The condiment of choice at Indian & Pakistani restaurants – Mint Raita. This is a restaurant-style recipe that you can make in less than 10 minutes! The perfect raita for biryani, pulao, kebabs, and so much more!

Pouring mint raita in a bowl

“So good! Reminds me of the chutney I would eat with my Biryani at weddings (before covid).”

Sadia

The Restaurant-Famous Mint Raita

I’m still not sure what to call this recipe. I suppose the yogurt makes it a raita yet the herbs and blended texture pull it into the Chutney category. Restaurants are divided about its naming too. Some call it Pudina (mint) Chutney, others simply Raita. On Instagram, a 60% raita/40% chutney vote led me to the final, inconclusive decision of calling it both – Mint Raita OR Yogurt Chutney.

Whatever you’d like to call it, order kebabs, biryani, pulao, or any ‘dry’ menu item at restaurant and you’ll likely get this refreshing light-green raita/chutney alongside it. Restaurants love to serve this as a side dish because it:

  1. Keeps well (no vegetables releasing water like vegetable raita).
  2. Goes with everything (try it with dal!).
  3. Is often diluted with water, which makes it runnier & versatile (not to mention makes it go farther!).

Ingredients for Mint Raita

This recipe requires 7 easy-to-find ingredients:

Ingredients for Mint Raita including yogurt, cilantro, green chili pepper, mint, salt, lemon, garlic, and cumin.
  • Yogurt – Plain, whole milk yogurt is perfect here. You could use Greek yogurt but you’ll need to add more water or milk to dilute it.
  • Fresh Cilantro & Mint Leaves – Even though it’s called Mint (pudina) Raita, it requires much more cilantro than mint. Mint is stronger than cilantro, so too much mint can be overpowering and even bitter. Try to use just the leaves of the herbs and not the stems.
  • Serrano pepper – Adds flavor and heat. If you use a smaller Thai chili pepper, use about half. Feel free to use more if you’d like to add more heat.
  • Garlic – Use a small garlic clove or half of a larger one. We’re going for a very muted garlic flavor.
  • Cumin Seeds – You can either toast and grind seeds or simply use ground cumin powder.
  • Lemon – Lemon juice (or substitute with lime juice) is a key ingredient to diluting it and making it last longer. Restaurants will often use bottled lemon juice, which you can use if that’s what you have on hand.
Lemon added to a bowl of cilantro and mint raita

How to make Mint Raita

  • Step 1: Optional – Toast cumin seeds. I usually wouldn’t bother toasting such a small quantity, but it adds great flavor. If skipping this step, use an equal amount of ground cumin powder.
  • Step 2: Blend everything except yogurt. You can use a small blender like a Nutri-Bullet (best), a spice grinder (okay), or even a regular sized-blender. Blend/grind until the herbs are very finely chopped, scraping down the sides as needed. Add water if needed to get it to blend.
Cilantro, mint, salt, garlic, and ground cumin in a spice grinder

Tip: Make sure the herbs are very well blended. If you’ve had it at restaurants, you’ll notice the herbs don’t have a bite to them. That’s what we’re going for here.

A golden spoon on top of a grinder showing the green chutney texture.
  • Step 3: Whisk Yogurt & Combine. Whisk the yogurt until completely smooth before adding the green chutney.
A bowl with green chutney being mixed with yogurt for raita
  • Taste and adjust, adding water for a thinner, restaurant-like consistency. You can also dilute it with more lemon juice if you’d like.
Mint Raita in a bowl with a white spoon

How to Store (or Freeze)

This raita keeps well in the refrigerator as-is or in the freezer before adding the yogurt.

  • To refrigerate: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze: Freeze before adding yogurt. After grinding the herbs (Step 2), place in an airtight bag or container and freeze. When ready to prepare, thaw the frozen solid at room temperature (don’t microwave!). Then add it to the whisked yogurt (Step 3).
Cilantro Mint Raita in a bowl garnished with mint with white spoon inside

Final Tips

  • As I mentioned earlier, the most important tip is to make sure the herbs are very finely ground so that no leaves are visible. You want to ensure that there’s no bite to the herbs in the final product.
  • Whisk the yogurt until it’s smooth and no longer grainy before adding the herbs.
  • Don’t add yogurt as a thinner along with the herbs into the grinder as it’ll lose its silky smooth texture. Instead, use water or lemon juice to help grind the herbs.

