Cucumber Raita

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Cucumber raita is a popular savory condiment dip made with cucumber and curd (yogurt). It is simple, refreshing, and cooling to the palate. This cucumber raita recipe comes together in 5 minutes and tastes fabulous when paired with biryani, pulao, or any Indian meal.

cucumber raita sprinkled with red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder and cilantro in a white bowl on a dark brown wooden board

About this recipe

Cucumber raita is a refreshing dip or sauce that we make with two main ingredients – Curd (Yogurt) and cucumbers.

Of course, we Indians like to spice it up with light sprinkles of roasted cumin powder, chaat masala, rock salt, or black salt and garnished with cilantro or mint. Yum!

If you want to add some spice and heat to your cucumber raita recipe, you can include red chili powder or cayenne pepper.

You could use any kind of cucumber. In India, we make it with the green or white cucumber varieties, but English cucumbers work well too.

Don’t bother about the seeds unless you do not prefer them or your cucumber has large tough seeds. Use fresh tender cucumber and not ripe ones as they do have tough seeds and taste sour.

In Hindi, cucumber raita is called ‘Kheera raita‘ or ‘Kheere ka raita‘- where the words kheera (singular) and kheere (plural) refer to cucumber.

2 Ways

There are basically two ways to make a cucumber raita recipe.

  1. One method squeezes the grated cucumber of its juice prior to being added to yogurt. When you grate the cucumber, obviously more juices are released – this can make the raita runny. So the juices are squeezed from the grated cucumber using a cheesecloth or muslin or a sieve. Usually, I do not squeeze out the juices and directly add the grated cucumber to the curd for nutritional reasons.
  2. The second method (which I have shared here) involves adding chopped cucumber to yogurt. When you chop the cucumber, less juices are released and your raita does not become thin or watery.

You can choose any method that you prefer when making cucumber raita recipe. I make it with both these methods.

What is the difference between Tzatziki and Cucumber raita?

Both tzatziki and cucumber raita are our preferred condiments. I make tzatziki when I cook Mediterranean inspired meals.

If you are wondering what is tzatziki! It is a yogurt dip from Greek cuisine and made with cucumber, garlic, olive vinegar, salt. It tastes wonderful with bits of pungent hits from the garlic and freshness of the cucumber.

On the face of it making both tzatziki and cucumber raita look similar, but there are differences.

Firstly tzatziki is made with greek yogurt or what we call in India as Hung Curd. Cucumber raita is simply made with plain yogurt. So obviously tzatziki is creamy, thick, and great to be used as a spread or dip.

Garlic is a unique spice that is added in Tzatziki, while in cucumber raita we do not add garlic.

Moreover, in any raita recipe, we do not add any kind of acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar. We also do not add oil directly to the yogurt. But yes, we may sauté some spices in oil and add this infused oil together with the spices to the yogurt.

collage of two photos of cucumber raita. one is cucumber raita in white bowl and second is it served with an Indian meal of roti and peas-potato curry

Our Favorite raitas!

There are so many variations of raita made with veggies, fruits, and herbs. Our favorites are Boondi Raita, Lauki Raita, and Pineapple Raita.

I also like cucumber raita, especially for its cooling properties in the hot summer months. Another South Indian variation of raita that you can make with cucumber is this Kerala Cucumber Pachadi.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Cucumber Raita

1. In a mixing bowl, whip 1 cup chilled curd until smooth. Use fresh homemade or packaged curd. Avoid using sour tasting curd.

curd being whisked for cucumber raita recipe

2. Rinse, peel and finely chop 1 medium-sized cucumber. You need 1 cup of finely chopped cucumber. Add the cucumber to the whisked curd. If you prefer, you can add grated cucumber.

TIP 1: Check the taste of the cucumber before chopping or grating. If it has a bitter or sour taste, then do not use it.

TIP 2: I always peel the cucumber skins whether they are thick or thin. It is better to peel them if they are thick. The white cucumbers we get in India, have thick skin and they have to be peeled. If using a thin-skinned cucumber, then keep the peels on.

finely chopped cucumber added to whisked curd

3. Add the ground spices and seasonings as listed below:

  • 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon chaat masala powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder (optional) or ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder or cayenne pepper
  • salt according to your desired taste
ground spices and salt added

4. Combine all the ingredients together.

ground spices, salt and cucumber mixed evenly with curd

5. Lastly add 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (cilantro). You can also add 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves in place of coriander leaves.

coriander leaves added

6. Mix again.

cucumber raita is ready to be served

7. Serve cucumber raita immediately garnished with a few coriander leaves or mint leaves.

cucumber raita in white bowl with a spoon inside on a dark brown board

Serving suggestions

  • With Indian meals: It can be served as a side dish with some vegetable Curry, Lentils, and Roti or Naan.
  • With paratha: You can serve it with stuffed parathas as well. Aloo Paratha, Gobi Paratha, broccoli paratha, mooli paratha, or any stuffed paratha tastes pairs nicely with cucumber raita.
  • Rice: Serving it with Biryani and Pulao makes it so tastier. It also tastes great with Khichdi, dal (lentils), and steamed rice.
  • With Veggies: And yes, you can also serve cucumber raita as a dip with fresh, roasted, or baked veggies.

Storage

Leftovers can be stored only for a day in a refrigerator. This raita is best had fresh and the taste changes when you refrigerate it. So only make amounts of it that you can finish in one day.

