Cooling, mildly spiced and packed with vegetables, this tomato, cucumber and onion raita is the perfect side dish to a hot and spicy curry!
One of my favourite things to make with yoghurt is a raita. There is a spinach raita that I often make but this time I didn't fancy that. I really wanted to make something different. I considered making a cucumber one but I often make tzatziki and cucumber raita is very similar.
The inspiration for this onion raita
I am a huge fan of Anjum Anand and love her Indian cookery books. This tomato cucumber and onion raita is very simialar to a recipe in her Indian Food Made Easy book. I've had this recipe book for quite a few years now but it's still one of my most used cookbooks. Indeed, if you need a simple Indian side dish, nothing could be easier than this raita recipe.
The ingredient that really makes this raita into a delicious accompaniment is the fresh coriander. It's my favourite herb and the one I could definitely not live without.
Ingredients for this cucumber raita
To make this raita you'll need:
- Red onion - Use a brown onion, spanish onion or even spring onions if you don't have red onions. They will all change the flavour a little though.
- Tomato - To stop the raita being too runny, remove the seeds from the inside before chopping it up.
- Cucumber - I also remove the seeds from the middle of the cucumber before chopping it as they can also be quite watery
- Fresh coriander (cilantro) - This is brilliant in raita although if you don't like coriander you can replace it with a little mint or parsley or even omit it altogther.
- Natural yogurt - You can use full fat or reduced fat. It's up to you.
- Spices - Cumin, cayenne pepper and black pepper. You can use chilli powder instead of cayenne.
- Seasoning - Add a pinch of salt if necessary.
- Lemon juice - I use freshly squeezed lemon juice but you can add a little from a bottle instead.
What does this onion raita go well with?
This refreshing onion raita is a brilliant side dish if you're making a hot and spicy curry. I have quite a few curry recipes on Searching for Spice and this raita goes well with this North Indian chicken curry, this roasted romanesco curry or this lamb meatball curry.
Although if I'm being really lazy I just add a dollop of natural yogurt to the side of my plate.
The funny thing about natural yogurt is that for a long time I thought I didn't like it. For no reason. In fact, the only reason I can think of is that my parents didn't like it and as they weren't very keen, I assumed it was something to avoid.
I'm sure that's the reason why many of us don't like certain foods. That really is a shame when the food in question is something so healthy and something that is a key ingredient in so many cultures around the world. Luckily, I've now become a huge fan of yogurt and yogurt recipes.
Could you adapt this raita recipe?
You can certainly adapt this easy raita recipe. If you don't want tomatoes or cucumber or even onions in there then just mix and match to suit your tastes!
What if you want a completely spice free raita? Simple. Just omit the spices. I often make a really simple raita that just has coriander (cilantro) and lemon in it. It's still delicious and does the job of cooling down a curry perfectly.
Can you make this raita in advance?
You can make the raita in advance but be warned, sometimes the liquid may separate it so it is best to stir again before serving. If you have any leftover raita you can store it for 2-3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
More Indian Food Recipes
Here are just a few more of my Indian and Indian inspired recipes! I am a big fan of any Indian food and this raita recipe goes so well with all of them. You might also like my recipe collection for easy homemade curries from scratch.
Tomato, Cucumber and Onion Raita
- ½ red onion diced
- 1 tomato deseeded and diced
- 10 cm piece cucumber
- Handful coriander (cilantro)
- 4 tbsp natural yoghurt
- Pinch black pepper
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 1 lemon, juiced optional
- Mix everything together in a bowl.
- Taste and if necessary add more spices, salt or pepper.