Mint raita with or without cucumber is my favourite Indian sauce, it’s just as good with a tower poppadoms as it is served with a biryani.
There is no cooking involved in this dish, it is a case of chopping some cucumber (if you are using it) and then mixing stuff together!
Indian Inspired Mint and Yoghurt Sauce
I am not a shortcut kinda cook, I spend hours trying to work out how to make stuff better not easier, because quite simply… I am worth it!
So this mint raita recipe is a rarity. It’s one where the shortcut is just as good, if not better than a from-scratch version.
The secret ingredient to this cheat is the same as in my kachumber salad recipe.
Mint sauce! Yup, that stuff that you get with your roast lamb. I had a friend in the UK whose wife swore by the stuff for both yoghurt raita and kachumber.
It works principally because it contains all the stuff that would normally go into a mint raita. Fresh mint, a sweetening agent and some form of acid.
Indians would likely use white vinegar or lemon juice, however, the flavour of malt vinegar is glorious to us Brits and it just works!
It is better because the flavours in it have been allowed to mellow and mature!
I also use the base of this recipe as a dressing for my paneer salad (pictured below).
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make mint sauce at home?
Yes, although I confess that I usually go for store-bought, despite it being very easy.
Take one large bunch of mint (50g or so) and chop it as finely as you can. Then pour 50ml of boiling water over it and stir, then add 50ml of malt vinegar and allow to cool. When cooled taste and add a combination of salt and either sugar or honey to taste.
Alternatively, you could follow this mint sauce recipe.
How long can I make raita in advance?
The sauce itself can be made 2-3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container.
If I am adding the cucumber I do that as close as possible to serving because it goes soggy if left in the sauce.
Why do you remove the cucumber seeds?
Cucumbers are packed with water, this dilutes the raita and makes it a bit “wishy washy”!
Can I use low or no-fat yoghurt?
Yes, as we are not cooking the yoghurt in this raita so there are no worries about it splitting. If cutting fat is your thing, knock yourself out!
This dish is much loved in the British Indian curry house and I use it far more liberally than it is often used.
It is pictured above with the cucumber served with my rajma masala (kidney bean) curry recipe.
But to be honest, gimme a mountain of poppadoms (pictured below) and a bucket of this mint raita, sans cucumber, and I’d not complain!
I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- Kitchen knife.
- Chopping board.
- Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
- Mixing bowl.
- Mixing spoons and a sharp-edged spoon to remove the cucumber seeds.
A cucumber and mint raita is the perfect cooling side for any spicy Indian curry and this cheats version is superb!
- 150g (~½) Natural Yoghurt
- 1½ Tbsp Mint Sauce
- 75g (½ Cup) Cucumber (Optional)
- Pinch of Salt
- 5-7g (½-1 Tsp) Honey
- Deseed the cucumber and cut into 1cm (½") cubes.
- Add the yoghurt and mint sauce to the yoghurt and stir.
- Taste and add salt and honey until you are happy.
- Allow to sit for 10 minutes before using.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 94Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 346mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 16gProtein: 4g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.