Tzatziki is a versatile food. Here, it’s used as a topping/sauce over minced smoked salmon—a sophisticated appetizer. Photo by Grenouille Films | IST.
Last Updated January 2018
Tzatziki Recipe With Greek Yogurt
Famous Yogurt Dishes Are Easy To Make
Page 1: Easy Tzatziki Recipe
Two of the world’s most famous yogurt dishes, tzatziki from Greece and raita from India, are cultures apart; yet remarkably similar.
Another veery similar recipe from the same region is Turkey’s cacik (JAH-jik). All three are yogurt dips or sides made with yogurt, cucumber and herbs.
Raita is a side dish used as a cool counterpoint to spicy Indian dishes. It is called a cold yogurt “salad” because it generally includes raw vegetables (cucumbers and tomatoes, for example); but our Western perspective of a salad as a dish with at least some leafy greens would equate it to more of a sauce or condiment. It is a refreshing accompaniment to grilled meats—they don’t have to be spicy.
Greek cuisine thinks of tzatziki more broadly—as a sauce for meat and poultry, but also as a spread and dip.
The Difference Between Tzatziki & Raita
These dishes are cousins—maybe even fraternal twins. What’a the difference?
Both recipes are made with plain cow’s milk yogurt, which can be whole milk, lowfat or nonfat. People with lactose intolerance can use soy milk yogurt or try buffalo’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk yogurt, all of which are more digestible than cow’s milk.
The tzatziki recipe follows; the raita recipe is on the next page.
Easy Tzatziki Recipe
- 1 cup plain yogurt, drained
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, garlic, dill, and lemon juice.
- Add the chopped cucumbers; mix thoroughly.
- Chill several hours to let the flavors mix; adjust seasonings as necessary.
Add chopped onion and/or mint leaves to the tzatziki. For a spicy sauce, add crushed red pepper flakes.
Serve with grilled meat, poultry or fish; as a dip with crudités; or as a snack with grilled pita wedges.
Continue To The Raita Recipe