Onion raita, or pyaaz ka raita in Hindi, is a classic Indian dish that is easy to make and incredibly versatile. This bright, flavorful combination of Greek yogurt, lemon juice, onions, chilis, cumin, and mint makes a mouthwatering dip, salad, side dish, or condiment.
When it comes to lavish, exotic flavor combinations, Indian Cuisine features some of my very favorites along the Silk Road.
This vibrant and versatile yogurt sauce is bright and tangy, cool and creamy, with just the right hint of spicy heat. Try it once and you’ll be hooked!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Greek Yogurt – Bright and tangy, this adds richness and forms a silky smooth base.
- Lemon Juice – Offers a snap of acidity and thins the yogurt.
- Cumin – Smoky, woodsy cumin adds a touch of subtle earthy warmth.
- Sugar – A dash of sweetness harmonizes and balances the surrounding flavors.
- Onion – Pungent, snappy, and slightly sweet, red onions infuse the recipe with loads of savory flavor and a splash of color.
- Chili Peppers – Add a pop of peppery heat and a lovely flash of red.
- Mint – Brings a fresh, cooling element to the mix.
- Toppers – For a little extra heat, top off your onion raita with red chili powder or choose Chaat Masala for a brighter, tangier effect.
HOW TO MAKE ONION RAITA
- Blend Wet Ingredients. Whisk the yogurt, lemon juice, and water together in a bowl. Thin the yogurt to a loose, but not watery, consistency. The mixture should stay thick enough to cling to the onion. Blend in the sugar, salt, cumin and set aside.
- Slice the Onions. Slice the red onions into thin rings using either a mandolin or sharp knife until you have one full cup of slices. Save any remaining onion for other purposes. If you want to remove a bit of the sharpness, you can place the slices in a sieve and rinse them under cold water.
- Chop Herbs & Spices. Chop the mint leaves and process the red chili pepper. Start by removing the seeds, cutting into thin strips, and then dicing.
- Combine Ingredients. Transfer the onion slices, diced chili, and chopped mint to the yogurt and stir to combine well.
- Serve Immediately. Sprinkle the top with chaat masala or red chili powder. You can enjoy it immediately or cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes first. This lets the flavors marry and develop more. Enjoy!
What Do You Eat Onion Raita With?
This tantalizingly tangy condiment goes well with a surprising number of dishes. It has the ability to lighten up heavy dishes or add richness to light ones, all while cooling the palate and aiding digestion.
Get creative and see how this dynamically delicious can brighten up your favorite meals! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Serve it with a curry dish like this Indian Chicken Curry or Cauliflower Curry.
- Enjoy it with fresh vegetables or by itself, as a savory yogurt snack.
- Have some alongside a fresh batch of Garlic Naan Bread.
- Pair raita with freshly steamed Jeera Rice and veggies.
- Use a dollop to dress up your tacos, burgers, wraps, or sandwiches.
Is Raita the Same as Tzatziki?
Raita and tzatziki are both versatile, yogurt based condiments infused with a combination of vegetables, spices, and fresh herbs. While they share a number of similarities, they also have a few important differences.
- Origin: Raita recipes, like this onion raita, originate in India. Tzatziki, on the other hand, has origins in Greece.
- Thickness: Tzatziki is generally made with Greek yogurt and is meant to have a thick consistency. Raita is typically thinner. That’s why, even though this onion raita recipe called for Greek yogurt, we purposely thinned it with lemon juice.
- Ingredients: Raita is a term encompassing a whole class of yogurt dishes that can have anything from onions to kiwi as the featured fruit or vegetable. Spices vary, almost always including a bit of heat from cumin, chili peppers, and black pepper. The fresh herbs in a raita recipe might be mint, parsley or even cilantro. Tzatziki has a more specific formula and is almost always made with fresh cucumbers, garlic, lemon and dill.
What is Onion Raita Made Of?
Onion raita is a versatile, cool and creamy condiment made from a combination of Greek yogurt, onions, chili peppers, spices and fresh herbs.
This onion raita recipe calls for red chilis, cumin, and fresh mint leaves, among other ingredients. Other raita recipes may also include other spices and herbs such as green chilis, black pepper, or fresh coriander leaves.
Onion Raita Recipe (Pyaaz Ka Raita)
- In a bowl whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice and water to thin yogurt. You want this to have a loose consistency, but not watery (it needs to cling to the onions). Stir through the cumin, salt and sugar. Let sit while you slice onion.
- Use a sharp knife or mandolin and thinly slice the red onion into rings. You'll need 1 cup total, save remaining onion for other use. Rinse onion in sieve under cold water (this helps remove sharpness, optional).
- Remove seeds from red chili. Slice into thin strips and then dice. Chop the mint leaves.
- Transfer the onions, red chili and mint to the yogurt mixture and stir to mix thoroughly.
- Serve immediately with a sprinkle of red chili powder or chaat masala on top, or chill, covered, for 30 minutes for flavors to develop (optional).
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.