Cucumber Raita (East Indian Cucumber & Yogurt Dip)

Cucumbers and Blossoms

Cucumbers and Blossoms

by Cat, Dec 2007 (Photo, right, from wikimedia commons)

See also: 1. Plain Homemade Yogurt2. Tsatziki (Greek Cucumber Dip); 3. Greek Yogurt Sauce4. Lebneh (Lebanese Yogurt Sauce); 5.  Middle Eastern Meza Menu

Raitas are common in Indian cuisine, as they are the perfect cooling accompaniment for a spicy curry. 

East-Indian Cucumber Dip with Yogurt (Raita)

This recipe is adapted from The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas (1). I make my own yogurt, as I find it has the best sour flavor.  But you can also use commercial plain Greek yogurt.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp finely chopped onions or scallions
  • 2 cups Plain Homemade Yogurt
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Unrefined sea salt and white pepper, to taste
  • chopped fresh cilantro (coriander leaves)


  1. Peel cucumber (scoop out seeds if not using seedless cucumber).  Chop or coarsely grate the cucumber into a bowl.  Stir in onion and yogurt.
  2. Heat ground cumin for a moment in a small enameled pan, then remove it from the heat and quickly stir in a little of the yogurt mixture to absorb the aromatic oils released by the heat.  Then stir this mixture back into the rest of the yogurt mixture in the bowl.  Stir thoroughly.
  3. Stir in the cayenne, salt and pepper to taste, as as much chopped cilantro as you prefer.
  4. Cover and chill to allow the flavors to marinate.


  1. The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas

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