|Alternative names||रायता, রায়তা|
|Region or state||Indian subcontinent with regional variations|
|Associated national cuisine||India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal|
|Main ingredients||Dahi (yogurt), buttermilk, cucumber, mint|
|Variations||Dahi chutney, Pachadi|
|46 kcal (193 kJ)|
Raita is a side dish in Indian cuisine made of dahi (yogurt, often referred to as curd) together with raw or cooked vegetables, more seldom fruit, or in the case of boondi raita, with fried droplets of batter made from besan (chickpea flour, generally labeled as gram flour).
The closest approximation in western cuisine is a side dish or dip, or a cooked salad. It is often referred to as a condiment, but unlike traditional western condiments like salt, pepper, mustard and horseradish that make dishes more spicy, a dish of dahi or raita has a cooling effect to contrast with spicy curries and kebabs that are the main fare of some Asian cuisines. In Indian cuisine, some type of flatbread may be eaten together with raita, chutneys and pickles.
The word raita first appeared in print around the 19th century; it comes from the Hindi language. The word raita in Bengali language and Hindi is a portmanteau of the Sanskrit word rajika or the derivative Hindi rai (pronounced "ra-ee") meaning black mustard seed, and tiktaka, meaning sharp or pungent.
A variety of raita of India varies from region to region, most notable raithas are boondi raitha—tiny balls of fried gram flour (chickpea flour), which may taste salty or tīkhā (spicy) and onion raita and vegetable raita. The mixture is served chilled. Raita may cool the palate when eating spicy Indian dishes.
- Bathua ka raita, popular in Haryana in winters
- Cucumber raita
- Lauki (bottle gourd/calabash) raita, popular in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh
- Beetroot raita
- Brinjal raita
- Carrot raita
- Chili salt raita, could be chopped fresh chilies or just the dried chili powder
- Horned melon raita
- Mint and peanut raita
- Onion coriander spring onion raita
- Onion tomato raita
- Potato raita
- Pumpkin raita
- Spinach raita
- Garlic mint raita
Made either from sprouted pulses, roasted pulses or other condiments made from pulse flour.
As a side dish
Raita is served as a side dish to be eaten with main course dishes.
As a sauce (not traditional)
- Grilled chicken
As a dressing (not traditional)
- Pasta salad
- Tzatziki, a similar dish found in Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine
- Pachadi, a South Indian pickle side dish similar to Raita
- Chukauni, a Nepalese potato side dish
- Sedgwick, Fred (2009). Where words come from: A dictionary of word origins. London: Continuum International Publishing group. ISBN 9781847062741.
- "Raita". Merriam Webster.
- "How To Make South-Indian-Style Tomato Raita". NDTV Food. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
- "स्थानीय उत्पादनको प्रवद्र्धन : पाहुनालाई घिउ, मह र मकैको रोटी". Naya Patrika. Retrieved 27 August 2022.
- "सुदूरको स्याउली थाप्ने चलन लोप हुँदै". प्रशासन (in Nepali). Retrieved 27 August 2022.
साइतमा जानेहरूका लागि स्याउली थाप्ने चलन, साउन महिनामा धानको खेतबारीमा गएर राइतो, बटुक बनाएर हरेला खाने चलन
- Mehta Gambhir, Aloka (25 May 2011). "Tandoori chicken with Tomato Raita". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
- American Dietetic Association (2009). Cultural Food Practices. American Dietetic Associat. p. 244. ISBN 9780880914338.
- Basic Food Preparation (Third ed.). Orient Longman Private limited. 1986. ISBN 81-250-2300-3.
- Bathua ka Raita | Haryana and Uttar Pradesh bathua recipe | Indian cuisine, masterchefu.com.