One of the best tasting Pasta Salads that is made with minimum wastage and pantry ingredients. The simple homemade dressing takes the salad from Blah to Yum! A great side dish too if you are looking for one.
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When I made my Greek meal of Spinach rice and beans it felt incomplete without a dip so I made Tzatziki.
Tzatziki made from hung curds, cucumber and garlic and mint and olive oil was extremely delicious as it was chilled.
The yoghurt used in the making of Tzatziki is usually from sheep or goat milk sometimes vinegar or lemon juice is also used. The herbs used are dill, mint, parsley, thyme etc.
Tzatziki is also called cacik or tarator in some of the Balkan countries.
The variations are minor, but then you know me I need to get them right. Feel free to skip this part and go directly to the recipe.
Variations of tzatziki (source Wikipedia)
|Country||Name||Ingredients used||Served as|
|Bulgaria and Serbia||Dry tarator,
Snezhanka Salad (snow white salad)
cucumbers, garlic, minced walnuts, salt and vegetable oil
|An appetiser or meze or Side dish|
|Serbia||Tarator, Tarator salata||Yogurt, sliced cucumber and diced garlic and served cold.
|Popular salad and dip|
|Albania||Tarator||Yoghurt, garlic, parsley, cucumber, salt and olive oil||A dip|
|Cyprus||Talattouri||Yogurt mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, and sometimes lemon juice, mint|
|Greece||Tzatziki||Strained yoghurt (usually from sheep or goat milk) mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, and sometimes lemon juice, and dill or mint or parsley||A Dip, Appetizer|
|Iraq||Jajeek||Similar to Greek Tzatziki||Appetizer|
|Iran||Mast-o-khiar||Thicker yoghurt, which is mixed with sliced cucumber, and mint or dill (sometimes chopped nuts and raisins are also added as a garnish)|
|Turkey||Cacık||Yoghurt, salt, olive oil, crushed garlic, chopped cucumber, mint. vinegar (mostly used is white grape or apple), lemon juice, and sumac are optional. Dill and thyme (fresh or dried) and sumac and paprika may be used alternately.||As a Side dish, it is diluted to a soup consistency else as an appetizer it is served thick.|
|Turkey||Haydari||Strained yoghurt or labne, herbs and spices, combined with garlic. There is no cucumber involved||An appetizer or meze|
|Caucasus mountains||Ovdukh||Uses kefir instead of the yoghurt. This can be poured over a mixture of vegetables, eggs and ham to create a variation of okroshka, sometimes referred to as a ‘Caucasus okroshka’|
|Poland||Mizeria||Same ingredients but uses sour cream in place of yoghurt.|
|South Asia||Raita||Yoghurt, cucumber, salt and ground cumin (sometimes also including onions)||Side dish|
There is an Indian version that is also called Sautikai Kosambri/Kadkdi chi Koshimber on the similar lines.
Tzatziki a Greek Dip
- 2 Cups Curds/yoghurt hung
- 2 Cucumbers peeled and diced
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
- Salt And Pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon Dill chopped (I used mint instead)
- 3 Cloves Garlic peeled and diced
- Beat the hung curds till smooth.
- Add all the ingredients mix well. You can also blend it till well mixed but I did not.
- Transfer in a covered bowl to the fridge.
- Serve after at least an hour.
This completes my Flavours of Greece for now. What I shared was Greek Spinach Rice|Spanakorizo and Traditional Greek Green Beans (Fasolakia Giaxni). The dessert was Watermelon with Feta with Microgreens.
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