This lemon dill raita is tangy, fresh and ready to cool you down while you enjoy all of your favorite spicy curries.
Indian style raita is always the perfect accompaniment to spicy food like biryani, vegetables and meat curries.
Raitas are yogurt based, with some additional vegetables, spices, herbs or fruit added. Popular and flavorful standbys are cucumber raita and tomato onion raita.
We prepare these two raitas often, but from time to time, when we happen to have lemon and fresh dill, we put together this simple and savory variation. Speaking of fresh dill, you’ll also want to try our mustard dill sauce to go with salmon.
Content in this Post
What is Raita?
Raita is a popular side dish in Indian cuisine that is used to provide a contrast to typically hot and spicy dishes. It is mild and cooling with a yogurt base that soothes the palate.
There are many variations of raita, although dahi or yogurt is usually the main ingredient. Diced or shredded vegetables or fruit are often added, as well as some spices. Cucumber raita and tomato onion raita are popular combinations.
Is Yogurt and Dahi the Same?
Plain yogurt or curd can be used similar to dahi in raita recipes, but they are actually two separate types of dairy as each undergoes a different process.
Yogurt or curd is basically bacterial fermentation of milk. Dahi, is made by using lemon or vinegar to curdle the milk.
You can find dahi in Indian grocery stores. Otherwise, use plain yogurt or curd in raita. But note that there is a noticeable flavor and texture difference.
Ingredients Used in Lemon Dill Raita
- Yogurt or Dahi — regular plain yogurt, or dahi. You can use Instant Pot homemade yogurt but you might not want to strain it, to keep a thinner consistency. Or if you’re already using a strainer to make thick yogurt, you can add some whey back in for a plain yogurt texture.
- Dill — fresh dill, chopped or use kitchen scissors to snip.
- Lemon Juice — freshly squeezed is best.
- Salt — Himalayan salt enhances the flavors.
- Pepper — I just love freshly ground black peppercorns in raita, feel free to skip if you prefer. You can mix the ground black pepper in with the yogurt, or sprinkle the pepper on top after the rest of the ingredients are combined.
How To Make Lemon Dill Raita
Lemon dill raita is a super easy recipe that only takes about five minutes from start to end. To begin, pour dahi or yogurt into a bowl and whisk it until it’s smooth.
STEP 1: Add Ingredients to Bowl
Take a bunch of fresh dill and chop finely. Alternatively, you can snip the dill into small pieces with kitchen scissors. Add the chopped dill to the bowl with dahi or yogurt.
Add freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
STEP 2: Stir Ingredients
Mix all ingredients well to combine. Garnish with some additional fresh dill sprigs and some lemon slices if you like.
What to Serve With Lemon Dill Raita
Lemon dill raita is perfect with any combination of meat, vegetable, lentil or rice dishes. You can’t go wrong, especially when you’re eating spicy curries.
You will appreciate having this simple side dish to cool the heat!
- Instant Pot Aloo Gobi
- Instant Pot Eggplant Curry with Bell Peppers
- Instant Pot Chana Dal with Spinach
- Bhindi Masala Okra Curry
- Instant Pot Potato Masala With Beets
- Instant Pot Basmati Rice
- Instant Pot Chana Masala
Best Uses for Leftover Lemon Dill Raita
You can always enjoy any leftover lemon dill raita with your favorite Indian dishes. We love raita with virtually any spicy dish, but aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower) curry and bhindi masala (okra) curry are two favorites.
This raita can also be used as a sauce for baked or grilled salmon and fish. We especially like it with IKEA salmon fillets.
You can keep lemon dill raita tightly covered in your refrigerator for up to three days.
If you’d like to freeze some for later, you can do so for up to three months in a freezer safe container.
For convenience, you can freeze raita in smaller portions, such as in an ice cube tray and then transfer the cubes to a freezer storage bag.
You’ll Also Love
Savory and sweet, this mango curry sauce recipe with canned Kesar mango pulp and diced bell pepper offers a flavorful and quick dinner option. Whip up this quick sauce on the stove top to enjoy with leftover grilled or baked chicken for a super fast Indian inspired weeknight meal.
Lemon Dill Raita
- 1 Cup Yogurt, dahi
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed, reserve some lemon for garnish if desired
- ¼ Cup Dill, fresh, snipped plus additional for garnish if desired
- ½ teaspoon Salt, Himalayan
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper, ground
- Pour yogurt or dahi into a medium bowl and whisk to achieve a smooth texture.
- Add snipped or chopped fresh dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Mix well to combine.
- Garnish with additional dill sprigs and lemon slices, if desired.
The above nutritional values are estimates and should only be used as a guide. If you are following a specific diet or have dietary restrictions, please use your preferred nutritional calculator. If you have a food allergy please ensure that none of the listed ingredients are part of your restrictions. As well, always use a food thermometer to ensure safe cooking temperature of the food items.