, sauce, indian, curry, yogurt, dip, side, snack, cucumber