Tips

Helpful Tips

  • Cucumber: Any fresh cucumber works greatly in this raita. If you are concerned about the seeds, then make it with English cucumber. Taste the cucumber before chopping or grating. If it tastes bitter or sour, then discard it. Avoid making this raita with mature cucumber as they have tough seeds and are sour to taste.
  • Curd: When you make any raita, always use homemade Curd or whole milk curd. The curd or yogurt should not be sour. Unless you are looking for low-fat options, then of course make it with low-fat yogurt.
  • Spices: The usual spices that we add to raita are roasted cumin powder, red chili powder. I also perk up my raita with some chaat masala – but you can skip it. Replace red chili powder with paprika or cayenne pepper. Roasted ground cumin help in digestion.
  • Cumin powder: In the recipe, we use toasted cumin powder which is nothing but ground roasted cumin seeds. You can make a small batch by roasting or toasting ½ cup cumin seeds (or any amount you prefer) in a skillet or pan until fragrant. Let them cool and then grind in a spice grinder to a fine texture. Place the finely ground cumin seeds in an air-tight jar. Store in a cool dry place.
  • Herbs: Coriander leaves (cilantro) and mint leaves are the preferred choice of herbs in raita. You can even sub about ½ to 1 teaspoon dried mint leaves for fresh leaves. Use fresh parsley in place of cilantro.
  • Spicing: Any raita is subtly, minimally spiced and is never made spicy – since it accompanies a spiced biryani, gravy, or kebab. So do use the same proportion of red chili powder as mentioned in my recipe. You can definitely add less, but do not add more. But you can increase the amount of roasted cumin powder and chaat masala a bit.

More Raita!

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cucumber raita sprinkled with red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder and cilantro in a white bowl on a dark brown wooden board

Cucumber Raita Recipe

Cucumber raita is a popular savory raita dip made with cucumber and curd (yogurt). This simple, refreshing, cooling cucumber raita recipe comes together in 5 minutes.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Cuisine North Indian
Course Side Dish
Diet Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Easy
Servings 2
Units

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely chopped cucumber or 1 medium-sized cucumber
  • 1 cup Curd (dahi or yogurt)
  • ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder or ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder or cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder (roasted ground cumin)
  • ½ teaspoon chaat masala powder or as required
  • salt as required, can add food grade rock salt or black salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves or 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the cucumber. Then peel and finely chop it. You can also grate cucumber.
  • In a bowl, whisk the curd (yogurt) until smooth.
  • Add the grated cucumber to the curd.
  • Add all the ground spice powders, salt as needed and chopped coriander leaves.
  • Combine well and serve.
  • You can garnish it with some coriander leaves or mint leaves.

Serving suggestions

  • With Indian meals: Cucumber raita can be served as a side dish with some vegetable curry, lentils, with a side of roti or naan.
  • With paratha: You can serve it with stuffed parathas as well. Aloo paratha, gobi paratha, broccoli paratha, mooli paratha or any stuffed paratha tastes pairs nicely.
  • Rice: Serving it with biryani and pulao makes it so tastier. It also tastes great with khichdi, dal and steamed rice.
  • With Veggies: And yes, you can also serve cucumber raita as a dip with fresh, roasted or baked veggies.Storage

Storage

  • Leftovers can be stored only for a day in a refrigerator. It is best had fresh and the taste changes when you refrigerate it. So only make amounts of it that you can finish in one day.

Notes

  • Cucumber: You can make this raita with any fresh cucumber. If you are worried about the seeds, then make it with English cucumber. Prior to chopping or grating, taste the cucumber. If it tastes bitter or sour, then discard it.
  • Peeling cucumber: I always peel the cucumber skins whether they are thick or thin. It is better to peel them if they are thick. The white cucumbers we get in India, have thick skin and they have to be peeled. If using a thin-skinned cucumber, then keep the peels on. 
  • Curd: When you make any raita, always use homemade or whole milk curd. The curd or yogurt should not be sour. Unless you are looking for low-fat options, then of course make the raita with low-fat yogurt.
  • Spices: The usual spices that we add to raita are roasted cumin powder, red chili powder. I also perk up my raita with some chaat masala – but you can skip it. Replace red chili powder with paprika or cayenne pepper. Roasted cumin powder helps in digestion. 
  • Cumin powder: In the recipe, we use toasted cumin powder which is nothing but ground roasted cumin seeds. You can make a small batch by roasting or toasting ½ cup cumin seeds in a skillet or pan until fragrant. Let them cool and then grind in a spice grinder to a fine texture. Place the finely ground cumin seeds in an air-tight jar. Store in a cool dry place.
  • Herbs: Coriander leaves (cilantro) and mint leaves are the preferred choice of herbs in raita. You can even sub about ½ to 1 teaspoon dried mint leaves for fresh leaves. Use fresh parsley in place of cilantro.
  • Spicing: Any raita is subtly and minimally spiced. A raita is never made spicy as it accompanies a spicy biryani, gravy, or kebab. So do use the same proportion of red chili powder as mentioned in the recipe. You can definitely add less, but do not add more. But you can increase the amount of roasted cumin powder and chaat masala a bit.
  • Scaling: The recipe can be easily doubled or tripled
  • For vrat or fasting: If you are making cucumber raita for fasting or vrat then add food grade and edible rock salt (sendha namak).

Nutrition Info (Approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Cucumber Raita Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 90 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 16mg5%
Sodium 87mg4%
Potassium 298mg9%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 317IU6%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin B12 1µg17%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Vitamin D 1µg7%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 6µg6%
Calcium 167mg17%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 18µg5%
Iron 10mg56%
Magnesium 26mg7%
Phosphorus 130mg13%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This cucumber raita recipe post from the archives (September 2011) has been republished and updated on 17 January 2021.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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