Raita, a popular Indian sauce and accompaniment, is often served with spicy curry dishes. The cooling yogurt and refreshing mint and cucumber helps to balance out a delicious but fiery chickpea chana masala, a hot jalfrezi or a vindaloo.
The word raita is the combination of the Sanskrit word rajika meaning black mustard seed and tiktaka meaning pungent or sharp.
Also known as dahi, the fresh and flavourful side dish can be made using any combination of fruits or vegetables or a gram flour batter. This recipe uses cucumber, herbs and scallions for a tasty and nutritious side dish.
Raita is not typically vegan due to common dairy ingredients like yogurt and buttermilk. In this recipe, we substitute a soy yogurt instead of dairy to make our cucumber raita which we serve on just about anything from curries to wraps, salads and kebabs.
Cucumber raita tastes a lot like the Greek yogurt, mint and cucumber sauce called tzatziki, but the consistency is a little wetter, more saucy. You can swap out the dulse for any powdered seaweed or salt substitute you have and taste test the sauce as you go to avoid over seasoning.
A cool jar of homemade cucumber raita is a very versatile thing, scoop a spoonful to finish a vegan burger, sauce a sliced seitan sandwich or serve up a fresh cucumber raita dip with home baked tortilla chips!
- 250g soy yogurt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ cucumber
- ½ inch chunk ginger, grated
- ½ bunch fresh coriander
- ½ bunch fresh parsley
- ½ bunch fresh mint
- 1 lime, juiced
- ½ teaspoon dulse
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, garlic, ginger, dulse and garam masala.
- Grate in the cucumber.
- Fold in fresh chopped herbs and lime juice.
- Taste the raita and adjust with salt and pepper if required.
- Sprinkle with a pinch of garam masala to serve.
- Cucumber raita will keep in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
We mix our raita up with whatever fresh herbs are growing on the window ledge like coriander, parsley or basil. Adjust the texture of the sauce by ripping the herbs instead of chopping and adding a handful of scallions, or squeeze and drain the cucumber before use for a thicker consistency.
It makes a great side for rice dishes, a quick fresh dressing for a lunchtime wrap or as a refreshing topping to lift up the flavour of a wilted salad. Try out our recipe for this tasty Indian condiment and you’ll see why this low calorie, low fat fresh and zingy sauce is so popular!
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