This stunning pink beetroot raita with grated beetroot and plain yogurt makes a delicious cooling addition to any Indian meal. With a mild sweetness from the beets, and sharpness tang from the yogurt, it is a refreshing dish that is made from just 4 ingredients.
Raita is an Indian yogurt sauce that is a delicious accompaniment to spicy curries, the yogurt lessening the heat of the spice, as well as being a tasty snack eaten alongside samosas, naan or chapati. There are many different varieties of raita prepared throughout India, the recipe varying from region to region; family to family. Raita can be made from various fruits and vegetables and whilst more commonly made with cucumber, this raita recipe uses beetroot.
Why we love this recipe
- It’s a healthy and tasty side to Indian meals.
- Simple to make – the hardest part is cooking the beetroot.
- So pretty – and that colour is all natural!
- It makes a delicious healthy dip.
- The raita is gluten free and vegetarian
Ingredients notes and substitutions
- Beetroot – I recommend you use freshly cooked beetroot (see tip below for how to cook beetroot). Don’t use jarred or tinned beetroot as this will change the flavour of your raita.
- Yogurt – I like to use full fat plain yogurt, but you can use low-fat yogurt too, it just won’t taste quite as rich and creamy. If you can buy dahi, (an Indian yogurt often referred to as curd), use this instead and leave out the lemon juice.
- Ground cumin – cumin powder, you could substitute with a half or one teaspoon of roasted cumin seeds, or roast and grind them into roasted cumin powder for extra cumin earthiness.
- Lemon juice – fresh lemon juice provides a hint of sharpness which goes well against the sweet beetroot.
- Salt – use sea salt or kosher salt, this is added to the raita to enhance the savoury flavour.
How to make this recipe
- Coarsely grate your cooked beetroot.
- Add the grated beetroot to a bowl with yogurt, ground cumin and mint (optional).
- Add the lemon juice and season with salt.
- Mix well to combine and taste to test if it needs more lemon juice or salt.
- Spoon in to a serving dish and serve straight away or keep in the fridge until needed.
Keep the raita in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days. Stir before serving, and serve cold.
I do not recommend using jarred beetroot in raita. It will change the taste of the raita, and some varieties can make the raita a red-brown colour which isn’t appetizing.
Grate the beetroot as you would an apple of carrot with a box grater. It is best to wear gloves to grate beetroot, otherwise you will end up with purple hands! You can also shred the beetroot in a food processor or use a grater attachement.
My Recipe Tips
- Don’t omit the salt, it makes a huge difference to the flavour of the raita, making it a delicious savoury yogurt dip.
- Taste the raita before serving, and adjust with lemon juice if it needs to be a little sharper, or salt if you want it to taste a little more savoury.
How to cook beetroot:
I use boiled beetroot for this recipe. How to boil beetroot: Place the unpeeled beetroot in a pan of cold water, leaving the root and a couple of centimetres/ 1 inch of stalk attached to the beetroot. Make sure the water covers the beet by about 2 cm. Bring to the boil and then simmer for around 30 minutes (depending on size of beetroot.) They are cooked when tender, and you can easily peel the skin away with a blunt knife. Cooked beetroot will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.
You can also roast beetroot, or cook beets in an instant pot or pressure cooker.
- Serve alongside your favourite curry with coriander chutney
- Use as a dip for this chapati recipe, naan breads and popadoms, or serve with hot crispy parmentier potatoes (I love hot potatoes with cold dip!)
- Serve as an Indian beetroot yogurt salad (you may wish to decrease the amount of yogurt slightly).
- Serve with samosas (and samosa pinwheels).
What to do with leftover raita:
- Spooned over grilled salmon.
- On toast sprinkled with goats cheese or walnuts.
- Toddler mini Jones loves it as a yogurt dip with pinwheels, baked cheese puffs or pasta.
- Vegan raita: use plain vegan yogurt.
- Chopped beetroot raita: You can chop the beetroot into chunks rather than grate it if you prefer a chunky texture to your beet raita, or finely chop the beetroot if you don’t want to grate it.
- Other vegetables: you can make a beetroot carrot raita, or beetroot cucumber raita – use less beetroot and make up to 225g (8oz) with raw grated carrot or grated cucumber.
- Spice: add some finely chopped green chilli, or fry a teaspoon of mustard seeds or cumin seeds in a little oil and stir them in to your raita or sprinkle them on top.
More easy dips and salsas
- 8 oz (225g) cooked beetroot, coarsely grated See note for cooking beetroot
- 1c (250g) Plain yogurt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- teaspoon fresh lemon juice optional
- pinch sea salt to taste
- fresh mint optional
- nigella seeds optional, to decorate
- In a bowl, mix the yogurt with grated beetroot, ground cumin and mint, if using.
- Add lemon juice, if using (some yogurts are quite sharp so don't need this extra sharpness)
- Season with salt to taste.
- Spoon into bowl and decorate with mint leaves and nigella seeds, if using.
- Serve straight away or chill in fridge until needed. If you are serving the raita from the fridge, give a quick stir.
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