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Vegan Raita (Indian Yogurt Dip)

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Raita is made with unsweetened full-fat yogurt (if you try using Greek yogurt in raita, every Indian aunty I know will give you a disapproving glance). Of course, my version is vegan and uses a plant-based yogurt.
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Total 15 minutes
5 from 13 votes

Raita is a quintessential Indian recipe that is the key to balance.

If you’ve ever eaten traditional Indian food, chances are it was quite spicy. After all, one of the keys to making delicious Indian food is being liberal with the spices.

But the spice-laden flavors of Indian food often need a cooling contrast. In India, this cooling factor often comes in the form of raita, a spiced yogurt dip. As with most dishes in India—an incredibly diverse country of 1.3 billion people, more than 2,000 ethnic groups, and hundreds of dialects—raita is made in different ways throughout the country.

What is Raita?

At most Indian restaurants in the U.S., you’ll find raita made with cucumber (as in this recipe), but it can be made in a wide variety of ways. You might find it with beets or pomegranate (yes, that means the yogurt will turn pink!) or with cooked potato or winter squash.

Raita also includes a combination of spices and herbs (usually ground cumin along with fresh cilantro and mint), but, of course, variations abound. For the best flavor, I recommend toasting whole cumin seeds and then grinding them yourself using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, but I often make this with pre-ground cumin powder from the grocery store and it’s still delicious.

However you make it, raita makes a fitting complement to the bold, spicy curries and dals common in Indian cuisine. And the best part is how easy it is to make! It takes all of five minutes and stores well in the fridge for a few days.

Traditionally, raita is made with unsweetened full-fat yogurt (if you try using Greek yogurt in raita, every Indian aunty I know will give you a disapproving glance). Of course, my version is vegan and uses a plant-based yogurt.

I prefer using the Homemade Coconut Yogurt from my cookbook, The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook, but I also love these brands of yogurt: Culina, GT’s Cocoyo, and CocoJune.

vegan raita in a white bowl with spoon.

What to serve raita with?

Basically, almost any Indian recipe that is spicy can use a little raita :)

It’s excellent with main dishes like Tofu Tikka Masala, Red Lentil Curry, and Dal Makhani, as well as side dishes like Baingan Bharta.

dal tadka served with vegan raita and flatbread.


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Vegan Raita (Indian Yogurt Dip)

5 from 13 votes
Raita is made with unsweetened full-fat yogurt (if you try using Greek yogurt in raita, every Indian aunty I know will give you a disapproving glance). Of course, my version is vegan and uses a plant-based yogurt.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Indian
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 4


  • 1/4 of a medium cucumber, unpeeled
  • 1 cup unsweetened nondairy yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1- inch piece fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Juice of 1⁄2 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper or Indian red chili powder (this is NOT the same thing as regular chili powder; it’s pure chili powder and is much spicier)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste


  • Grate the cucumber using a box grater. Wrap the grated cucumber in several layers of paper towels or in a clean dish towel and squeeze thoroughly to press out as much water as you can.
  • Add the grated cucumber to a bowl with the nondairy yogurt. Add in the remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 60mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 202IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 0.4mg


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5 from 13 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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20 comments on Vegan Raita (Indian Yogurt Dip)

  1. Kim

    Planning on making this for a vegan Indian Thanksgiving feast. In the description it says that every Indian aunty would disapprove of using Greek yogurt., yet in the comments, one of the Rainbow Plant Life recommendations is to use a Greek-style vegan yogurt. I am confused as to what to buy. Avoid vegan Greek-style or seek it out?

    1. Nisha

      Lol one of the things about being vegan is that you sometimes have to make substitutions from the original.

      Standard vegan yogurts are quite thin, so a vegan Greek yogurt is actually a nice option so the raita stays creamy and doesn’t get watered down.

      My personal favorite yogurt to use in raita (and yogurt sauces in general) is a creamy, tangy coconut-based yogurt (I love Culina and CocoJune brands the most; they don’t taste overly coconutty and no one ever knows they’re vegan).

      The only vegan Greek yogurt I’ve tried is from Kite Hill. It has a great texture but the taste is a little awkward, but with all the different spices, I think it would work well.

  2. C

    Is it best to use a thick ‘kwark’ yogurt. Or a regular ‘runny’ yogurt.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi C, a thick yogurt is best so the raita doesn’t get runny. We don’t have kwark here in the U.S., but we prefer a thick coconut based yogurt or a greek-style vegan yogurt.

  3. Kaiya

    5 stars
    So delicious! I can’t wait to pair this with more recipes that you have taught me to make. I really should’ve been making this sooner. Thank you so much Nisha for another wonderful recipe!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Kaiya, So glad to hear you loved this recipe! :)

  4. Mike

    5 stars
    Stunning result! Thanks Nisha

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, Mike!

  5. Chet

    Nisha, I have your InstantPot book and in the coconut yogurt recipe you say ‘use a probiotic powder’. I dont want to do it by trial & error and waste a few batches. I would like to know products that I can buy at local Whole Foods, or a glossary store use that will give me good result.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Chet, I’m not sure which brands you have in your Whole Foods store, but instead of specific brands, we recommend looking at whether the capsules contains one of these common bacteria strains:

      Carefully open the capsule and measure out the powder inside until you reach 1 teaspoon.

      A few vegan probiotic brands include Rexall Naturalist Probiotic Acidophilus with Citrus Pectin” (which we have tested in this recipe), Renew Life Adult Probiotics, and Vie Naturelle ​​Acidophilus probiotics.

  6. vegan radha

    5 stars
    Made this today, good, thx for the recipe !

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, Radha!

  7. Rachel

    5 stars
    Amazing well worthy of the 5 ⭐️

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Rachel, So glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  8. Rachel

    This was a perfectly flavoured raita. It’s now our go to recipe. 😍

  9. Bella

    5 stars
    You are such a pleasure to watch and your recipes are all so amazing. It is clear, precise and turn out super delicious. PlEASE keep doing what you are doing. I have bought your book and gifted a few to my family and friends.
    P.S. I also have been looking for recipes for Indian vegan keto. Would love for you to share some fun yummy recipes 🙏🏼😊

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thank you for the lovely comment, Bella! So glad to hear you’re a fan of the recipes. We are huge proponents of carbohydrates over here so unfortunately we don’t plan on intentionally creating keto recipes in the future. We just found this article that may be of help to you, you can likely make some substitutions to make the recipes vegan!

  10. Denia Bravo

    5 stars
    I love this dish. Simply delicious! I am vegan. I highly recommend it.
    Thank you for sharing. Many blessings 🙏


    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Denia. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  11. Shuvya

    This is an amazing raita! Highly recommend it!

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