Cucumber raita recipe is an easy Indian yogurt sauce or dip with fresh yogurt, cucumbers, some herbs and spices. It is served as dip along with foods like biryani, aloo paratha, pulao. Both yogurt and cucumber are body coolants and helps balance the heat from spicy foods.
Raita is a very popular and favorite condiment in India and you will find so many raita recipes across the country.
A basic raita recipe is made of fresh yogurt, vegetables, herbs and spices. A raita may or may not contain a tempering. I have shared many easy raita recipes in the blog with onions, bhindi, tomato, beetroot, aloo or potato.
Sometimes when you do not have the time or ingredients to make elaborate side dish you can just make raita and call it a day 🙂
Here I am sharing two easy cucumber raita recipes with you
- Cucumber raita for pulao, biryani
- easy south Indian variation of the same with a tadka.
About This Recipe
Cucumber raita is an easy, tasty and refreshing condiment in Indian cuisine. If you are unfamiliar think of it like a creamy Indian cucumber sauce or dip with yogurt. Just like tzatziki this raita is also made of cucumber and yogurt.
Cucumber and yogurt both are body coolants so it is only natural that we love it a lot in India, whose summers are quite famous for intensity 🙂
To make it more delicious and flavorful, we do add certain spice powders like roasted cumin powder, some herbs like mint leaves in this recipe. This raita is called kakdi raita, kheere raita in Hindi.
In south India we usually a tempering or tadka with few drops of oil and add to the raita before serving. This is called Vellarikka pachadi. Vellarikka means cucumber and pachadi is a broad term for condiments in Tamil. Both the methods are equally delicious and goes well with specific set of dishes.
It is easy to make best raita recipe at home if you follow few some small tips. Here in this post I am sharing all the tips I have learnt over the years to make perfect raita recipe.
This cucumber raita recipe is our favorite and during summer I make it at least thrice a week. For kids that fuss about eating curd rice, raita is the tastiest way to add some yogurt in their diet. Do try out this easy raita and enjoy. It is
easy and quick to make
delicious with spicy foods
very creamy and rich
a kid friendly mild dip
What Are The Ingredients Of Raita?
Any Indian raita recipe starts with good fresh yogurt. Curd or yogurt is the base ingredient here. Here for making cucumber raita we will need the following ingredients
Cucumber– You can really use any variety of cucumber here. I prefer to use locally grown desi ones and use English cucumbers only if local ones are unavailable.
You can peel or leave the skin on. I use desi cucumbers whose skin are a bit thick, so I peel them but English or Japanese cucumbers have very delicate skin that you can leave on.
You can grate the cucumber or chop them. If you want a creamy smooth raita, I suggest you grate the cucumbers. You can squeeze the excess water from grated cucumber but I generally don’t so as to retain the flavor and nutrition.
In the recipe of vellarikka pachadi, I have finely chopped the cucumbers. This gives a bite and crunchy texture to the raita.
Next if you use tender cucumbers, you can just leave the seeds as such. Matured ones have tough seeds as well as they tend to be a bit bitter. Taste a small bit before making the recipe. Very matured ones are suitable for dal recipe.
Yogurt- Fresh, well whisked and absolutely not sour curd is what you want for raita recipes. I use homemade yogurt but for a super creamy raita you can use hung curd or Greek yogurt too. whichever you use, make sure it is fresh and well whisked. Vegans can use any vegan plain yogurt.
Spice powders– The regular spices used in any raita recipe are roasted cumin powder or ground cumin , a bit of chat masala powder and cracked black pepper. If you like spicier raita you can also add a dash of red chilli powder and cayenne pepper or paprika too.
Herbs– Finely chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves or dill leaves can be added for flavor.
Others– rock salt or black salt and in some recipes a few drops of lemon juice is added. You can if your yogurt is not absolutely sour.
How To Make Cucumber Raita
Rinse and wipe off excess moisture from a long cucumber.Peel the skin off using a peeler or paring knife. Grate it using a handheld or box grater. Set aside.
Take fresh thick yogurt in a mixing bowl.
Whisk it very well with a handheld whisk or spoon.
To that add grated cucumber and few torn mint leaves.
Add salt to taste, 1/2 teaspoon pepper powder and 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala powder. Also add 1/2 teaspoon roasted ground cumin.
Mix vert well. Serve cucumber raita immediately.
South Indian Vellarikka Pachadi Recipe
Rinse, peel and finely chop a vellarika or cucumber.
Whisk 1 cup thick yogurt very well in a mixing bowl. Add the chopped cucumber and salt to taste. Mix well.
Heat a small pan with two teaspoons oil. You can use sesame oil for good flavor and also it is cooling to the body. Add 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon urad dal, 1 slit green chilli and few curry leaves. Fry for a minute. You can add 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds too if you like.
