|Alternative names||रायता, রায়তা|
|Place of origin||Indian subcontinent|
|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 the common name of a condiment, originating from the Indian subcontinent, made with 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 Hindustani is a derivative or portmanteau of the Sanskrit word rajika, meaning black mustard, and tiktaka, meaning sharp or pungent. In South India, especially Kerala and Tamil Nadu, traditional raita is called pachadi.
Raita is also sometimes simply called dahi, or "sourmilk", after its main ingredient, particularly in South African Indian cuisine.
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.
Some of the popular varieties of raita recipes are okra raita, tomato-onion-green chilli raita, beetroot raita and guava raita. Some raitas are topped with chopped coriander leaves. Raitas made from fruits like Pineapple are usually sweet. Raitas also serve with spicy Aloo Parathas.
Pachadi is the South Indian variation of Raita.
Raita is served as a side dish to be eaten with main course dishes.
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