Today, let's discover a traditional and ancestral recipe from the Greek culinary heritage ... The Tzaziki. Simple to make, the secret of this recipe lies in the choice of good quality ingredients.
Origins & history
Even if it is not customary to say this, Tzaziki is one of the many points in common between Greek culture and Turkish culture ... The word is derived from the Turkish cacık designating a kind of condiment. Today, this yogurt and cucumber-based recipe can be found under various names in different countries: Cacik in Turkey: a more liquid recipe, served as a soup or as an accompaniment, Djajik in Armenia, Terator in Albania or Bulgaria: recipe enriched with chopped walnuts or onions served as a soup.
Tzaziki can be compared to Indian raita sauce, which is usually used as an accompaniment to dishes. For the record, it would even be a derivative ... At the time of the Ottoman Empire, the Indian people were led by a Persian elite who particularly appreciated a dish from North India, the Biryani (dish of rice). However, the fire of the spices of this dish often put a strain on the palate of the Persians, who then discovered the soothing taste of raita sauce (fresh like cucumber and soothing like yogurt). Back in the Middle East, the Persians brought back this famous sauce which was very successful in the Ottoman Empire and particularly in Greece, a country that has always produced and consumed yogurts.
Today, tzaziki is an integral part of the Greek culinary heritage. It is generally served as a meze, in a bowl, and is eaten with pita bread, olives, grilled eggplants, Greek salad, meat, ... It is also found in sauce in Gyros (Greek sandwich ) or in Turkish Döner (kebab).
Ingredients for 6 persons
1 kg of Greek yogurt
1 clove of garlic
4 tablespoons of oil
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 bunch of dill or mint
Step 1: Preparation of the cucumbers
Cut the cucumbers into two parts, removing the ends.
Grate the cucumbers with a grater, using the "large cut" part (larger pieces possible).
IMPORTANT: Place the grated cucumbers in a drainer and drain them: this is an important step in the success of your tzatziki.
Step 2: Mix the Greek yogurt and the cucumbers
Place the Greek yogurt in a bowl and add the grated and drained cucumbers.
Mix everything with insistence.
Step 3: Seasoning
· Cut the garlic into very fine pieces. Add it and mix again.
The amount of garlic depends on your taste.
· Add oil and vinegar, then mix everything together.
· Add salt and pepper. Mix again.
Step 4: Adjustment
Do not hesitate to taste the mixture to adjust the seasoning to your taste. Now is the time to add dill and / or mint to your liking. In Greece, tzatiki is eaten with a strong garlic flavor.
Step 5: Put in the fridge
Ideally, let sit in the fridge for an hour, to allow the ingredients to soak in and soften the yogurt taste.
Step 6: Enjoy!