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Cucumber Raita

Updated: Aug 24, 2021


A simple condiment accompanying almost all Indian meals may seem insignificant but silently plays an important role in soothing and calming spiced palates.


Raita is the most common side dish in Indian cuisine and is on our table, served with our meal pretty much every other day. We see it so often that it is hardly visible. Ironic, right? Today let us give our humble raita its much-needed accolade.


Many of you know how to make cucumber raita and must be thinking, it is easy-peasy, what's there to learn? I was of the same thought and many many years ago I made a big bowl of cucumber raita for a potluck party. Guess what? It turned out to be a massive disaster.


Raita looked and tasted perfect when I made it at home but by the time we reached the party, it converted into a foamy cucumber swimming pool and tasted like...ahem..., I don't even wanna go there. It was an embarrassment. How could I stuff up such an easy dish? It turns out that I skipped a crucial step and added something extra that was not needed.


This reminds me of a famous Hindi movie dialogue... "Don't underestimate the power of a common man (in this case common dish)".


Curious to find out what were those crucial steps, then continue to read the rest of the post and never go wrong with raita or Skip to recipe Cucumber Raita Recipe


Here are the ingredients that are easily found in every (Q)kitchen to make delicious cucumber raita.

Yoghurt, Cucumber, Raw sugar, Cumin powder, Pink Himalayan salt, and Black salt


Stages of Making - 5 Simple steps


1. Add Cumin powder, Black Salt, Raw Sugar, and Pink Himalayan salt to yoghurt. Sugar is optional. If the yoghurt is sour, sugar helps balance the tartness.

Note: Try to take yoghurt thick chunks and discard any floating yoghurt water. We need thick yogurt.


2. Mix all the above ingredients in yoghurt until sugar dissolves and yoghurt becomes smooth with no lumps in it.


3. Grate Cucumber.


4. Squeeze water out of grated cucumber and place squeezed cucumber in a separate plate/bowl. You will be surprised how much water comes out of the cucumber. Almost 1 cup. See pic below. This was that crucial step I skipped which made my raita a big puddle of mess. Since then I have never forgotten to squeeze water out of the grated cucumber. Cucumber water in raita gives an unpleasant taste to raita. Hence, I repeat this step to ensure most of the water is squeezed out of the cucumber.


A second squeeze of grated cucumber. About 1/4th cup water came out in the second squeeze.


5. Add squeezed cucumber to Yoghurt mix prepared in step 2. Mix the grated cucumber into the yoghurt as shown in the pics below. Do not add water. The consistency will eventually even out as cucumber will release some more water. This was the other blunder I made. Adding water to adjust the consistency will make raita too watery.



What type of yoghurt is best for raita?

My personal choice is Greek-style yoghurt cause it is naturally thick and has a smooth consistency. However, you can use any yoghurt or curd of your choice be it homemade yoghurt, pot set yoghurt, Greek-style, or any non-flavoured yoghurt.

Just make sure when you scoop yoghurt to make raita, it should be a solid or thick portion of yogurt and do not take its released water.


Can cubed cucumbers be used in raita instead of grated cucumber?

With grated cucumber, one can squeeze water out without worrying about its shape and this one can last longer without spoiling the taste and consistency of raita. Having said that, you can certainly add cubed cucumber to raita but add it just before serving. Squeezing water out of cubed cucumber will destroy its shape and crunchiness.


Raita Variations

Raita is a versatile dish. There are numerous ways and options to make raita. Make it sweet or savoury. Replace cucumber with other fruits or veggies. Add chili powder if you like a little heat.

Some of the common variations are Onion Raita, Tomato Raita, Mint Raita, Spinach raita, Boondi Raita, Pineapple Raita, etc.

Do not limit yourself to these options. Experiment and have fun with new ingredients. I have some new ones that I will share. So, stay tuned to Qitchenery.


Can Raita be made ahead of time?

Raita tastes best when made fresh or just an hour before serving. Nevertheless, grated cucumber raita can be made 5 hours or even a day ahead of time if cucumber water is completely squeezed out. If using cubed Cucumber or other fruits and vegetables, then just make yoghurt mixture and refrigerate it. Keep chopped fruits and/or veggies separate. Add them to yoghurt mixture just before serving to avoid spoiling of raita due to water released from it.


Storing Raita?

Leftover raita can be stored in the refrigerator up to a day. This is only if the fresh ingredients used like cucumber, fruits, and veggies that are grated and squeezed well or non-watery ingredients like boondi is used in raita.

Non-squeezed fruits or veggies raita is best to be consumed the same day.


Serving suggestions

Raita goes with pretty much all Indian dishes. It goes extremely well with Pullav or Biryani or any type of rice. A fabulous condiment to serve with any type of parathas (Methi thepla, Alloo/Gobhi/panner paratha, Daal Paratha, etc.). My family likes it in their everyday meal.


Jazz up cucumber raita with fancy decorations and draw those negligent eyes towards it.

If not already, then now is the time to include raita into your daily meal.

Recipe link below


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