Creamy, flavorful, and refreshing, this Vegan Raita is the perfect side to a spicy meal. Made in just 5-10 minutes, this simple dish complements Indian-style dishes perfectly.
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Hey Internet, I felt compelled to share this recipe with you since I am publishing my vegan biryani recipe on the same day and the two pair perfectly together.
But raita is actually a common side dish in Indian cuisine. In fact, there are MANY varieties of raita, many made with various veggies or even fruit as the main ingredient.
What is raita? It is a yogurt sauce with finely chopped veggies (sometimes cooked, sometimes raw) or fruit and herbs.
Today I’m sharing with you a veganized version of a very basic raita that includes cucumber, onion, cilantro, and mint.
This recipe is super quick to make and goes extremely well with curries, biryani, any kind of spicy dish, or paratha (on my list!).
You can also use homemade raita non-traditionally--add it to a more substantial salad, put some on a sandwich, eat it on it’s own with cooked rice, etc.
I’ll include a few different ways to customize my vegan raita recipe, but just have some fun with it! Cooking is all about experimenting, finding what you like, and having a little fun in the process.
What You’ll Need
- Vegan yogurt: Use a plain unsweetened vegan yogurt for this recipe. My favorite is Kite Hill vegan yogurt because it’s thick and creamy but definitely a little tangy. Forager Project vegan yogurt is also really good. Keep in mind these are nut-based so if you cannot have nuts, you may be able to find plain coconut yogurt or plain soy yogurt. You can also substitute a sour cream like my tofu sour cream. I’d use less lemon till you try it--raita is supposed to be tangy but not super sour.
- Onion: Raw onion may not sound appetizing to many folks--it doesn’t to me anyway. But trust me on this, some finely diced fresh onion in the raita is SO good. I used white onion, but try sweet or yellow onion if you want less of a bite. It also provides a lovely crunch.
- Cucumber: I mentioned before this is a more basic raita recipe. But I LOVE cucumber and yogurt type sauce together (like my vegan tzatziki). Cucumber is so refreshing here. I recommend using seedless or Persian cucumbers because they are less watery and the skin is thin and easy to eat. If using regular cucumber, I recommend peeling it and seeding it first.
- Green chilies: It’s traditional to add chilies for a little heat to raita, but some prefer raita to be mild when eating with a spicy dish. I included a somewhat mild green chili in mine, but feel free to omit.
- Cilantro and mint: Fresh herbs are a hallmark of raita. If you aren’t a fan of cilantro, try parsley instead.
- Cumin: I used cumin powder to keep it simple, but if you’d prefer, toast some cumin seeds in a dry pan and grind them in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder for more flavor.
- Sea salt
- Lemon juice: Optional--but I like my raita a little more on the tangy side so I squeezed a small lemon into it.
How to Make Vegan Raita
- Mix together the vegan yogurt, salt, cumin powder (or ground toasted cumin), and lemon juice until well combined.
- Add in the onion, cucumber, chilies (if using), and fresh herbs and stir gently.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Refrigerate leftovers for 2-3 days in an airtight container.
What to Eat Raita With
Raita is a great, cooling side for any spicy meal, but it also just adds another layer of flavor, texture, and temperature to any main dish. It’s perfect with:
Or even Chinese Curry if you want to do a fusion night!
More Flavorful Vegan Side Dishes
Sides should be exciting, not boring. Here’s a few of my favorite flavorful side dishes.
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too.
These vegan raita is:
- And great for a side dish, especially as with curry!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!