Indian Cucumber-Yogurt Salad

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We make this easy Indian Cucumber Salad with Yogurt at least once per week to serve alongside Indian curries (and biryani, for a special treat!). You’ll love this refreshing 5-minute recipe.

 Indian cucumber salad with yogurt in a bowl with a spoon.


Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This Indian Cucumber-Yogurt Salad recipe is a really simple salad, but one that we make on repeat.

Served with spicy grilled meats or heady Indian curries, it provides a fresh, cooling counterpoint.

It’s another one of Adarsh’s dad’s recipes – he always makes it for us when Amma makes biryani. When I make it alongside Juicy Beef Kofta, it’s one of Adarsh’s favourite meals.

It’s so easy to throw together that I never thought to share it with you, until I started seeing similar recipes pop up in cooking magazines.

It consists of cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, garlic, lemon juice, jalapeno and herbs tossed in thick plain yogurt. Ta da!

Sounds basic, but it’s super yummy. I’d eat it by itself stuffed in a pita for lunch, but it’s one of my favorite accompaniments to serve alongside Indian or Middle Eastern food.

Indian Yogurt Cucumber Ingredients

Here’s What You Need for this Indian Cucumber-Yogurt Salad Recipe

Ready to create a refreshing and tasty Indian Cucumber-Yogurt Salad? Let’s look at the essentials.

Indian Cucumber-Yogurt Salad Ingredients

Each ingredient adds its unique flavor and texture to this delightful salad:

  • Cucumber: Provides a fresh, crisp crunch. You can leave it chunky or grate it.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Offer juicy sweetness.
  • Plain Yogurt: Adds creaminess and a mild tang. Full-fat yogurt is best for flavor.
  • Red Onion: Brings a sharp and zesty flavor.
  • Jalapeño: Introduces a spicy kick, adjustable to your heat preference. You could swap in Indian green chilies if you have access.
  • Garlic: Delivers a pungent and savory note.
  • Mint: Fresh mint leaves provide a cool, fresh taste.
  • Cilantro: Adds a lively, citrusy herb flavor.
  • Kosher Salt: Enhances all the flavors.
Tomatoes in a box.

Variations and Substitutions

Feel free to tweak the salad with these ideas:

  • Greek Yogurt: Use for a thicker version.
  • Spices: Try adding a pinch of cumin powder or a teaspoon of cumin seeds (toasted in a dry skillet). A bit of black pepper is also nice. Fresh ginger is also a welcome addition.
  • Lime Juice: Add a splash for extra zest.
  • Other Herbs: If serving with greek food, swap the cilantro for minced fresh dill or parsley.
  • Other Veggies: Feel free to swap the tomatoes for chopped bell peppers or grated carrots.

Grab these Tools

Just a few simple kitchen tools are needed:

  • Medium Bowl: To mix all the ingredients.
  • Chopping Board: For prepping the cucumber, tomatoes, and other veggies.
  • Sharp Knife: Essential for precise chopping.
  • Measuring Spoons: If using optional ingredients, to measure them accurately.
  • Mixing Spoon: To blend everything thoroughly.

How to Make Indian Cucumber-Yogurt Salad: An Easy Guide

This Indian Cucumber-Yogurt Salad is as easy to make as it is delicious. Follow these simple steps for a refreshing and flavorful side dish.

Prepping the Ingredients

Chop the Veggies: Start by chopping your 9-inch piece of cucumber and halving the pint of cherry tomatoes. Finely chop ⅓ cup of red onion and 1 jalapeño (use only half for less heat).

Mince for Flavor: Mince 1 large clove of garlic. If you’re using herbs, mince 2 tablespoons of mint and cilantro.

Combining Your Salad

Mix it All Together: In a large bowl, toss together the chopped cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, jalapeño, and garlic. If you’re using mint and cilantro, add them now.

Add Yogurt and Season: Stir in 1 ½ cups of plain yogurt (Greek or regular). Mix well until all ingredients are combined. Add salt to taste.

Make Ahead and Storage

Planning and storing this salad is a breeze. Here’s how to keep it fresh and tasty:

  • Prep in Advance: Chop the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and jalapeño. Store them in separate airtight containers in the fridge.
  • Herbs: Mince the mint and cilantro just before serving to preserve their freshness.
  • Combining: Mix the salad ingredients with the yogurt no more than an hour before serving to maintain the best texture.
  • Refrigeration: Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Best Consumed: Enjoy within 1-2 days for optimal freshness and flavor.
  • Freezing: Not recommended, as it will significantly alter the texture and quality of the salad.
Indian Yogurt Marinated Chicken on a plate.

