How To Make Raita For Biryani (Must-Try For Biryani Lovers!)

how to make raita for biryani

Wondering how to make raita for biryani? Here are 2 recipes – cucumber onion raita & beetroot raita – that won’t let you down!

How To Make Raita For Biryani

Everyone knows that fries go well with ketchup, and Sunday roast goes well with gravy. Likewise, raita and biryani are one of those heavenly combinations that work really well together.

Here’s a sure-fire way to make any biryani lover sad – give them biryani without raita on the side! This would drive me crazy!

Everyone makes their own variation of raita at home. I have 2 go-to recipes for raita: 1) the basic everyday recipe that is super quick and easy to make, i.e. cucumber and onion raita, and 2) the more dressed-up version that I make when I’m not rushing for time, i.e. beetroot raita.

Biryani Recipes You’re Going To Love

How To Make Cucumber Onion Raita For Biryani

how to make raita for biryani

This is the raita that I make most at home.

Whenever I have rice and curry, but couldn’t be bothered to make an elaborate vegetable dish, I throw together this quick raita to enjoy on the side.

And of course, this is a must whenever I make biryani at home!

It’s fresh and cooling, with a spicy kick from the chili and black pepper. And the best part – there’s absolutely no cooking required! You can easily make this cucumber raita recipe in under 10 minutes! How’s that for a speedy side dish?

Onions tend to get a bad rep for their strong, acrid taste. But trust me, paired with yogurt and other ingredients, the onions here are mild and crunchy; the perfect accompaniment to your biryani. How to make onion raita for biryani that changes your view on onions forever, you ask?

Just follow my cucumber onion raita recipe and dig in!

cucumber onion raita

Cucumber Onion Raita

This raita is super quick and easy to make! It doesn't require any cooking whatsoever. Just put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix. It's that simple! And oh-so yummy!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian


  • 1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 red chili, deseeded and chopped finely
  • 1 tsp chopped cilantro
  • 6 tbsp yogurt
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp coarse black pepper
  • Squeeze of lime (optional)


  • Add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
  • Taste for seasoning and add more if you prefer.
  • Keep in the fridge and serve chilled.
Keyword how to make raita for biryani

How To Make Beetroot Raita For Biryani

how to make raita for biryani

I must confess, I’m not the biggest fan of beetroot. In fact, I was convinced that I hated beetroot in any form until about a year ago when my mother-in-law made us this beetroot raita.

If you don’t like beetroot, this dish might just convert you! This beautifully pink dish, dyed by the natural color of the beetroot, is delicious. Paired with spices and yogurt, the beetroot is taken to a whole new level of YUM.

This raita recipe takes a little longer to make compared to the simple cucumber onion raita, but trust me, it’s worth it.

Also, if you’re having a dinner party, imagine serving this beautiful raita on the dining table as an accompaniment to your biryani? It would be oh-so gorgeous!

Here’s my mother-in-law’s addictive beetroot raita recipe.

beetroot raita

Beetroot Raita

Paired with yogurt and spices, this side dish takes beetroot to a whole new level. This beautiful pink salad serves 2 to 3 people & is naturally dyed by the wonderful color of the beetroot. It's the perfect accompaniment to any rice dish, especially biryani.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian


  • 1 beetroot, peeled, washed and grated
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • ½ red chili, minced
  • 4 tbsp yogurt
  • ¼ tsp salt


  • Transfer the grated beetroot into a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low and boil the beetroot for 5 minutes. Then, drain the water and set aside.
  • In a separate pan, heat oil on medium high before adding mustard, cumin and fennel seeds.
  • Once the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the shallots, and chili.
  • Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes before adding the beetroot. Mix well.
  • Cook for 5 minutes or until any excess water evaporates.
  • Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set it aside to cool.
  • Finally, add yogurt and season with salt. Start with ¼ tsp of salt, give it a taste, and add more if you prefer.
  • Keep in the fridge and serve chilled.
Keyword how to make raita for biryani

Frequently Asked Questions

What is raita sauce made of?

Raita is a yogurt sauce typically made with plain, full-fat yogurt, some kind of vegetable (onions and cucumbers being a popular choice), chilies, and herbs. It’s usually seasoned with salt and pepper.

Some even add lime juice and sprinkle garam masala on top to enhance the flavor and aroma.

Do you put raita on biryani?

Raita is a popular accompaniment for biryani, pulao, and other Indian dishes. It is not served on biryani, but on the side. It’s cool and fresh flavors complements the spicy flavors of biryani.

Why is raita served with biryani?

Raita, made with probiotic-rich yogurt, vegetables, and herbs, helps to improve digestion. Its cool, fresh flavors are also the perfect complement to the spicy, rich flavors of the biryani.

How do you make raita thicker?

If your raita is runny, you can thicken it by adding in some fresh cream. This will also give your raita a nice creamy texture.

Can I use mayonnaise instead of yogurt?

Mayonnaise has a very different taste and texture compared to yogurt, and it also lacks yogurt’s acidity and probiotics (which aids in digestion). Plus, mayonnaise is also rich in calories. So mayonnaise isn’t a good substitute for yogurt here.

Can I use Greek yogurt instead of plain yogurt?

Greek yogurt is just as good as plain yogurt for baking and sauces. Substitute plain yogurt with equal amounts of Greek yogurt. However, Greek yogurt tends to be tangier than regular yogurt, so taste as you go before adding souring agents such as lime juice.


If there’s one thing you take away from this blog post, it should be this – always serve biryani with raita on the side.

Go for the simple yet satisfying cucumber onion raita when you’re short on time. If you have a little more time, opt for the beautiful pink beetroot raita.

Either way, you can enjoy your biryani with its ultimate pairing with this easy recipe for raita for biryani.


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