Choudhury was born in Blackheath, London, England, and is of half Bengali Indian and half English descent. Her parents, Julia Patricia (née Spring) of English descent, and Prabhas Chandra Choudhury, a scientist of Indian Bengali descent, married in 1964 in Lucea, Jamaica. She studied economics and film at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. She has one younger brother, Kumar Michael Choudhury, and one older brother, Chandra Paul Choudhury.
Choudhury starred opposite Denzel Washington in the 1990 film Mississippi Masala, for which she received her Screen Actors Guild (SAG) card. She was still working as a waitress in Manhattan's East Village to make ends meet while the film was in theatres. After her debut film Mississippi Masala became an art house hit, Sarita Choudhury acted as a Pakistani country-western singer in Wild West (1992), a Chilean maid who is raped in Bille August's adaptation of The House of the Spirits, and a lesbian mother in Fresh Kill.
Choudhury appeared on Homicide: Life on the Street for five episodes during the 1998–99 season as Dr. Kalyani, a medical examiner. Choudhury played the role of the King's mistress, Helen Pardis, in the NBC drama Kings. The series was based upon the Biblical story of King David but set in modern times. Her character's Biblical counterpart was Rizpah, a concubine of King Saul.
She worked with independent film Director Sona Jain in For Real. In an interview with The Statesman she said, "After Mississippi Masala and Kama Sutra I started getting offers in New York... doing theatres... I just went with the flow. One fine day, I thought that I haven't been back to India, haven't shot there and that's something I wanted to. There were Bollywood offers but it was not until Sona's script that made me look at India." The film had a commercial release in September 2010.
She appears as character Saul Berenson's wife, Mira in the TV series Homeland. In 2011, she appeared in the joint British/French TV series Death in Paradise. Choudhury also had a brief cameo the 2013 comedy Admission. She appeared in the films The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015), as President Snow's assistant, Egeria. In 2015, she appears as the Deputy White House Political Director Sophia Varma in the American crime drama Blindspot.