Cucumber Raita to Cool the Palette

cucumber raita

Traditional cucumber raita is used to cool the palette when you eat spicy Indian dishes but I love it alone on naan or with rice. If you ever have an upset stomach, this can be such a soothing snack. There are many versions of raita–no two are the same–it all depends on your taste. Sometimes I make it chunky and leave the cucumber and tomatoes bits whole. Other times, I use only cucumber and puree it.

lamb biryaniSee my recipe for a One Pot Dish: Lamb Biryani.


1 tablespoon olive oil
 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
2 cups greek plain yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream*
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tomato finely chopped (optional**)

Heat oil in skillet. When pan is hot, place mustard seeds in pan. Remove when seeds start to pop, about one minute.

Mix yogurt and sour cream into a large serving bowl. Add mustard seeds and oil. Mix in the cucumber and cilantro. If you want a smoother version, puree in cuisinart for a minute. if you prefer it to feel more like salad, add more cucumbers and tomato.

*I add a little sour cream–not Indian but it makes it so smooth and creamy and gives it a little something extra.

**Some people prefer raita without but when I add the tomato and keep it chunky, it feels more like  salad. You can experiment a bit: many people add mint leaves as well.

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."


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