What is Raita?
From the north to the south, Raita is a unanimously popular Indian condiment. This is more like a delicious dip or sauce, which is easy to prepare and refreshing, and cooling to the palate.
This popular Indian side dish is made of yogurt or curd, mixed with fruits and vegetables like cucumber, pomegranate seeds, and different kinds of herbs and spices. Though we can prepare it in a thousand different ways with a regional touch of exotic herbs and spices, the most popular amongst them is the Cucumber Raita.
Raita is a traditional North Indian dish which they usually serve at night because it's easy to assimilate. Though Raita is very popular throughout India, in different regions, people eat it in different ways. As you can observe, North Indian people like to take it as a side dish with Biryani or some other Indian vegetarian meal, but in South India, they eat it as a main course with white rice, at the end of their meal.
There is no particular information regarding the origin of Indian Raita but the 'Raita', a term that originated from the Hindi language, was first printed in the 19th century. In south India, they called it 'Pachadi'.
Raita is made of yogurt together with raw or cooked vegetables, fruits, and herbs or spices. Mostly while making Raita we use fruits and veggies with high water retention. There are different types of Raita, like Cucumber Raita, Bottle Gourd Raita, Pineapple Raita, Onion Raita, and many more.
How To Make Raita for Biryani?
For most Indian folk, Raita is like a non-negotiable side dish for Biryani, especially in north India. For making this, all you have to do is, just mix curd with chopped fruits and vegetables in a 2:1 ratio. So if you are taking 2 cups of yogurt then add 1 cup of chopped cucumber, onion, pomegranate seeds, or any other fruits and veggies of your choice in it. Then, add a few spices like roasted cumin and coriander powder, along with some herbs like coriander leaves or mint leaves. Now add salt and sugar as per your necessity and mix all the ingredients properly. And the Raita is ready to serve with Biryani.
Can You Make Raita with Greek Yogurt?
No, Greek Yogurt is what we call the 'Hung card' in India, but in Raita we use plain curd. Greek yogurt is used to make Tzatziki. The preparation process is also quite similar to Raita but has a different flavor. Also, Tzatziki's density is thick, on the other hand, Raita has a more liquidy consistency. But, if Greek yogurt is the only available choice for you then add ¼ cup of water in 3 cups of Greek yogurt to dilute it and then use it to make Raita.
What To Serve With Raita?
Raita goes well with different types of spicy Biryani and Pulao. We can also serve this with Dal Makhani, Jeera Rice, Chana Masala, Chicken Murgh masala, Bombay Potatoes, Mixed fried rice, and many more veg or non-veg dishes.
Here are some of our delicious recipes that you can serve with Raita:
How To Store Raita?
You can easily store it for 10-12 hours in the refrigerator. Just take it out in a container and put the lid tightly. Just mix it thoroughly before serving.
Variations For Raita
Fruit Raita: In this type of raita, you can add any of your favorite fruits and seasonal fruits. Diced apples, grapes, pomegranates, and bananas go well with the taste. These fruits also give a natural sweetness to your raita, and you can have it as a healthy dessert.
Pink Raita: This raita seems very appealing because of its color, but wait, we are not using any harmful colors. To make pink raita, add crushed beetroot, and pomegranates to give it a pink-fruity color. To make it more amazing you can chia seeds and cashews.
Salad Raita: In this type of raita, you can add all those things that you can have as a salad. This has crunchiness in every bite, as the ingredients for these are cucumber, onion, tomatoes, and finely chopped cabbage. This is high in fiber and low in calories.