Raitas are often made as a side dish that are paired with robust dishes in Indian cuisine. Usually, the base in a raita is that of Curd (Dahi) or yogurt, in which, fruits, vegetables or other ingredients can be added. Onion Raita or Pyaaz ka Raita, Tomato Raita and Onion Tomato Raita are one of those quick, simple and cooling raita recipes, perfect to beat the summer heat. I share all three recipes.
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About Onion Raita
Onions are good for combating the hot winds or ‘loo,’ typical to North Indian summers. Pairing them with curd or yogurt is a great way to balance the warming quality of yogurt. This Onion Raita is healthy as well as refreshing as a side with any Indian meal during the hot season.
An Onion Raita recipe is made with just a few ingredients that are mostly available in our kitchens. On days when I don’t have cucumber or tomatoes, I make this Onion Raita for our meals, or with a Pulao and Biryani.
I end up using onions in my raitas as I like it that way. The onions we get here are not pungent or strongly flavored. If you wish to get rid of the pungency, sauté the onions in some oil till they soften and then add to the raita. You can use sweeter variety of onions too.
This Onion Raita is spiced with ground cumin and black pepper. If you want a fiercer raita, go for chopped green chilies or red chili powder. It is a great accompaniment with pulaos like Peas Pulao and Kashmiri Pulao, biryani, flatbreads and veggies or even dal-rice.
How to make Onion Raita
1. In a bowl, whisk 1 cup curd (yogurt) till smooth.
2. Then, add ⅓ cup finely chopped onions and mix again.
3. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon cumin powder, ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder and black salt or regular salt, as required. Stir and mix well.
4. Add 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (or 5 to 6 chopped mint leaves).
5. Mix well.
6. Garnish with a few mint or coriander leaves and serve Onion Raita with your Indian meals.
Tomato raita is yet another simple, refreshing and easy raita made with the usual raita ingredients. Most of the times with Biryani I make Onion Tomato Raita. But when out of onions and on the Hindu fasting days I make this tomato raita when we do not consume onions.
For a quicker option simply add the chopped tomatoes to the curd. If you want a more pronounced taste and flavor of tomatoes, then puree one tomato and add along with the chopped tomatoes. Use edible food grade rock salt (called sendha namak in Hindi) if making on any of the Hindu fasting days.
Like any raita, this tomato raita also pairs very well not only with a biryani but also with the usual Indian meals and even with any variety of stuffed paratha.
Making Tomato Raita
1. Whisk 1 cup fresh chilled curd/dahi till smooth.
2. Add ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes, ½ to 1 tablespoons chopped mint leaves or coriander leaves or a mix of both, 1 green chili, finely chopped (½ teaspoon finely chopped green chilies) and ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder.
Season with black salt or regular salt or edible rock salt as per taste.
3. Mix everything well.
4. Serve tomato raita immediately as a side dish with veg biryani or veg pulao or dal khichdi or mushroom biryani. You can also serve this raita with any North Indian meal.
Onion Tomato Raita
Onion Tomato Raita is one of the easiest and commonly made raita across Indian households. It has the use of tomatoes in addition to onions, other herbs and spices. Really good to have on a sweltering day in summers.
No special ingredient is required for this raita too, as the main ingredients like onions, tomatoes and green chili are always available in any and every kitchen. These three ingredients are a kind of must in most Indian recipes too.
This Onion Tomato Raita recipe is very easy to make. You just have to finely chop all the fresh ingredients and mix them well in the curd, seasoned with salt and some ground spice powders. Using fresh curd or yogurt is always advisable for this raita. Vegan versions can be done with a plant-based curd.
How to make Onion Tomato Raita
1. In a bowl, whisk 1 cup curd (yogurt) till smooth.
2. Then, add 1 small to medium sized finely chopped onions (about ¼ to ⅓ cup) to the whisked curd.
3. Next, add 1 small to medium size finely chopped tomatoes (about ¼ to ⅓ cup finely chopped).
4. Add 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped mint leaves and 1 finely chopped green chili (about ½ teaspoon finely chopped green chilies).
In place of mint leaves, you can also add chopped coriander leaves or a mix of both.
5. Add 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder, ⅛ teaspoon red chili powder (or paprika or cayenne pepper) and salt as required.
6. Mix well to combine.
7. Garnish with a few mint or coriander leaves. Serve Onion Tomato Raita with pulao, biryani or any other rice dishes.
- Curd: Use fresh homemade curd or yogurt for best taste. The yogurt should not be sour. Check the expiry date in case using packaged curd. You can also make this with a low-fat curd/yogurt.
- Consistency: If you are using a thick curd or Greek Yogurt, add some water to thin the consistency.
- Spices: The use of spice powders can be skipped or altered according to personal taste preferences. Use roasted cumin powder as it imparts an earthy, nutty taste to the raita. In place of red chili powder, paprika or cayenne pepper can be used. If you want a spicy raita, add more of the chopped green chilies or red chili powder or cayenne.
- Herbs: Coriander leaves (cilantro) and mint leaves are the preferred choice of herbs for these raitas. Use fresh parsley in place of cilantro.
