This Garlic Zucchini Raita is a yogurt based side dish with a strong garlic flavour that is typically served with Indian dishes to offset the spicy heat of curries.
Fall in Saskatchewan brings an onslaught of free and unsolicited zucchini dropped off on your door step from friends and family. I never want it to go to waste, and this raita will help to use some of that zucchini in a very flavourful and enjoyable way!
What is Raita?
If you haven’t been exposed to some type of raita, here it is in a nut shell.
Raita is a yogurt based side dish, similar to tzatziki, but not as thick. It’s seasoned with Indian spices, is super versatile and quick to make.
Raita has a cooling effect and is typically served as a side dish with Indian meals to off set the spice of the main dishes.
Variations of Raita
There are no end of possible combinations for raita. Most are made with raw vegetables such as cucumber and tomato, with cumin as the main spice.
This is a great post that lists many variations of raita made with raw ingredients: https://myfoodstory.com/indian-raita-recipe/
This is my favourite Raita…
I have very fond memories of going to my in-laws for chicken biriyani, before I had any idea how to make it myself. One of the highlights for me, was knowing that we would be having zucchini garlic raita with it.
I love the texture of the cooked zucchini and the strong flavour of the garlic with the yogurt.
Today, Chicken biriyani is a much anticipated and requested meal at our house. I have now learned how to make chicken biriyani myself, and this remains my favourite raita to serve with it.
How to make Garlic Zucchini Raita
My recipe involves cooking the zucchini and garlic ahead of time, which adds a bit of time compared to a raita made only with raw ingredients.
You can mix up the other ingredients in your serving bowl while the zucchini cools, to save some time.
If you have time to chill the raita before serving, I highly recommend it. You can then add in the zucchini when it is still quite warm, to the yogurt and spices.
This pairs well with most Indian dishes; biriyani, basmati rice, curries.
Zucchini Raita with Garlic
- 1 zucchini, small sliced, 1/4" thick rounds
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups plain yogurt (greek)
- 1 cup water divided
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Place zucchini, garlic and salt into a small sauce pan
- Add 1/2 cup of the water so that zucchini floats, but isn't covered, adjust as required
- Bring to boil over high heat and cook until zucchini is translucent and soft (~5min)
- Set zucchini mixture aside to cool slightly
- In small bowl, add yogurt, garam masala and remaining 1/2 cup water. Mix until smooth and consistent.
- Mash cooked zucchini mixture until no large lumps are present. No need to drain off any water before mashing, unless it seems excessive.
- Fold the mashed zucchini into the yogurt and mix until well combined
- Salt to taste
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 min