Raita. Indian Yogurt Side Dish with Tomatoes and Onions

Raita, an Indian yogurt side dish is very popular in our house.  It’s basically yogurt with raw vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, cilantro and cucumbers along with some spices.  


Raita many ways

In many Indian households raita is served to soothe the palatte when the main Indian meal is too spicy, as the yogurt raita helps to neutralize the heat of chili.

There are many variations of raita. I’ve made raita with chopped spinach and onions, a variation with grated cucumbers and cilantro, one with shredded carrots and green onions, the possibilities are endless.


Many Indian restaurants serve a simple raita made with yogurt and raw vegetables. This variation of raita can be made in an instant. Just mix yogurt with raw vegetables and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add 1/2 tsp cumin powder and mix-into yogurt to make a delicious raita in just minutes.


Here I would like to share a South Indian variation of raita with toasted mustard seeds, asafetida, tomatoes and onions.

Tomato and Onion Raita with toasted Mustard seeds and asafetida


  • Plain yogurt. 2 cups any type
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • Few sprigs of cilantro finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp asafoetida powder
  • Oil


  • Place all the cut vegetables in a bowl. Add yogurt and salt and mix all ingredients together.  Set aside.
  • Warm 1 tbsp oil. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Turn the stove off. Add 1 tsp asafoetida powder until aroma is released (about 2-3 sec). Add green chili or red chili if using and lightly fry in warm oil for 2-3 seconds. Add this oil to the yogurt and mix-in.
  • Top with chopped cilantro for garnish and serve raita chilled.

6 thoughts on “Raita. Indian Yogurt Side Dish with Tomatoes and Onions”

  1. Very good post for summer. Raita can be had just by itself or as a side dish with rice and curry.

  2. Kalpana Sheth – This is a ” Cooling ” side dish to a spicy meal – be it Biriyani or traditional South indian meal . The difference between a Raita ( North indian version) and Pacchadi (South Indian Version) is in the seasoning . One uses Mustard Seeds only in Pacchadi , not Raita . We can make ” Boondi ” Raita also . My mom used to make the best Eggplant Pacchadi after roasting the Eggplant and peeling the skin off . One can use Okra also for Pacchadi . Indeed , a dish with endless possibilities and easy to prepare .

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