yogurt salads popular in India, raitas are a combination of thick, whole-milk yogurt and various chopped vegetables like cucumbers, eggplant, potatoes or spinach, or fruits such as bananas or tomatoes. Typically used as condiments, raitas are variously seasoned with black mustard seeds, garam masala and herbs such as chervil, coriander, cumin, dill, mint, parsley or tarragon. Raitas are designed to be a cooling counterbalance for many spicy Indian dishes.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.