Add this tadka along with oil to the prepared yogurt mixture.
Mix very well. Vellarikka pachadi is ready to serve.
Serving Suggestions & Storage
You can serve cucumber raita with a variety of dishes.
The first type of raita made with chaat masala powder goes well with biryani, pulao, aloo paratha, plain paratha, thepla, khichdi, as sauce for kathi rolls, frankie and wraps. It also goes well with dal fry.
This cucumber raita tastes best when served immediately after making. If you have leftovers you can store for a day at the maximum.
Expert Tips To Make Raita
It is easy to make fresh creamy and thick raita at home if you follow some tips. I have listed below all the tips I follow while making raita recipe.
Yogurt– A good homemade raita starts with good yogurt. I like to use homemade yogurt as it is clean and healthier. If using store bought ones use fresh plain ones. You can also use Greek yogurt. Always whisk the curd very well before adding the other ingredients of raita.
Cucumber– You can any use variety of cucumber to make raita. You really do not need salad cucumber for this. Just make sure the ones you use are fresh and tender. If the cucumbers are very matured they seeds will be very tough. Some cucumbers taste very bitter, so taste a small bit before making the recipe.
Quantity of yogurt and cucumber- While you can vary the quantity of these both as per taste, usually raita contains more yogurt than the vegetable.
I like to add 3/4 cup cucumber for 1.5 cups yogurt. This works well for us but you can add 1:1 too. Do not add more cucumber than that as it will reduce the creaminess of the raita.
Spices– Usually we add roasted cumin powder, black pepper and chaat masala powder. Add these as per your taste. Sometimes I also add red chili powder.
Making ahead- if you want to make raita few hours before serving, keep the ingredients ready separately and mix just before serving.
Serving- Always serve raita fresh as soon as you make it. If you store for long the cucumber will leave out lots of water and raita will turn very watery.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between tzatziki and cucumber raita?
Both are creamy dips made with cucumber and yogurt as star ingredient.
While tzatziki is a traditional middle eastern recipe, this cucumber raita is from Indian cuisine. Tzatziki is thicker, made with greek yogurt, has olive oil and flavored with garlic, lemon juice. It is has sesame seeds as topping.
Cucumber raita is flavored with cumin, oil free and thinner. Taste wise they are very different.
How to make vegan raita?
Just use any plain vegan yogurt and this recipe will be vegan.
Can I add any other vegetables to cucumber raita?
Yes chopped onions, grated carrots or chopped tomatoes will taste good in this raita.
How to make roasted cumin powder?
Roasted cumin powder or ground cumin is very widely used in Indian cooking. I make this in bulk for a month and store. Here is an easy detailed recipe to make roasted ground cumin.
If you are making for this recipe alone, just dry roast1 teaspoon cumin seeds in a small pan and crush in a mortar and pestle or small spice grinder.
How to choose a good cucumber?
Look for firm cucumbers without soft spots as they are tender ones. Also pick the ones that are small and thin as they taste good.
What are few more easy raita recipes?
More Cucumber Recipes
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Cucumber Raita- Vellarikka Pachadi
1 CUP = 250 ml
For Cucumber raita for pulao, paratha
- 1 long cucumber 3/4 cup grated, packed
- 1.5 cups yogurt thick, fresh, whisked
- 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 mint leaves
- salt to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon chat masala powder
For south Indian vellarikka pachadi
- 1 long cucumber 3/4 cup grated
- 1.5 cups yogurt thick and fresh
- 2 teaspoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon urad dal
- 8 curry leaves
- 1 green chilli
- salt to taste
Cucumber raita recipe
- Rinse and wipe off excess moisture from a long cucumber.Peel the skin off using a peeler or paring knife. Grate it using a handheld or box grater. Set aside.
- Take fresh thick yogurt in a mixing bowl.
- Whisk it very well with a handheld whisk or spoon.
- To that add grated cucumber and few torn mint leaves.
- Add salt to taste, 1/2 teaspoon pepper powder and 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala powder. Also add 1/2 teaspoon roasted ground cumin.
- Mix vert well. Serve cucumber raita immediately.
- Rinse, peel and finely chop a vellarika or cucumber. Whisk 1 cup thick yogurt very well in a mixing bowl. Add the chopped cucumber and salt to taste. Mix well.
- Heat a small pan with two teaspoons oil. You can use sesame oil for good flavor and also it is cooling to the body. Add 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon urad dal, 1 slit green chilli and few curry leaves. Fry for a minute. You can add 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds too if you like.
- Add this tadka along with oil to the prepared yogurt mixture.
- Mix very well. Vellarikka pachadi is ready to serve.