Mild, cooling and with a hint of spice from the cumin seeds, this spinach raita is a quick side dish that is perfect with a biryani, a curry or as a summer dip. It's easy to make and keeps for a couple of days in the fridge too.
I love making curries and one of the easiest side dishes to serve alongside is a quick and easy raita. This spinach raita ticks all the boxes. It's also a healthy side and a great way to eat just a few more greens!
It also makes a lovely change from my tomato, cucumber and onion raita which is another raita recipe I love.
What ingredients do you need for spinach raita?
- Spinach - I usually use fresh spinach for this but frozen spinach also works. Just defrost it and then use it in the same way.
- Yogurt - I usually use full fat Greek yogurt as it's a bit thicker and creamier than low fat yogurt. However, low fat yogurt also works. Just use whatever natural yogurt you prefer.
- Cumin seeds - If you don't have cumin seeds, just add a small pinch of ground cumin. You won't need to toast it first.
- Chilli powder - Use any kind of chilli powder, cayenne pepper or even paprika as you want just a hint of heat. Not too much as you still want it to be a cooling side dish.
- Pinch of salt
How to make spinach raita
This raita is really easy to make. I start by washing the spinach well and then microwaving it for a minute to wilt it. If you don't have a microwave you can steam it instead or just pour boiling water on it and leave it to stand for a short time then rinsing it in cold water.
You then need to squeeze all the water out of the spinach. I squeeze it with my hands and then mop up any excess water with kitchen roll. It's important to get the water out of the cooked spinach so it doesn't make the raita watery. Then just chop it up.
I usually toast the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan until they begin to smell fragrant too. If you're short on time or want to save a pan then just use a pinch of ground cumin.
Then, just mix all the ingredients together. Taste the raita and add a little extra chilli powder or cumin if you think it needs it.
Adaptations and substitutions
I don't usually vary this particular raita much. However, there are a few things you could change:
- If you want to make it vegan then use a vegan yogurt.
- I haven't tried it but I am sure kale would work as an alternative to spinach.
- Use ground cumin instead of cumin seeds.
- Experiment with different spices. Ground coriander or garam masala work well.
- Add some fresh coriander.
- Add some lemon juice or zest for a citrus tang.
How to store raita
Store any leftover raita in a covered container in the fridge. It should keep well for 2 days. Before serving just stir it again as it can separate a little.
Can you freeze raita?
I wouldn't advice freezing raita as it has a tendency to separate and go a bit grainy if frozen. It's so easy to make it's definitely better to make a smaller amount when you need it rather than trying to freeze it for later.
Personally I am happy to gobble up any leftovers with a spoon if we don't finish it all with our meal. The quantities for this recipe are not very big so we rarely have leftovers anyway.
More Indian side dishes
If you like this spinach raita then do check out some of my other Indian side dishes:
- ¼ tsp cumin seeds
- 60 g spinach
- 250 ml yogurt
- ¼ tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper paprika can be used as an altenative
- Pinch salt
- Wash the spinach well to remove any dirt. Put in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute.
- Rinse in cold water and leave to drain in a colander.
- Toast the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan and leave to cool. (If you are replacing with ground cumin you can skip this step).
- Squeeze any extra moisture out of the spinach with your hands and then pat it dry with kitchen roll. Then chop it up.
- Put the yogurt, cumin seeds, chilli powder, salt and chopped spinach into a bowl. Mix well.
- Serve as a side with curries, biryanis and grilled meats.
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