Best Cucumber Raita

Mallika Basu - Best Cucumber Raita

Posted 2nd December 2008

I’ve developed an inexplicable fascination for cupcakes.

It could be the inch-thick sugar toppings, the heart sprinkles or the cute little trays they’re displayed on. But every sighting of these evil treats sends my normally logical brain into semi-paralysis.

Imagine my horror at seeing a whole box of them at the tea party I went to over the weekend. I stared at the vile things as they got placed on a Versace tea set. The pinnacle of decadence being served with relatively-innocent masala chai.

Of course, I went home clutching the two leftover cupcakes. I ate them for desert, following a dinner of two toasts. And spent the night tossing and turning from the self-inflicted, sugar-induced high.

Strangely, it made me think about raita.  That, and a reader’s request for a Cucumber Raita recipe. Raita is to Indian food the complete opposite of what cupcakes are to a restful evening. The savoury yogurt salad soothes the taste buds, calms the tummy and aids digestion. Also provides a generous helping of whatever vegetables go into it.

There are so many raitas – cucumber, kachumbar (finely chopped mixed salad), anda (my favourite egg raita), aloo (potatoes), aubergine and boondi (made with little deep fried gram flour balls). The principles are pretty much the same: filling steeped in yogurt. Spiced either with a sprinkling of spices and herbs or with a tadka (tempered ingredients). Every family has its own variations.

Cucumber raita is an all time classic. It stupendously easy to make. Refreshing. And very authentic served alongside a simple Indian meal. This is how I make the best cucumber raita. Without the fancy touches.

 

Feeds 2:

  • 200gm low fat natural yogurt
  • 100gm cucumber
  • Half tsp black salt
  • Half tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp whole cumin

 

Whip the yogurt well in a small bowl with a fork until you get a smooth, pouring consistency. You may need to add a bit of cold water depending on the thickness of the yogurt.

Peel and chop the cucumber into tiny pieces. I just used my chopper. Dry roast and powder the cumin. I make a big batch of roasted cumin powder in one go and would recommend you do the same.

Then all you have to is assemble the raita. Stir the cucumber into the yogurt and sprinkle all the spice powders on the top. If you add some dry mint, you get cucumber and mint raita. Serve it alongside a vegetable pulao and you have a comforting and simple TV meal.

21 responses to “Best Cucumber Raita”

  1. arundati says:

    hilarious sweety!!cupcakes are like that….you cant help loving them!! lovely pic of the raita….i’ve stayed away so far from the sprinkle of cumin powder…. i think i will try this the next time i make raita….take care!

  2. notyet100 says:

    always enjoy readin ur post,..ceeu soon,..:-)

  3. Vaidehi says:

    Love the recipe… pic looks so colorful..

  4. anudivya says:

    How interesting!Bet it would be the best thing on a hot summer day

  5. RedChillies says:

    Me? I am not a fan of cupcakes even though I love desserts of any format.

    Cupcakes and raita? Now that is an interesting connection. Love this raita.

  6. Mallika says:

    Quite a favourite with me too 🙂

  7. vanamala says:

    this looks really coool raita..

  8. Rashmi says:

    our family recipe is ditto, except for black salt

  9. Bharti says:

    Love this stuff, esp. in the summer time.
    Tagged you for Breadline Africa.

  10. Eeshani says:

    I love raita in any shape or form! I am yet to try your egg raita, though– that has to be next on the list. BTW, where in India do you source the NIAW cookbook? I sent my hapless mother on a four bookstore hunt through Delhi yesterday, but she tells me they hadn’t heard of the book. Then again, these bookstores also thought MS Swaminathan is yogi of some sort…

  11. Eeshani says:

    I love raita in any shape or form! I am yet to try your egg raita, though– that has to be next on the list. BTW, where in India do you source the NIAW cookbook? I sent my hapless mother on a four bookstore hunt through Delhi yesterday, but she tells me they hadn’t heard of the book. Then again, these bookstores also thought MS Swaminathan is a yogi of some sort…

  12. David says:

    I’ll take the raita, thanks, not too much of a sweet tooth!

  13. Homecooked says:

    Wow….raita is a fav accompaniment with any type of pulavs or biryanis 🙂

  14. I love raita too. Because yogurt is fermented, it’s soothing on the gut. Lakeland does a dinky yogurt-maker that keeps the milk at just the right temperature to set. I was making it every week (before I found out I was lactose-intolerant). But I miss those friendly bacteria (!) and might start experimenting with yogurt again…

  15. […] Cucumber and mint raita with mini naans […]

  16. […] also DK’s Bread Raita, MD’s version of Bhindi Raita, and my personal favourites Cucumber Raita and Anda Raita. Click here to cancel reply. Leave a […]

  17. […] also DK’s Bread Raita, MD’s version of Bhindi Raita, and my personal favourites Cucumber Raita and Anda […]

  18. Dipanshu Roy says:

    Anytime for Raita, by the way it looks awesome!! Thank You for this. 🙂

    You’re welcome M x

  19. Dipanshu Roy says:

    can you upload a video for this

  20. […] returning the tray to the oven for a few more minutes. Voilà, you’ve got dinner – serve with cucumber raita if you can be arsed (or plain yogurt on those nights when you just […]

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