Tzatziki is a creamy and refreshing Greek cucumber yogurt sauce, made with a few ingredients and a super delicious condiment for just about anything. Here’s how you can whip up this easy Greek sauce right at home!
My family enjoys Greek/Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine quite a lot. I think it would have to be the next favorite cuisine after Indian. Both cuisines use similar ingredients and spices, which is why it goes down well at home.
I haven’t shared much of it on the blog, except for a simple Greek salad that I shared earlier this month. If you love Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food, you are going to be in for a treat the next couple of weeks or months, as I will be sharing recipes like falafel, hummus, baba ganoush, tabbouleh, and pita bread. I promise they will be out soon. For now, let me start off with this simple tzatziki sauce.
Don’t you love that sauce that is served with gyros? It is nothing but a Greek yogurt-cucumber dill dip. There are various versions and names of this sauce made with yogurt and cucumber all over Southwestern Europe and the Middle East. For instance, it is called cacik in Turkey, talattouri in Cypress, or tarator in Balkan countries. Most of them use similar ingredients with minor variations in techniques. Sometimes, tzatziki is also referred to as gyro sauce or souvlaki sauce.
Today, we are going to learn how to make Greek tzatziki sauce, which is usually served with grilled meats in Greece or as a part of a meze (appetizer).
Tzatziki sauce is an easy, no-cook thick sauce that is usually served cold. To make tzatziki sauce you will need the following:
Greek yogurt: It is important to use thick, strained yogurt for tzatziki sauce. Using regular yogurt will make a watery dip. If you use regular yogurt, make sure you strain it in cheesecloth until most of the whey has drained, and then proceed with preparing the dip. I used my own homemade, Instant pot Greek yogurt, which was really thick as you can see in pictures below.
Cucumber: English cucumbers are great for tzatziki dip, as they have fewer seeds. It is absolutely imperative that you squeeze out all the water from the cucumber, or else that can lead to a watery dip too. Do not discard the juice, you can add it to soups, smoothies or simply drink it.
Greek yogurt and cucumber are the main ingredients, besides those you will need fresh dill, olive oil, white wine vinegar, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper. Authentic tzatziki sauce does not use lemon juice, but feel free to use it if that is what you prefer.
WHILE YOU CAN EASILY RESORT TO STORE-BOUGHT TZATZIKI SAUCE, HERE IS WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER MAKING IT AT HOME INSTEAD
Making your own homemade tzatziki dip means you can customize it to suit your palate, which is always a bonus. It is made with fresh ingredients, free of preservatives and artificial flavors. This is such an easy yet delicious sauce to whip up at home.
Like a more garlicky dip? then add more garlic and make garlic tzatziki.
Prefer a tangier tzatziki sauce? Add more lemon or vinegar.
Enjoy a spicy tzatziki dip? Add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Play around with the herbs: Feel free to adjust herbs. Not everyone likes dill, so you can definitely make tzatziki sauce without dill. If you happen to like the herbaceous and earthy flavor of dill, go ahead and add as much as you like. You can also try adding fresh, chopped mint leaves to make this sauce even more refreshing.
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Greek tzatziki sauce without cucumber: Guess what? You can leave out the cucumber in tzatziki sauce and it will still taste just as great! Some people are allergic to cucumbers, I know my Mum-in-law is, so she avoids raita (Indian tzatziki of sorts, just more spiced and not as thick) if it has cucumber in it.
Aren’t these reasons enough to make your own tzatziki sauce? I bet, they are! The best tzatziki sauce is obviously going to be the one you prepare yourself, as it is going to be customized as per your needs. That’s the beauty of making anything at home, use recipes as guidelines and take it from there.
HOW TO USE TZATZIKI SAUCE?
Since summer is here, this easy tzatziki sauce will be great to serve at your barbecue events, perfect with chicken or pork souvlaki skewers or even tandoori meats or grilled veggie skewers for a vegetarian version.
Use it as a dip with veggie sticks on a crudités platter, along with some warm pita bread or pita chips, slather some on sandwiches or as a sauce for gyros.
You can serve this refreshing, and healthy tzatziki sauce as a part of a Middle Eastern meal along with hummus, falafel, and pita bread.
More dips, chutneys and condiments recipes here.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE AUTHENTIC TZATZIKI SAUCE | GREEK YOGURT CUCUMBER SAUCE
1.Peel the cucumber and chop it roughly into two parts. If you use a regular cucumber, cut it lengthwise into half and scoop out the seeds. I left the seeds since I used an English cucumber. Grate each part using a box grater. Place the shredded cucumber in a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth, sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt and leave it aside for 10-15 minutes.
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2.Meanwhile, add the Greek yogurt in a mixing bowl, also add olive oil, minced garlic, vinegar or lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Give everything a good mix using a whisk or spoon. Refrigerate if required while the cucumber shreds are draining.
3.After 15 minutes, bring the edges of the cheesecloth together and squeeze out as much of the water as possible out of the cucumber. Will yield about 7.5 oz approx or 1 cup packed shredded, drained cucumber.
4.Transfer the drained, shredded cucumber to the yogurt mixture. Also, add the chopped dill, and mix everything well once again. Taste and adjust with more salt if required.
5.Serve immediately or cover the bowl with a cling wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour for flavors to mingle. Transfer the tzatziki to a serving bowl, drizzle some more extra virgin olive oil, garnish with dill leaves. Serve with pita bread or pita chips or carrot sticks, sliced bell peppers. You may refrigerate tzatziki for up to 2 days. If stored longer, it might turn watery and lose the texture. Remember to cover the bowl while storing in the refrigerator.
1.You may use, 0 %, 2% or full-fat Greek yogurt, the more fat content, the more creamy the sauce will be.
2.You may also substitute half of the Greek yogurt with sour cream or labneh.
3.Feel free to adjust the quantities as per desired taste.
I hope you try this simple tzatziki recipe and if you do, I would love to hear from you! I’d appreciate it if you could leave a review below in comments, as it helps others know the recipe better too. You can also share your feedback and suggestions at [email protected] Thanks so much 🙂
HOW TO MAKE TZATZIKI?
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