Onion Raita for Biryani Pulao

Updated: September 5, 2022, By Swasthi

Make quick and super easy Onion Raita with just 5 ingredients – onions, Indian Curd, green chilies, coriander leaves and salt. Onion raita is a popular Raita variety often made & served in the South Indian homes and restaurants. It is always eaten with a biryani, pulao and also with kurma & meat dishes. It is also known as perugu pachadi or perugu chutney in Telugu & Thayir pachadi in Tamil. While perugu or thayir pachadi in general means yogurt chutney, onion is the most common vegetable added to this, especially when you are going to serve it with a biryani.  

Onion raita for biryani pulao

Recipe Comments

In this post I show you how to make the perfect onion raita that not only tastes delicious but also cools down the palate & helps in digestion.

Well, a Raita is a simplest South Asian side dish made with yogurt, veggies, fruits, spices and herbs. But you will find numerous methods and recipes, varying by country, region and even home. Curd also known as Dahi forms the base of this dish and is the only ingredient common in all types of raitas.

All other ingredients like vegetables, fruits, spices and herbs vary depending on the choice or the kind of raita you want to make.

Various vegetables like onions, cucumber, tomatoes and carrots are often used to add volume & texture. Spices like green chilies, red chilli powder, cumin, black pepper are most commonly used to flavor and add some heat to the raita. Herbs like coriander and mint are added to aid digestion and enhance the flavor of the raita.

About Onion Raita

Onion raita is a basic and most popular South Indian side dish made with sliced onions, curd, salt, green chilies and coriander leaves. In South India, you will rarely find a biryani or pulao being served without this onion raita. A lot of restaurants also add a very small amount of veggies like cucumber or grated carrots to make it more colorful.

In the South Indian onion raita, you won’t find any ground spices and not even whole spices. However if you want you may use those spices for garnishing but it will totally alter the flavors.

A lot of South Indian newbies learn to make an onion raita even before learning to cook a pulao or biryani. But why? Because all you do is, just mix the ingredients and there is zero cooking involved.

An onion raita can easily go wrong with the wrong choice of onions or wrong preparation methods. If you are a beginner I insist you read these pro tips below, after the stepwise pictures.

Photo Guide

How to Make Onion Raita (Stepwise Photos)

Rinse and peel a medium onion. Rinse it again under running water. Slice it. Rinse a few stalks of coriander leaves under running water. Fine chop them, discarding the fibrous stalks. Rinse and chop a green chilli pepper.

Everyone has a different ratio of onion to curd. So adjust the quantity of curd depending on your preference. But 1 cup curd and half cup onions work well for me. Use cold yogurt if you are not serving it right away. Whisk the yogurt well with salt.

Add onions, green chilies and coriander leaves. Taste test and add more salt if required.

Serve onion raita with Chicken Biryani, Vegetable Biryani or Pulao.

onion raita recipe

Pro Tips

Choosing and Preparing Onions

To make a good onion raita, use good quality firm and fresh onions. Avoid using onions that have begun to sprouts, wrinkled or have turned soft. Onions that are less sharp in flavor are best here. Shallots, sweet onions and Bombay onions all go well as they have milder flavor.

Note that it is best to slice the onions only when you are ready to make & serve the raita. Resting chopped onions will alter their flavor and will ruin the dish. A lot of people/chefs also soak the sliced onions in water for a short time so the sharpness is reduced and they won’t smell so strong. The soaked onions are gently squeezed or pat dried completely on a cloth and added to the biryani. I am not sure if all kinds of onions work this way.

But my mom always soaked the cleaned, peeled and halved Bombay onions for 30 mins, before slicing & adding them to the raita. This step can be skipped & is just an option to cut down the pungent taste.

This onion raita keeps good only for a few hours as the onions begin to release their pungent & stronger flavor to the raita. And refrigerated raw onions are a big No! The flavors totally change!

Choosing & preparing curd

As with any other raita, a good curd or dahi makes a good raita. You need really thick curd made from full fat milk and it has to be fresh. Most people in India make their yogurt fresh at home, daily or at least a few times a week.

You may however use store bought toned milk yogurt or Greek yogurt too but make sure it is not sour. Add some water while you whisk to get a smoother and pouring consistency because Greek yogurt is thicker than the normal homemade version.

If the curd too sour, some restaurants also add a splash of milk or cream before whisking the yogurt.

Spices & herbs

Coriander leaves: Rinse the coriander leaves under running water and drain them well. Chop finely. You can keep the tender stalks and discard the fibrous ones.

Salt: Usually table salt is added but you can also add pink salt or rock salt.

Green chilies peppers are fine chopped and added. A lot of people love biting into the chilies. If you can’t handle the heat, you may slit and deseed the whole chili and add it to the raita. If you have kids for the meal, you may set aside their portion and then add the green chilies.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

onion raita

Onion Raita Recipe

4.96 from 21 votes
Simple raita, made with onions, coriander leaves, curd and green chilies. Onion raita is one of the most basic side dish eaten with a chicken biryani, veg biryani or pulao.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • ½ cup onions thinly sliced (1 small to medium onion)
  • 1 cup curd thick fresh (dahi / yogurt) (adjust to suit your need)
  • 2 green chilies chopped finely (or deseeded for low heat)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander leaves chopped finely
  • salt to taste


  • Rinse onions under running water. peel off the skin and rinse them again. Rinse green chilies. Add coriander leaves to a bowl filled with water. rinse and repeat the rinse. Drain them.
  • Slice onions, chop chilies and coriander leaves, discarding the fibrous stalks.
  • Add yogurt & salt to a bowl. Whisk the yogurt until smooth.
  • Add onions, green chilies, coriander leaves to the bowl. Mix well. Taste test and add more salt if required.
  • Optionally add more yogurt if you prefer more. Add more sliced onions if you prefer more onions. Serve onion raita with biryani or pulao.


  1. 1 tsp. ginger juice, few drops of Lemon juice, 2 mint leaves can be added. All these add their own flavors. Use them only if you like.
  2. For ginger juice, grate ginger or crush it and then add to a strainer. Press down with a spoon to extract the ginger juice. Use only one tsp for the above mentioned recipe.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Onion Raita Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 93 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 5mg2%
Sodium 190mg8%
Potassium 248mg7%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 64IU1%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 135mg14%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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© Swasthi’s Recipes

First published in November 2014. Updated and republished in April 2022.

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About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Great Flavor, I did not add salt due to dietary needs. Chopped onions but food processed Chilis and Cilantro with 2 tablespoons on yogurt. Love it, will make again.

4 stars
simple and tasty

5 stars
Just tried it out nd everyone liked it so much! *-*

healthy food and good

5 stars
Thanks for sharing

Endukani mutton fry rice ni chupinchataledu me menulo add cheyandi plz all recipes are good