How to Serve This Cucumber Salad Recipe

This salad is versatile and pairs well with various dishes:

  • As a Side: Serve alongside grilled tandoori chicken, rich curries, biryanis or pulaos for a refreshing balance.
  • In a Wrap: Spoon some salad into a wrap or pita bread with grilled chicken or falafel.
  • With Naan: Enjoy as a dip with warm, butter naan, keema naan, or aloo naan.
Keema nan.

FAQs About Indian Cucumber Salad

Just skimming through? Here are some quick answers to commonly asked questions about this fresh, healthy salad.

Can I Use Low-Fat Yogurt Instead of Full-Fat?

  • Using Low-Fat Yogurt: Yes, you can use low-fat yogurt instead of full-fat for a lighter version of the salad. Just note that it may slightly alter the creaminess and flavor.

Is This Salad Vegan-Friendly?

  • Making It Vegan: To make this salad vegan, substitute the yogurt with a dairy-free alternative like coconut yogurt or almond yogurt.

How Long Does This Salad Last in the Fridge?

  • Storage Duration: The salad stays fresh in the fridge for 1-2 days when stored in an airtight container.

Can I Freeze the Cucumber-Yogurt Salad?

  • Freezing Not Recommended: Freezing is not advisable as it can significantly affect the texture and quality of the ingredients, especially the yogurt and cucumber.

What Are Some Good Protein Pairings with This Salad?

  • Protein Pairings: Grilled chicken, lamb, or fish complement this salad well. For a vegetarian option, try it with grilled paneer or tofu.

Are There Any Other Herbs I Can Use?

  • Herb Variations: Apart from mint and cilantro, basil or dill can be great alternatives, offering a unique flavor twist to the salad.

What’s the difference between a cucumber yogurt salad and a cucumber raita recipe?

  • Cucumber Yogurt Salad: has larger, more defined pieces of cucumber and possibly other vegetables or herbs. The focus is on the freshness and crunch of the vegetables, with yogurt acting as a dressing to bind the salad together.
  • Raita: Is an Indian Yogurt Sauce and has a thinner consistency. The yogurt is the star ingredient, often smoother and more seasoned, with finely chopped or grated cucumber and other ingredients mixed in.

Can I Use Low-Fat Yogurt Instead of Full-Fat?

  • Using Low-Fat Yogurt: Yes, you can use low-fat yogurt instead of full-fat for a lighter version of the salad. Just note that it may slightly alter the creaminess and flavor.

Is This Salad Vegan-Friendly?

  • Making It Vegan: To make this salad vegan, substitute the yogurt with a dairy-free alternative like coconut yogurt or almond yogurt.

How Long Does This Salad Last in the Fridge?

  • Storage Duration: The salad stays fresh in the fridge for 1-2 days when stored in an airtight container.

Can I Freeze the Cucumber-Yogurt Salad?

  • Freezing Not Recommended: Freezing is not advisable as it can significantly affect the texture and quality of the ingredients, especially the yogurt and cucumber.

What Are Some Good Protein Pairings with This Salad?

  • Protein Pairings: Grilled chicken, lamb, or fish complement this salad well. For a vegetarian option, try it with grilled paneer or tofu.

Are There Any Other Herbs I Can Use?

  • Herb Variations: Apart from mint and cilantro, basil or dill can be great alternatives, offering a unique flavor twist to the salad.
Chicken Korma on a plate.

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4 from 1 vote

Indian Cucumber-Yogurt Salad

Indian cucumber salad with yogurt is an easy, 5 minute recipe that's a perfect side dish to Indian curries and grilled meats.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 
 

  • 9 " piece cucumber chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 ½ cup plain yogurt (Greek or regular)
  • cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeño finely chopped (use half if less heat is preferred)
  • 1 large clove garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp minced mint (optional)
  • 2 tbsp minced cilantro (optional)
  • salt to taste
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Instructions 

  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir well. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 319mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 858IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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1 Comment

  1. Trudy says:

    4 stars
    Great recipe! I am eating my version made before I read yours.
    I used 2 Persian Cucus, 1/2 pt Blueberries, 1 lg c. Full Fat Greek Yogurt, Walnuts, Cinnamon, S&P, Lemon juice, Apple Cider Vinegar 2 Tblspns. YUM!
    I will try yours next time, Love Full Fat Greek Yogurt! SO Good for you and your Brain!