Recipe: Cucumber Raita

We are big fans of Indian food. On a recent night out, we started off slowly with milder dishes like chicken tikka masala and saag paneer, then slowly moved up to the slightly more spicy navratan korma before finally ordering that shrimp curry the waiter had warned us against (he might have been right, but man we ate every bite just to prove to him that we could hack it). As we progressed up the heat index, the importance of raita increased steadily also.

Raita is a deliciously mouth-cooling condiment often served alongside fresh naan with the spicier Indian dishes. It is a yogurt-based dip that incorporates the mellow flavor of cucumber along with more potent mint and cilantro. We recently began making our own raita at home and were surprised by how much more refreshing and flavorful it is this way.

Cucumber Raita

  • 1 cup whole milk or 2 percent yogurt
  • 1 English cucumber (seedless)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • Place the yogurt in a bowl. Peel and grate the cucumber and then add it to the bowl. Season with the salt, mint and cilantro. Mix it together well. Cover and let it chill for about an hour to allow the flavors to meld together. Serve with fresh naan or other flatbread.

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