Pineapple raita is slightly different from the usual raita because of the sweet and tart pineapple. It is tangy, salty, spicy, and creamy. It was a family favorite growing up. My brother loved it, so it was made frequently in our home.
About this Recipe
This is based on my mom’s recipe but slightly modified to use readily available ingredients. In India, she made it with fresh pineapple because canned was unavailable. She had to macerate her pineapple in sugar, which you don’t have to do if the pineapple is canned.
Although pineapples are not native to India, they are a common fruit. They are native to South America and were one of the first fruits brought to India from the New World. Today, they are grown in many states in India.
Pineapple – use both the chunks of pineapple and some of the juice.
Yogurt – use Greek yogurt. This raita quickly becomes too thin.
Cumin – freshly toasted cumin makes all the difference here. Take the time to toast your cumin in a dry pan shortly before adding it.
Chili powder – I use cayenne for the heat
- It is essential to use a very thick yogurt, such as Greek yogurt, because the liquids from the pineapple and juice will turn it into soup if you start with regular yogurt.
- If all you have is regular yogurt, do not add juice. Add one tablespoon of sugar instead to keep it from becoming too watery.
- The ratio of pineapple to yogurt comes down to personal preference. With this dish, you should expect a lot of pineapples, but my family goes especially heavy on the pineapple. You may prefer to reduce the pineapple.
- Add a finely chopped green chili, mint, or cilantro. I’m used to eating it without the greens because my brother didn’t like them, so this is the way my mother made it. Additional heat makes a nice counterbalance to the sweet pineapple.
- Some people add pomegranate arils for color and crunch.
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- ¾ cup canned pineapple chunks
- 2 Tbsp pineapple juice from the can
- ¼ tsp red chili powder
- ¼ tsp toasted cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- Whisk yogurt in a bowl, removing any lumps.
- Add the pineapple juice and whisk it into the yogurt.
- Cut the pineapple chunks into 1/2” pieces. Add the pineapple chunks, red chili powder, toasted cumin, and salt. Stir to combine.