Tzatziki vs. Raita

First of all, these are two of the STRANGEST  words I’ve ever heard. Not only that, the spelling of them trips me up every time. I mean, I know how to spell them; I just doubt myself every time cuz the words are weird.

Anyways . . . the Question of the Day is: What is the difference between tzatziki and raita? For one, they come from different cultures. Tzatziki is Mediterranean and raita is found in Indian culture. Both are cucumber-based yogurt sauces though. So, what does the rest of the story tell us?

According to, tzatziki tends to be a fairly straightforward mixture consisting of crisp cucumbers, yogurt, and fresh herbs (dill, mint, parsley). Meanwhile, raita is more varied and can contain carrots, fruit, and spices. Both are dips/sauces intended to accompany other foods. Raita is a ‘cooling sauce’ which compliments the spiciness of Indian cuisine.

Wikipedia features the history of both tzatziki and raita. There are MANY recipes for each sauce. Tzatziki is one of my favorite dishes to prepare and eat. In my version of “zeke dip” I use a special ingredient which tempers the tang of the yogurt and makes the cucumbers shine. Sometimes I even make the dish using cottage cheese instead of yogurt for added texture.


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