Tomato Cucumber Raita

This cooling condiment of yogurt, cucumbers, tomatoes, and chili is the perfect complement to any Indian dish.

Growing up, holidays and special occasions usually meant a huge Kerala feast. The meal consisted of several meat curries (like chicken, pork, lamb, or beef), rice or biriyani, appam, cutlet, payasam, and of course condiments like pickle and yogurt. 

One of my favorites was the “yogurt sauce.” Haha, that’s what I called it. Of course, it’s more commonly known as raita, and it’s served at almost every Indian function along with all the delicious curries.

As a picky kid who was spice averse, I always gravitated towards the cooling yogurt vegetable raita and would drown my rice in it, not even minding the bits of tomato and onion.

Don’t let the simple ingredients and modest appearance of raita fool you. It not only helps cool the palate, but also adds so much flavor and texture to spicy Indian dishes!

The recipe below is pretty much how my parents used to make it, though every family makes it differently.

How to Make tomato cucumber raita

Raita is simply a condiment or side dish made of yogurt, spices, and sometimes vegetables or other ingredients.

The raita I grew up eating consisted of red onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes. For an extra kick, my dad liked to add minced chilies and other aromatics like ginger and sometimes garlic.

Everything is mixed together along with salt, and can be eaten right away, or kept in the fridge for several hours or a few days.

You can omit the tomatoes or cucumbers if you don’t like them. Don’t have any curry leaves? That’s okay, leave them out or substitute with cilantro.

But since this is a vegetable raita, I do recommend using some type of vegetable for crunch and flavor.

For a creamier raita, add more yogurt, and for a chunkier version, use less. You can also add more water for a thinned out (and easily pourable) raita.

As for spiciness, I prefer just a small amount of ginger and chili, whereas my husband prefers a lot of both, plus garlic! So customize it to your liking.

Raita can be kept in the fridge for several hours or up to 1-3 days (maybe even longer). However, the longer it sits, the more watery it becomes due to the vegetables.

The tomatoes may also turn the raita pink after several hours. To avoid this happening, mix all the ingredients together except for the tomatoes, and keep in the fridge. Then stir in the tomatoes 1-2 hours before eating.

Then enjoy your raita with rice and chicken, beef, or pork curry, and a side of thoran like cabbage or spinach.


Joby's Test Kitchen bowl of yogurt tomato raita.

Tomato Cucumber Raita

Joby’s Test Kitchen
This popular Kerala condiment is served at almost every Indian function!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1-2 small cucumbers, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/4 medium purple onion, minced or sliced
  • ½-1 small green chili, minced or sliced
  • 1-2 tsps minced ginger
  • 1-2 tsps minced garlic, optional
  • 5-10 fresh curry leaves (if you don't have any, sub with cilantro)
  • 1-2 cups yogurt
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • water, optional

Instructions
 

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add a few tablespoons of water if needed, to thin out the raita. Keep chilled in the fridge until ready to eat.

Notes

How Long Does Raita Last?

Raita can be kept in the fridge for several hours or up to 1-3 days (maybe even longer). However, the longer it sits, the more watery it becomes due to the vegetables. The tomatoes may also turn the raita pink after several hours. To avoid this happening, mix all the ingredients together except for the yogurt, and keep in the fridge. Then stir in the yogurt 1-2 hours before eating.
Keyword chilies, condiment, cucumber, Kerala, tomatoes, yogurt

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