Raita is a yogurt-based side dish very popular in India. Vegetable raita has a burst of flavors - a slight tang from yogurt that is balanced with a mild sweetness from the vegetables, freshness from herbs, and slight heat from chili powder. This simple classic dish is fuss-free, oil-free, and a great way to enjoy raw vegetables.
The only ingredient that is non-negotiable in making this dish is good-quality thick yogurt. I use plain yogurt; however, greek yogurt also works well. This no-cook side dish is ready in 10 minutes and goes well with pulao, biryani, and paratha. It can also be served as a savory snack on hot summer days.
Why you will love this recipe
- Mixed vegetable raita is a cool and refreshing side dish that complements spicy or flavorful main courses, helping to balance the meal.
- You can prepare vegetable raita with a variety of vegetables, allowing for flexibility and creativity in your choice of ingredients.
- Preparing raita is a simple and quick process, making it a convenient option for busy days.
Yogurt: Use plain whole-milk yogurt that is fresh.
Vegetables: The most common vegetables used are cucumber, tomato, onion, and coriander leaves (cilantro). I have also used carrots and bell peppers.
Seasoning: I use mild chili powder and salt.
Step 1: Take yogurt in a bowl and whisk it well. Make sure there are no lumps.
Step 2: Add salt and chili powder. Also, chopped vegetables.
Step 3: Mix well and serve chilled.
Cucumber raita: Skip all other vegetables and add finely chopped cucumber. If you are grating them, make sure to squeeze out the excess water content.
Boondi raita: Boondi are tiny deep-fried balls made with gram flour. Add spicy boondi to whisked yogurt and season it with chaat masala.
Onion: This version is quite common in South India. Follow this recipe and add only finely chopped red onions.
Cabbage: Add finely shredded green or purple cabbage to whisked yogurt and season it with roasted cumin powder.
Onion tomato raita: This version is also very popular in South India. Add finely chopped onions, tomatoes, fresh coconut, and coriander leaves to whisked yogurt. Season it with a tempering (tadka) made with mustard seeds, urad dal, and curry leaves.
There are no specific measurements to make this dish; however, as a guide, follow the rule of 2 to 1. The amount of yogurt must be twice the amount of vegetables. This will give you the right consistency - not too thick or too thin and runny.
To get a smooth and creamy texture, it is important to whisk the yogurt well, making sure there are no lumps. Also, do not blend the yogurt, as blending will make the yogurt runny instead of smooth and creamy.
I prefer chopped vegetables rather than grated ones as grated vegetables may affect the final dish. For example, grated cucumber can make the raita runny, and grated carrot adds an orange hue to the dish. However, if you prefer to use grated cucumber, make sure to squeeze out excess moisture from it.
How to serve raita
Vegetable raita is equally delicious with chicken tikka or paratha, adding a creamy and soothing contrast to the flavors. It is an essential component of the traditional vegetarian thali (platter) and can even be enjoyed as a simple, healthy snack on its own.
Tzatziki is a yogurt-based dip from the Middle-eastern cuisine. They both are very similar, although the yogurt used is different. Raita is made with plain yogurt, whereas tzatziki is made using Greek yogurt. Raita is more versatile and can be flavored in many ways. Tzatziki is made with cucumber and garlic, whereas raita can be made using different vegetables or fruits.
The most common veggies used are cucumber, onion, and tomatoes. Other vegetables or fruits can also be used. See the variations section above for details.
It is best to prep it and keep things ready. Whisk season the yogurt and chop all the vegetables; however, mix them together just before serving. It is best to serve it within 2-3 hours. If you make the raita ahead of time, store it in the refrigerator so that it can be served chilled.
More side dishes
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Vegetable Raita | Mixed Veg Raita
- Wash, peel, and finely chop the carrot and cucumber. Transfer it to a bowl
- Finely chop onion, tomatoes, capsicum (bell pepper), and coriander leaves (cilantro). Place it along with other vegetables
- In another bowl, take yogurt and whisk it well
- Add salt and chili powder to the whisked yogurt and mix well
- Add the vegetables and coriander leaves to the yogurt. Mix well
- Serve chilled