Boondi Raita | Indian Spiced Yogurt Side

April 8, 2020 By Aneesha |

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Boondi Raita is an Indian spiced yogurt dish, seasoned with salt, chaat masala, roasted cumin, cayenne and those tiny fried chickpea-flour pearls known as boondi. This popular side dish is served chilled to complement hearty Indian lentils, curries, rice dishes, roti and parathas (flatbreads).

spiced yogurt condiment with boondi and cilantro in gray bowl with boondi in bowl on side

Spiced Yogurt with Boondi – The Best Yogurt Side Dish

Indian food is much more than curries, lentils and rice. The condiments and side dishes are equally delicious and are an important part of everyday meals.

As a young girl, I remember my mother preparing dals and curries with numerous side dishes. The spread typically included rice, paratha, chutney, and some form of raita.

It was the spiced yogurt known as raita that was my favorite part. Raita can be prepared in many different ways, but the best yogurt side dish for me was Boondi Raita, since it elevated an everyday meal to a special occasion feast.

Luckily for me, my girls also share the love for Boondi Raita, so we end up making it often. It’s crunchy, spicy, salty, creamy, everything you want in a raita – and it takes only 5 minutes to mix together!

spiced yogurt condiment with fried chickpea flour fritters garnished with cilantro in gray bowl

What Is Boondi?

Boondi are small pearls of chickpea flour that have been deep-fried in oil until golden brown and crispy.

Chickpea flour (besan or gram flour) is first mixed with water to form a batter. This batter is then passed through a filtered spoon/sieve and dropped directly in hot oil for deep frying.

Other than been used in raita, it has two other popular variations:

Sweet Boondi- Indian Dessert

In this preparation, the deep fried Boondi pearls are tossed in sugar syrup to create a sweet Indian dessert, which is often offered as prasad (offering) in temples in India (especially on Tuesdays at Hanuman Temple).

Khara Boondi- Savory Snack Variation

Khara or Tikha is the savory version. To make this, the batter is mixed with spices before frying and crushed and fried curry leaves are added to the fried pearls. Khara boondi is eaten by itself or is added to Indian-namkeen (savory snack).

What Is Raita?

Raita is an Indian accompaniment or condiment that uses yogurt (dahi) as the base ingredient.

The yogurt is first whisked until smooth, then seasoned with small amounts of sugar, salt and spices. Texture comes into play with a number of different ingredients. These could include raw or cooked vegetables, fruit or boondi.

It’s a creamy, cooling side dish or condiment enjoyed daily in most Indian households.

spiced yogurt condiment with fried chickpea flour fritters garnished with cilantro in gray bowl

What Is Boondi Raita?

Boondi Raita (also known as boondi ka raita, raita boondi, dahi boondi) is spiced yogurt mixed with boondi (fried chickpea flour balls).

Along with cucumber raita and onion raita, it is one of the most widely prepared raitas in Indian cuisine.

yogurt, cilantro, boondi, black salt, roasted cumin powder, cayenne, chaat masala in separate bowls

Ingredients & Customizations

I make this quick and easy Boondi Raita with yogurt (I prefer 2%), black salt (kaala namak), chaat masala, roasted cumin powder, cayenne, boondi and fresh, chopped cilantro.

  • Yogurt: Yogurt is an essential ingredient in Indian cuisine. With all the hearty, spicy curries, yogurt acts as a refreshing balance and helps in tempering all that heat. In raita, it is the star ingredient. I prefer to use 2% lowfat yogurt for its looser consistency. The beauty of raita is all in the consistency, so make sure to purchase regular yogurt. Greek yogurt will not work in this recipe.
  • Black Salt (Kaala Namak): Black salt is a rock salt from the salt mines of the Himalayas (Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, etc.). It has a sulfurous, pungent, umami flavor and has been known to be associated with many health benefits. Also known as Himalayan black salt, Indian black salt or kaala namak, you can find this pinkish-brown salt in Indian markets or online. If you don’t have black salt, regular table salt will do.
  • Roasted Cumin Powder: Known as Bhuna Jeera in Hindi, roasted cumin powder is the main spice that flavors raitas. You can make fresh, aromatic roasted cumin powder at home, but it is easily available in the spice aisle of most grocery stores. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.
  • Boondi: There are two boondi packets I particularly enjoy – Bikano and Deep brand. Haldiram is another popular brand. I prefer the plain, salted packets since we are seasoning the raita with our own spice blend, but there are spicy and flavored varieties available too. Nutrition and calories will vary for each brand. Purchase at your local Indian grocery store or online.
  • Cayenne: I like adding a pinch to give add a slight kick . You can skip it if you like.
  • Optional Ingredient- Sugar: Some versions of boondi raita also call for sugar. If your yogurt is sour to begin with, it can help balance the flavor out. It’s a personal preference, I prefer to skip it, but you can add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon sugar based on your liking.

