A simple and easy to make Indian Onion Cucumber raita recipe with just a few refrigerator and pantry staple ingredients. The coolness from the raita is a must to balance out all that heat from the spices in Indian food.
If you are at all familiar with Indian food, you probably must have heard of raita and even tasted it, as an accompaniment to your food from your favorite Indian takeout / restaurant. Raita in it simplest form is a sauce with a yogurt base, may or may not be lightly spiced with cumin or chillies and have a mix of or just one kind of vegetables like onion, cucumber, carrot, tomato etc or deep fried flour balls called boondi.
Indian food is usually spiced with ginger, garlic, chillie peppers and other spices. The idea behind serving raita with Indian food, is to balance out all that spice a little bit. In different parts of India, there is always some form of yogurt or buttermilk based something that is a part of everyday meals. It maybe just plain yogurt, spiced yogurt or buttermilk drink, raita or yogurt based curry. Most Indian restaurants also serve Mango lassi, made with yogurt, to help cool you down after a spice rich meal.
What to serve with this Indian Onion Cucumber raita?
Or, what is a raita served with? For either question, the answer is the same. Raita is usually served with rice dishes like biryani, pulao etc but this cooling onion cucumber raita can also easily go with any of the main dishes like Shahi Paneer, Butter Chicken, Matar Paneer, Dal Makhani, Paneer Tikka Masala etc. You can even simply dip naan or papad in raita and eat as well. There are no restrictions of any kind at all.
Can the raw onions be skipped?
Absolutely! You can just make a plain cucumber raita as well. As I said earlier, it is mostly a mix and match of raw veggies with yogurt and optional spices. Just remember to salt the raita, that is all!
Onion Cucumber Raita
- 2 cups whole milk yogurt I love the Brown Cow brand as it has a little bit of sourness in it, that works well in a raita
- 1 cucumber diced
- 1/4 red onion diced
- salt to taste
- 1 serrano pepper chopped, optional
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Beat the yogurt well in a bowl with a wire whisk. Add a few tbsp of water to thin it out a little, if needed.
- Mix the cucumber, onion, salt and serrano pepper to this.
- Garnish with the cilantro and serve.