Leftover Lamb And Learning About Raita


Raita* is a yogurt-based dish from South Asia/India. It is to these regions what tzatziki is to Greece. This dip, or condiment is used to cool the palate, as well as spicy dishes such as byrani. It’s terrific as a dip for crudite, or as an accompanyment to kebobs. There are many variations to raita, which makes raita accessable when making it at home with what you have on hand. For instance, you can make a raita just with spices, or fruit. How about cucumber raita, onion raita, or jalepeno raita? Sure! Make it with what you like.

To make my raita for lamb pitas, I mixed a cup of plain yogurt until creamy. Next, I added shredded cucumber, diced tomatoes, a pinch of cayenne peper and 1 teaspoon each of corriander and cumin. Many recipes call for toasting the cumin and corriander seeds, then crushing them. I’m sure this tastes even better, but what I have on hand is already crushed.

So, basically, if you have yogurt, you can make raita! Today, I whipped up a quickie raita while I warmed up leftover lamb. In a whole wheat pita, I placed the lamb, lettuce, tomatoes, feta and raita. It was a terrific way to use leftover meat. Two thumbs up from Frank, and two paws up from the dogs!

Here are a few recipes so you can get an idea for more exact measurements, and an appreciation for just how diverse this condiment is.

Raita Recipes

Nigella Lawson’s Pomegranite Raita


Padma Lakshmi’s Cucumber and Yogurt Salad


Cooking Light’s Walnut-Yogurt Dip


Answers.com video with recipe


*The best part of writing this post was finding out just how raita is pronounced. It’s rite-a, not ray-ee-ta, as I’ve been saying *face plant*. Ugh.




2 Responses to “Leftover Lamb And Learning About Raita”

  1. Hi Ramona,

    Kingstowne farmers market starts Friday. Hope you plan to come by. We can discuss raitas… you are off to a good start, although they don’t usually include nuts. My favorite… banana raita with a hint of Coleman’s mustard. Sounds weird, but it’s awesome.

  2. Hi Smita!!
    Thank goodness farmers market season is in full swing-I’ve missed you! I’m a raita newbie, so any hints would help!
    See you soon!

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment