Raita derives from the Sanskrit name for black mustard...

I've had fun exploring the origins and diversity of the Indian dish raita, which a customer of ours, Dev Biswal of modern Indian Canterbury restaurant The Ambrette, had told me it has more to do with mustard than cucumber. It turns out that the name raita derives from the Sanskrit name for black mustard, the cooked seeds of which are an essential part of a traditional raita, as are finely minced vegetables of many kinds. So I have had fun creating a raita containing finely chopped leaves of both a cucumber flavoured and a mustard flavoured leaf.

10g grated red onion
15g white mustard leaf finely chopped
10g salad burnet leaflets picked down
2/3 finely chopped and the remainder for garnish
5g water mint, finely chopped
2 teaspoons mustard seeds (black, brown or white)
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
200ml Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
salt to taste.



1. Fry the seeds in hot oil with a lid on the pan, until they begin to pop.

2. Whisk seeds and oil into the yoghurt until the two emulsify. 

3. Stir in the chopped leaves and grated onion.

4. Add salt to taste then garnish with remaining salad burnet leaflets.

Serving suggestions

Best after leaving to sit for a few hours in the fridge to allow time for the flavours to merge. Use as a dip with naan or other flatbreads; use to marinade meat or veg prior to roasting or serve with Indian dishes such as biriyani or paratha.