Yogurt or Yoghurt? What’s The Correct Spelling?

In America, yogurt is the usual spelling, whereas yoghurt is a variant spelling common in British English and India. Both are correct since the two spellings are used in the same context.

Whether you spell it yogurt or yoghurt, it will still be delicious!

How To Make Boondi Raita At Home

A simple list of ingredients, one bowl and a whisk are all you need to make this homemade boondi raita recipe in only 5 minutes!

yogurt and spices in gray bowl with boondi in bowl on side
  • Add yogurt in a mixing bowl and whisk until the yogurt is smooth.
pouring boondi into gray bowl with yogurt and spices
  • Add boondi along with salt and seasoning and fold in gently. Transfer the raita to a serving bowl. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve cold.

Boondi Raita Recipe With Tadka

Sometimes, I like to add tadka to this raita to change up the flavor and take it up a notch. Tadka is the Indian cooking technique known as tempering. To make a boondi raita recipe with tadka, simply:

  1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat for 30 seconds, then add 1 teaspoon oil.
  2. Add 1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds. Let them splutter. Add 5-6 curry leaves and 1/4 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder. Cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Pour over the raita and serve chilled.
boondi raita sauce in gray bowl with silver spoon

Serving Suggestions

I like to serve boondi raita cold or at room temperature, depending on the weather. I would say that in most households, it is served during the summer months because of its creamy, cooling sensation. I love to serve this with:

Along with fresh cilantro (coriander leaves), feel free to add fresh mint to garnish, too!

boondi raita condiment garnished with cilantro in gray bowl with spoon

Recipe Tips:

  • If the yogurt is thick, whisk in a few tablespoons milk or water to thin it. I like my raita on the thick side, but the consistency is all about personal preference.
  • Adjust the spices per your taste. The chaat masala and roasted cumin powder will impart mild heat. Roasted cumin powder is also cooling to the body. Skip the cayenne to keep the raita mild. Add sugar if you like.
  • Whisk the yogurt with a balloon whisk, if possible. This incorporates more air, ensuring the yogurt is smooth and creamy.
  • Add the boondi straight from the package to keep its crisp texture intact. Alternatively, you can soak the boondi in hot water for 5 minutes and gently squeeze out the water with a clean kitchen towel before adding to the yogurt. This rids of excess oil and will make the raita smell fresh.
  • Store the boondi in the fridge. When kept for a long period of time, boondi starts to smell funny since the oil begins to go rancid. Keeping it cold will prevent the oil from spoil.

More Indian Condiment Recipes From My Kitchen

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spiced yogurt condiment with boondi and cilantro in gray bowl with boondi in bowl on side

Boondi Raita

Boondi Raita is an Indian spiced yogurt dish, seasoned with salt, chaat masala, roasted cumin, cayenne and those tiny fried chickpea-flour pearls known as boondi.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 178kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups yogurt, lowfat (I use 2%)
  • ¼ tsp black salt (kaala namak) or regular table salt
  • ¼-½ tsp chaat masala
  • ¼ tsp roasted cumin powder
  • tsp cayenne (skip for mild)
  • ¾ cup boondi (I use Bikano or Deep brand)
  • 2 tbs chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • Add yogurt in a mixing bowl. Add salt and seasoning and whisk until the yogurt is smooth.
  • Add boondi and fold it in gently.
  • Transfer the raita to a serving bowl. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve cold.

Notes & Recipe Tips

Recipe Tips:
  • If the yogurt is thick, whisk in a few tablespoons milk or water to thin it. I like my raita on the thick side, but the consistency is all about personal preference.
  • The spices can be adjusted as per your taste. The chaat masala and roasted cumin powder will impart mild heat. Roasted cumin powder is also cooling to the body. Skip the cayenne to keep the raita mild.
  • Whisk the yogurt with a balloon whisk, if possible. This incorporates more air, ensuring the yogurt is smooth and creamy.
  • Add the boondi straight from the package to keep it’s crisp texture intact. Alternatively, you can soak the boondi in hot water for 5 minutes and gently squeeze out the water with a clean kitchen towel before adding to the yogurt. This rids of excess oil and will make the raita smell fresh.
  • Store the boondi in the fridge or freezer. When kept for a long period of time, boondi starts to smell funny since the oil begins to go rancid. Keeping it cold will prevent the oil from spoil. If kept frozen, make sure to defrost before using in this recipe.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates and is based on the Deep brand. Confirm with your boondi brand as nutrition will vary with different brands. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 231mg | Potassium: 287mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 224mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: boondi raita, boondi raita recipe, raita, raita recipe
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HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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