Cucumber Raita - 2 Ways

Since moving into our home 3 springs ago, I have created a tradition around making falafels from the abundance of stinging nettles that grow wild on our land. Although the sides that go along with this meal change, I always make sure to make a large batch of cucumber raita, as this tangy and slightly spicy sauce perfectly enhances the crisp fried chickpea balls. 

With dairy free guests over for dinner, I decided to make two different versions of this Middle Eastern sauce. Substituting cashews for the yogurt, they are perfect for making dairy alternatives since they their rich and fatty quality blend up well to create a lovely saucy consistency.

Cucumber Raita

Dairy-Free Version

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 1 cups of water
  • 1 cup prepared cucumber (peeled, seeded, diced small)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne


  1. Use a high powered blender to puree the cashews, water, and lemon into a smooth, creamy, but runny consistency. 
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients, but wait to add the salt until just before serving.

Traditional Dairy Version

  • 2 cups full fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 cup prepared cucumber (peeled, seeded, and diced small)
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne


  1. Place the yogurt in a fine mesh strainer and allow it to drip out the whey for a minimum of 20 minutes to 1 hour. You can even do this overnight in the fridge. I find the longer it sits, the better the consistency in the end. 
  2. Once strained, stir in the remaining ingredients, taste, and adjust seasonings accordingly.  I usually wait until last minute to salt the raita to help keep the cucumbers from releasing their water and causing the sauce to be watery.

Have you made Cucumber Raita before? What meals or dishes have you served it with? If you tried either of these recipes out at home, leave a comment below and let me know how it came out!