Spicy cucumber and mint raita

My first raita experience was at Baba Ghannouj. The meal was preceded by small triangles of pita served with raita and another dipping sauce. I loved the raita but didn’t really have a craving for it — until I saw Elise’s cucumber and mint raita, and I realized that everything I needed to make a bowl of raita was right here in my pantry and garden. So, last night, our baked tilapia dinner was preceded by a bowl of spicy raita and whole wheat paratha.

casaveneracion.com Spicy cucumber and mint raita

If you’re not familiar with raita, it is a yogurt-based sauce/condiment that is popular in South Asian cuisine. Grated or finely chopped vegetables and spices are added and the result is a thickish savory mixture that is perfect for dipping bread. It’s delicious, healthy, very easy to make and the ingredients are staples in most pantries. It can be an appetizer or a midday snack. Or even an anytime snack.


  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and seeds scraped off
    1/2 c. of plain yogurt
    about 8 large mint leaves
    a small handful of cilantro
    a pinch of cumin
    a pinch or two of chili flakes
    1/2 tsp. of grated ginger
    juice of 1/4 lemon
    salt, to taste


  1. Grate the cucumber (I used a micro-plane grater).

    Finely slice the mint leaves (see tip on making a chiffonade).

    Chop the cilantro.

    Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir.

    Serve chilled with toasted flat bread.

Cooking time (duration): 10 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 1 cup of raita

Meal type: hors d’oerves / snack

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