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2 April 2021

This Raita recipe is an Indian condiment made with yogurt, fresh vegetables and spices. It is served as a side and relished for its cooling effect when eating spicy foods. My favorite version includes cucumbers, serrano peppers and mint.

We’ve been enjoying a lot of curry recipes in the Chili Pepper Madness household lately. It is something we’ve really grown into over the years. See my awesome Curry Recipes here.

Patty was never a big curry fan in her youth, and I simply wasn’t exposed to it growing up in the secluded Midwest and my parents never exposed me to Indian food.

After we married, we began to explore and quickly found a love for Indian cuisine and all things curry. If you’re a spicy food lover like I am, I’m sure curry is on your menu quite frequently.

As with any curry, though, it can get pretty spicy. Right? Have you ever tasted a curry that was just TOO HOT?

Enter “Raita”.

Indian Raita in a bowl, ready to eat

What is Raita?

Raita is a traditional yogurt-based condiment of India that helps cool your palate. It is made with fresh yogurt, fresh vegetables and spices. There are variations, of course, from region to region and from cook to cook.

It is somewhat similar to a Greek tzatziki sauce, which is made mostly of  cucumbers mixed with yogurt – Greek yogurt, that is.

Raita Variations

Some Indian raita recipes include cooked vegetables. Some include fruit. Some even include bits of fried dough, called boondi raita, though my recipe goes with only fresh ingredients.

Raita can be made savory or sweet, and it can be made mild or spicy. Even though it is meant to have a cooling effect on the palate, I like a spicier version.

You’ll see it called different names, depending on the additional ingredient focus, such as mint raita, cucumber raita or simply vegetable raita.

Homemade Raita Ingredients

  • Yogurt. The main ingredient in raita is yogurt, as it is essentially a yogurt dip. Use fresh plain yogurt, not Greek yogurt. Why? Because Greek yogurt is a bit too watery. This affects the consistency of the final condiment.
  • Fruits and/or Vegetables. Popular add ins include chopped cucumber, chopped peppers (use a variety), tomato, and onions. Some cooked vegetables might be boiled potatoes, steamed cauliflower or broccoli, cabbage or even cooked corn.
  • Herbs and Spices. See below.

A good ratio is 2:1 of yogurt to vegetables and/or fruits.

Let’s talk about how to make raita, shall we?

How to Make Raita – the Recipe Method

First, gather up your ingredients, which includes the following:

  • 2 cups plain yogurt – I like full fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 serrano peppers, finely chopped – Other green chilies work as well
  • ½ small cucumber, finely chopped (about ¾ cup) – Grated cucumber is nice, too, for a finer texture
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro (loosely packed)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint leaves

Cucumbers and serrano peppers

The Seasonings. Next, whisk the cayenne, cumin and salt into the yogurt until well incorporated.

Chop the Vegetables. Give your fresh veggies a good chop. I like to slice them small for easy eating, but not too small. Like so.

Diced cucumbers and serrano peppers

Remaining Ingredients. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.

Mixing our Raita in a bowl

Refrigerate the Raita. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to let the flavors mingle.

Serve it Up. When ready to use, give it a quick stir and serve.

BOOM! Easy, right? Done in about 10 minutes or so. Just set it out among your other side dishes.

Indian Raita in a bowl, ready to serve

Recipe Notes & Tips

  • Key Ingredients. For my recipe, cucumbers and serrano peppers are KEY, as well as the obvious yogurt. And mint. They’re nice and cooling overall, but the serranos still give a bit of that spiciness and heat that I always crave.
  • Popular Herbs and Spices. Popular ground spices and herbs for raita are spicy chili powder, toasted cumin seeds or roasted cumin powder, chaat masala, mustard seeds, chopped coriander or cilantro, and mint. I like a big variety, but the the recipe I am sharing is my favorite version. I will vary it up from time to time, though. It depends sometimes on what I have on hand.
  • Serving Raita. Raita is great to serve with curries or other spicy Indian dishes to combat the high heat factor, like Vindaloo. Serve it up with naan or some type of flat bread.

I hope you enjoy it, my friends! I figured I needed to share this with you, as we’ve been making so many curries lately. I hope it helps you beat the spicy curry heat!

Serve it up with some chilli pickle!

Check Out Some of My Popular Curry Recipes

Indian Raita in a bowl, garnished with cucumbers and serrano slices

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Indian Raita Recipe (Traditional Indian Condiment)
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Indian Raita Recipe

This Indian Raita recipe is a cooling condiment that helps quell the heat of spicy foods, made with yogurt, fresh vegetables and spices. This is my version.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 min
Total Time11 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: condiment, recipe, spicy, yogurt
Servings: 6
Calories: 59kcal


  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 serrano peppers finely chopped
  • ½ small cucumber finely chopped (about ¾ cup)
  • 1 small shallot finely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro loosely packed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint


  • Whisk the cayenne, cumin and salt into the yogurt until well incorporated.
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  • Refrigerate at least 1 hour to let the flavors mingle.
  • When ready to use, give it a quick stir and serve.



Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 40mg | Potassium: 200mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 345IU | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 0.4mg

NOTE: This recipe was updated on 4/2/21 to include new information and video. It was originally published on 2/27/19.