Food - Drink
Raita Vs. Tzatziki: What's The Difference?
By KELLY WELTON
Tzatziki is a Greek sauce that’s indispensable in many of the country's signature dishes, and raita, a similar condiment, plays an equally important role in Indian cuisine. Both condiments share yogurt as their defining ingredient, but they’re quite different from one another and have some key distinctions in flavor and uses.
The main function of raita is to counteract the heat in spicy dishes and serve as a refreshing, cooling element alongside many Indian foods. With either plain yogurt or dahi (Indian yogurt or curd) as the base, raita also comes in many variations that may include cooked vegetables, cilantro, cabbage, chaat masala, mint, and more.
Tzatziki is generally a simpler combination of Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, some form of acid such as lemon juice, salt, and pepper, with optional dill or mint. It’s great for slathering onto kebabs and gyros, a must-have on a veggie platter, and even goes well with foods that aren't traditionally Greek, such as burgers and grain bowls.
The ideal consistency for raita is creamy and rich, but not as thick as tzatziki, so it's good to follow a 2:1 ratio for raita: two cups of yogurt to one cup of vegetables and other ingredients. Meanwhile, when adding cucumbers to tzatziki, be sure to drain out excess water so that the final sauce doesn’t come out too runny.