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Raita (Yogurt Cucumber Topping)

Recipe reprinted with permission from Feeding the Whole Family (third edition) by Cynthia Lair (Sasquatch Books, 2008)

Buy yogurt that has active cultures and no fillers (non-fat milk solids or pectin) or sweeteners added. Straus Family
and Stonyfield are good brands.

1 cup plain whole milk yogurt

1/2 cucumber
, peeled, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro or mint
1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground
Pinch of cayenne
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Chill for 30 minutes before serving.

Preparation time: 5 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling time
Makes 1 1/2 cups


Brooke Kingston
Our 15-month old son gobbled this up as though he hadn't eaten in days. He devoured it! So cool and delicious with the mint. Fast, easy and a delicious condiment. Thank you!
November 12, 2008, 12:49 pm

Dana Pisculich
Could you recommend a dairy free substitute for the whole milk yogurt? Thanks!
June 28, 2010, 5:47 pm

Cynthia Lair
Hi Dana, This is one dish where it is difficult to find a good non-dairy alternative. Most of the rice, soy and nut yogurts have a lot of sweeteners in them which is odd when used in this typically sour topping. What I have my no-dairy students do is cut up all the vegetables and dress them with a little rice vinegar and sugar and make a cucumber salsa to use instead.
June 28, 2010, 10:12 pm

Chandin G.
Hi Cynthia! How long would this last if we didn't use it all? 1 week? Maybe 2?
March 25, 2011, 5:58 pm

Cynthia Lair
Chandin, Should last a week. Not 2. The water in the cucumbers will begin to emerge as they break down and the mixture can get rather watery. Also the texture of the cucumber would no longer be crisp.
March 27, 2011, 9:27 am

Bill Clark
We would like to contact Cynthia to see if she would do a private nutrition consult for our 12 year son who is having trouble getting the nutrition he needs and gaining weight. He plays soccer, runs track and cross country. Thanks.
June 18, 2013, 9:09 pm

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