Why It Works
- Full-fat yogurt adds richness to the tart condiment.
- Chaat masala adds heat, tang, and aromatics in one shot.
- A touch of sugar balances out the heat and acid.
No Indian meal is complete without a dish of raita on the table. Raita is a yogurt-based condiment that can be as simple as yogurt seasoned with spice, or it can have a variety of vegetables, fruit, or even chickpea fritters (called boondi) stirred into it.
This is the most classic version; it includes crisp cucumbers and is gently spiced with a touch of chaat masala. This raita is best alongside biryani and other meat and rice dishes.
- 1 cup full-fat yogurt (8 ounces; 230g)
- 1 Thai green chili, minced (about 2g)
- One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated finely (about 6g)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chaat masala (see note)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon kala namak (Himalayan black salt); see note
- 1 cup coarsely grated unpeeled cucumber (4 ounces; 120g)
- 1/4 cup (15g) chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
In a medium bowl, using a flexible rubber spatula, stir together yogurt, Thai green chili, ginger, chaat masala, sugar, and black salt. Fold in grated cucumber and cilantro. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
The chaat masala recipe linked here is easy on the salt and packed with flavorful spices. If you're using a store-bought chaat masala, you may need to decrease the amount of salt and add extra spices to taste.
Kala namak is funky and aromatic unrefined salt. If you cannot find it, you can substitute an equal volume of kosher salt.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Store leftover raita in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.