Lemon Cucumber Raita

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My colleague is a keen gardener and is always surprising us with fruits and vegetables from his half acre garden where he grows fruits and vegetables using poly tunnels. Last week, he gave us these lovely yellow lemon cucumbers. They don’t have a lemon taste but look a bit like small yellow lemons. They reminded me of the kind of cucumbers we used to get in Kenya and India where sliced cucumbers were served as fruit sprinkled with salt and chilli powder. They were a real thirst quencher in the hot weather. I used my cucumber to make a raita

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A lot of Indian restaurants serve raita, pickle and papadams (really called papads) as soon as you sit down to order your meal. In Indian homes- raitas, pickles and papads are all served as part of an Indian meal together with the curries, dalls and chapatis or any other Indian bread such as parathas.  The name implies that it’s a dish containing mustard but most restaurants don’t add mustard to their raita.  Try out my recipe and let me know the difference in taste.

Ingredients

    • 1 lemon cucumber (you can substitute this with any cucumber or grated carrots or even diced bananas.
    • 1-2 finely sliced green chillies
    • 2 cups of Greek style yogurt
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ½ tsp mustard paste ( any make you like)
    • 2-3 cloves of garlic (crushed using a garlic press)
    • 1 tsp of grated ginger
    • pinch of ground cumin
    • pinch of turmeric
    • pinch of ground black pepper
    • some watercress ( you can also use fresh mint)
    • 2-3 cherry tomatoes for garnishing

Method:

1.  Peel and grate the cucumber and transfer it to a mixing bowl.   Add all the spices – including the  chillies, garlic, ginger, the mustard paste and watercress to the mixing bowl.   Add the two cups of yogurt and mix well. P1180468

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2. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with some baby tomatoes and watercress. Sprinkle some ground pepper and keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.  We don’t serve raita as a dip but as part of a meal as the cool raita helps to balance out all the different tastes of food served in an Indian thali (plate).

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3. For those of you feeling adventurous, add very finely chopped spring onions to the raita!!

  • Hi Mina – I know you serve this with a meal, but I think it sounds like it would make a great dip for homemade bread sticks and chunks of french bread.
    Lenie

    • Lenie – Yes, a lot of my students have been using it as a dip and one has been marinating his chicken in the mixture before barbecuing it!!

  • I love cucumber raita, but must admit I’d never heard of lemon cucumbers. Your recipe sounds delicious.

    • You can use any cucumbers but I loved these lemon cucumbers for their taste.

  • I love dips 🙂 Plus I love all these great vegetarian dishes in general that you are bringing my way.

  • Jacqueline Gum

    Oh my this looks so good!! I love cucumbers but I have never heard of a lemon cucumber. This looks so refreshing and tasty…got try this one:)

  • Beautiful, yummy and super healthy. You’re a gem, Mina! Thank you. 🙂

  • Does a lemon cucumber taste different than a green one?

    • MinaJoshi5409

      the lemon cucumber doesn’t have a strong cucumber flavour. I really likes it as the raita didn’t get as runny as it does when using cucumbers.

  • Mmmm! My mother-in-law always makes a cucumber raita for every summer bbq! Your recipe sounds delicious! I might just have to forward this on to her for the next bbq! I can taste it now!

    • Carl – I hope your MIL will make this dish. My students love my raita.

  • Tim

    The only thing, in my opinion, fresher than cucumber is watermelon. Both are great for a summer snack and your recipe, as always, looks delicious.

    • Tim

      Fresh cucumbers, watermelons, mangoes and passion fruit used to be my all time favourite snacks when I lived in Kenya.

    • If the taste and color of watermelon is good otherwise it spoils the mood… No offence 🙂

      • But I am not using watermelon. I am using cucumber.

  • This is very easy recipe I never tried mustard in yogurt before I will surly give it a try tomorrow. But I am wondering , why this is not yellow because of turmeric and mustard?

    • Thank you for visiting my blog. Greek yogurt is quite thick so it takes a while for the raita to go slightly yellow. I only use a pinch of turmeric and ready made mustard so it does go very slightly yellow after a couple of hours. This final picture was taken very soon after I had made it. I hope that you made your raita and enjoyed it too.

    • MinaJoshi5409

      It does become slightly yellow

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