FAQ

What can I use to blend the cilantro and mint for chutney?

I use a spice/coffee grinder because this recipe uses a small quantity of herbs. You can use a small blender or regular-sized blender. If using a regular-sized blender, you may have to add extra water to ensure the herbs are well-blended. For this quantity, a food processor will not work.

How can I make this vegan?

Use your favorite plain, unsweetened non-dairy yogurt in place of whole milk yogurt.

Why is my raita bitter?

Sometimes the ingredients themselves such as lemon, garlic, herbs can be bitter, which can cause the final chutney to be bitter. Using too much of an ingredient can also cause bitterness. With these ratios, I hope you won’t have any problem with bitterness.

Mint Raita garnished with mint white a white spoon.

Variations & Add-Ins:

This is one of those recipes in which the quantities don’t have to be precise at all. Feel free to play around with the ratios and add in whatever spices and ingredients you’d like. Some add-ons I’ve tried & liked:

Serve this Mint Raita with:

Easy Pakistani Aloo Ki Tikki – Potato Cutlets
Seekh Kebab
Easy Shami Kabob (Instant Pot and Stovetop)
Chapli Kabab
Instant Pot Chicken Pulao (Quick & Easy)
Instant Pot Chana Pulao (Chickpea Pilaf)
Pakistani Chicken Pulao (Yakhni Pulao)

Cilantro Mint Raita (Dahi Pudina Chutney) in a bowl
5 (8 ratings)

10-Minute Mint Raita (Restaurant-Style)

This Mint Raita recipe is the perfect condiment for biryani, kebabs, and so much more. Make this restaurant-style raita in less than 10 minutes!

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, (preferably toasted) and ground (See Step 1) or sub 1/2 tsp ground cumin powder
  • 1/2 cup (~12 g) cilantro leaves, loosely packed (try not to use stems)
  • 3 tbsp (~3 g) mint leaves, loosely packed (try not to use stems)
  • 1 slice Serrano pepper or small Thai green chili pepper, deseeded (choose how thick the slice depending on how spicy you’d like)
  • 1 small (~2 g) garlic clove, or 1/2 medium
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt or table salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
  • 3/4 cup (~184 g) plain, whole milk yogurt

Equipment

  • Small blender like a Nutri-bullet or regular-sized blender narrow blender (or a spice grinder)

Instructions 

  • Optional – Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and toast, stirring and shaking the skillet often, for 1-2 minutes. The seeds will deepen in color and become highly aromatic. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Then use a mortar and pestle to grind to a powder. Set aside.
  • Add the cilantro leaves, mint leaves, Serrano, garlic clove, ground cumin, salt, lemon juice, and 2 tbsp water into a (preferably small) blender. Blend, scraping down the spice grinder/blender as needed, until it reaches a fine consistency. If needed, add another tablespoon or two of water to make it easier to blend. It should become a runny paste, with the leaves no longer visible.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth and no longer grainy. Stir in the crushed green paste. Taste and add salt or more lemon juice, if desired. For a thinner, restaurant-like consistency, add ½-1 tbsp of water. See notes for how to store.

Video

Notes

Storing: This dip keeps well, which is why restaurants love it!
  • To refrigerate: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze: Freeze before adding yogurt. After grinding the herbs (Step 2), place in an airtight bag or container and freeze. When ready to prepare, thaw the frozen solid at room temperature (don’t microwave!). Then add it to the whisked yogurt (Step 3).
Variations:
  • Feel free to play around with the cilantro & mint ratios. I like much less mint than cilantro because I find too much mint can get quite strong and bitter.
  • Substitute lime juice instead of lemon for a slightly different flavor.
  • Feel free to add any spices or ingredients you’d love here. See post for optional add-in ideas.
 
Calories: 34kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 172mg, Potassium: 114mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 311IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 79mg, Iron: 1mg