Cucumber in Yogurt (Raita)

For thousands of years the Indians of the subcontinent have believed that yogurt (dahi) is paramount in importance to maintaining good health.  An Indian meal is incomplete without the accompaniment of plain yogurt, pickles, fresh salads, and chutneys.  Remove salads and chutneys from the refrigerator an hour before serving.

Cucumber in Yogurt (Raita)

Serves 6-8

1 large cucumber, peeled
Salt to taste
2 cups plain yogurt
¼-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
1 small fresh green chili, chopped fine
1 small onion, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
½ teaspoon roasted ground cumin

Cut the cucumber in half and remove the seeds.  Grate the cucumber and transfer to a bowl; mix the salt and set aside for 1 hour.

Drain the cucumber through a sieve for 30 minutes and squeeze out all the liquid from the cucumber.

Combine the yogurt, ginger, green chili, onion, and cilantro leaves with the cucumber.  Sprinkle with roasted cumin powder.


Check out my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at


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