- Variation: Make the raita vegan by using cashew yogurt or almond yogurt instead of milk yogurt.
- Storage: The leftover raita can be stored only for a day in a refrigerator. These raitas are best had fresh and the taste changes when you refrigerate it. So, only make quantities that can be finished in one day.
- Serving: These raitas can be served as a side dish with vegetable curries, lentils, roti, naan and even parathas. They also go great with rice dishes like biryani, pulao, khichdi, lentils and steamed rice (dal-chawal), etc.
- Scaling: The recipe can be doubled or tripled as per your requirements.
Raita is best had when chilled or immediately at room temperature. After the raita is made, its better to refrigerate it as the curd can turn sourer if kept at room temperature.
Yes, you can make these raitas with low fat curd. To make these vegan, you may use cashew or almond yogurt.
Roasted cumin powder or bhuna jeera powder imparts a nice earthy and nutty taste to the raita. It also helps in digestion. Hence, recommended for these recipes.
Yes, you can according to your taste preference.
You can serve these raitas with dry or semi-dry vegetable dish or curries, roti, naan, dal-rice, paratha and even biryani and pulao.
Dry roast about ½ cup cumin seeds (or any quantity you prefer) in a skillet or pan till fragrant. When cooled, grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder. Place the roasted cumin powder in an air-tight jar or container and store in a cool, dry place.
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Onion Raita | Tomato Raita | Onion Tomato Raita
For Onion Raita
- 1 cup Curd (yogurt) – cold or chilled
- ⅓ cup finely chopped onions – about 1 small to medium-sized onion
- ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder or red chilli powder or cayenne pepper
- black salt or regular salt or edible food grade rock salt, add as required – I added ⅓ teaspoon black salt
- 5 to 6 chopped mint leaves or 1 tablespoon of chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 3 to 4 mint sprigs or some coriander leaves, for garnish
For Tomato Raita
- 1 cup Curd (yogurt or dahi) – cold or chilled
- ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes or 1 medium-sized tomato, finely chopped
- ½ to 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves or coriander leaves (cilantro) or a mix of both
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped green chillies or 1 green chilli
- ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder or ground cumin
- black salt as required, can also add edible food grade rock salt or regular salt
For Onion Tomato Raita
- 1 cup Curd (yogurt) – cold or chilled
- ¼ to ⅓ cup finely chopped onions or 1 small to medium sized onion
- ¼ to ⅓ cup finely chopped tomatoes or 1 small to medium sized tomato
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped green chillies or 1 green chili
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves or coriander leaves (cilantro) or a mix of both
- ⅛ teaspoon red chili powder or paprika or cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- salt as required
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves or coriander leaves (cilantro) for garnish, optional
Making Onion Raita
- Whisk the curd (yogurt) till smooth.
- Then, add the finely chopped onion and mix again.
- Sprinkle cumin powder, black pepper powder and salt as required. Stir and mix well.
- Add chopped coriander leaves (or 5-6 mint leaves).
- Mix well.
- While serving, garnish with few mint or coriander leaves.
- Serve the Onion Raita with your Indian meals.
Making Tomato Raita
- In a bowl, whisk the fresh chilled curd or yogurt until smooth.
- Add the finely chopped tomatoes, mint leaves or coriander leaves or a mix of both, chopped green chilies, roasted cumin powder.
- Season with black salt or regular salt according to your taste.
- Mix everything evenly.
- Serve the tomato raita immediately as a side dish with veg biryani or veg pulao. You can also serve this raita with any North Indian meal.
Making Onion Tomato Raita
- Rinse the peeled onion, tomatoes, mint leaves and green chili.
- Finely chop them.
- Whisk the yogurt or curd in a bowl.
- Add the finely chopped onions, tomatoes, mint leaves and green chilies to the whisked curd.
- Add roasted cumin powder, red chili powder and salt.
- Mix very well.
- Garnish with few mint or coriander leaves. Serve the Onion Tomato Raita with biryani, pulao or dal-rice.
- If you want a slightly spicy raita, add more of the chopped green chilies or red chili powder or cayenne. But do not make the raita very spicy as raitas are generally mild and meant to accompany robust and spicy food.
- Feel free to opt for any of the raita recipe depending on the ingredients you have.
- Roasted ground cumin gives a nice nutty aroma and flavor to the raita. To make it, roast a few tablespoons or about ⅓ to ½ cup of cumin seeds in a small frying pan or skillet on a low heat until fragrant. Set aside to cool. Later grind them in a spice-grinder or mixer-grinder to a fine texture. Store in an air-tight jar in a cool dry place.
- If you do not have roasted cumin powder, you can swap it with the regular cumin powder (ground cumin).
- You can use mint leaves or coriander leaves (cilantro) for this raita. You can also choose to add fresh parsley instead of cilantro or mint.
- Note that the approximate nutrition info is for 1 serving of onion raita only.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Onion Raita, Tomato Raita and Onion Tomato Raita post first published in May 2013 has been republished and updated on 28 April 2022.