Beat the heat with this cool and creamy cucumber yogurt raita for spicy biryani. Chopped cucumber and cooling mint blended with tangy yogurt, creating the perfect antidote to fiery spices. Every spoonful balances your biryani, vindaloo, or any other spicy curry dish.
This minty and cooling Indian raita is often served with spicy Indian curry dishes. This simple raita recipe features cucumber, mint, and creamy, thick yogurt, and is refreshing and cooling with spiced biryani.
Why You'll Love This Easy Cucumber Raita Recipe
This recipe for our raita is easy to make and can be tailored with any fresh herbs you have, not just mint. You will love having it next time you're serving up Indian biryani or any spicy curry!
If you're lactose intolerant, we have a How to Make Lactose Free Yogurt recipe tutorial, which would allow you to enjoy this raita condiment!
This recipe for cucumber raita is easy to make, and will cool the spicy heat down from any spicy foods.
Indian Cucumber Raita Ingredients
You can use any variety of cucumbers. I prefer the English or Armenian cucumbers though, because they're long and skinny, with much less seed core. I can usually grate it up without cutting any of the center out of the cucumber at all!
If you use the dark green Market cucumbers, you will need to remove some of the watery center seed pulp though.
- Plain Yogurt
- Cucumber, peeled and grated.
- Mint, chopped - or parsley, cilantro, dill (optional choices).
- Lemon juice, fresh.
- Lemon zest
- Cumin, ground
- Garlic, grated
- Black Pepper
Full ingredient amounts and preparation instructions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How To Make Raita For Biryani
This raita recipe can be made with simply cucumber, mint, and yogurt. The addition of lemon and garlic with this creamy raita really kicks it up a notch.
Use your seasonal garden herbs to make your own varieties of this creamy, yogurt based raita.
Chop Cucumber Into A Small Dice
- Chop the cucumber after washing, and peeling if you prefer. You can also grate it on the large grate surface of a box grater.
PRO TIP: If using a common or fat cucumber, cut the seed core out and discard. If using the longer Armenian or English cucumber variety, just chop it all up, as it has a much smaller and firmer seed core.
Add Cucumber And Herbs To Yogurt
- Grate the garlic clove into a small bowl with the yogurt and cucumber.
- Chop the mint into a small, rough chop, about ⅛ to ¼" bits. Discard the stems, just use the leaves. Add the cumin and salt.
Season Biryani Raita To Taste
- Zest and juice the lemon, removing the seeds.
- Add both to the bowl with the yogurt mixture. Add the salt and the pepper.
- Stir well and refrigerate to let the flavors mingle.
Substitutions and Variations
- If you are not a fan of mint, coriander leaves (cilantro), a chopped green chili, or parsley make great a substitution or variety of Biryani raita.
- Substitute finely minced green onion instead of garlic when making this raita.
- You can add a pinch of chili or cumin powder can add extra flavor to this simple raita also.
Tips For Success
- Remove the seed core from the cucumber and the raita will not get watery after day one.
- Raita is a type of chutney, sauce, or dip that's low in calories and fat. You can use it for any food you need a cool, creamy dip for.
- Prepare raita an hour ahead of time to let flavors mingle.
- You can add other vegetables to raita, such as onions, tomatoes, or peppers for different flavor and textures.
- Try using fruit in raita, such as mangoes, berries, or melons.
- Raita can be served as a side dish, dip, or garnish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Raita is a refreshing and cooling condiment popular in Indian cuisine. It is made with yogurt, cucumber, herbs, and spices. Raita is typically served with spicy Indian food to help balance out the heat.
The basic ingredients in raita are yogurt, cucumber, herbs, and spices. There's many variations of raita, and you can add other ingredients, such as onions, tomatoes, or peppers.
No, freezing any sauce or dip with raw grated cucumber will cause the cucumber raita to get all runny and mushy. You can freeze everything but the cucumber, and then add fresh cucumber to defrosted yogurt & herb mixture later though.
Store raita in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. However, it is best to eat it within 2 days for the best flavor.
More Delish Ideas
Cucumber Mint Biryani Raita
- 1 cup plain, unflavored Yogurt (greek or regular)
- 1 cup English cucumber, diced (about 6" length)
- ½ cup minced mint leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- Add the yogurt to a medium size mixing bowl. Chop the cucumber into a small dice. Add the cucumber to the yogurt.1 cup English cucumber, diced, 1 cup plain, unflavored Yogurt
- Grate the garlic into the bowl with yogurt. Chop the mint up fine (into ⅛ to ¼ inch mince). Add the cumin and salt.½ cup minced mint leaves, 1 clove garlic, ¼ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon salt
- Zest the lemon and add 1 teaspoon zest to the yogurt mixture. Juice the lemon or use 3 tablespoons lemon juice and add to yogurt mixture. Stir to blend well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let flavors mingle, then serve with your curry entree.1 teaspoon lemon zest, 3 tablespoon lemon juice