Cacik, tzatziki, whatever you may want to call it, there is no arguing it’s delicious!
Cacik is a traditional dip/meze popular in the Turkish cuisine. Made of salted strained yoghurt, mixed with cucumber, garlic, salt and olive oil, generally being served as a cold appetiser. Perfect with Turkish bread and accompanied with other mezes on your table.
There are many different variations of Cacik throughout the cuisines of Southeast Europe and the Middle East. The Balkans prepare theirs watered down as a cold soup served in the summertime and the Greek-style Tzatziki is made using thicker strained yoghurt.
Now let’s go back in time to try and work out where Cacik originated from. Back when the Ottoman Empire was ruling most of the East and India was ruled by the Persian’s to balance out the heat of their biryani, the Indians would prepare a seasoned yoghurt-based dip called raita. They would prepare this cool as a cucumber dip as the perfect solution. Then it was said the Persians took this back with them to Middle East and the rest is history!
To recreate your own version of Cacik, see the recipe we have prepared for you using Sahara’s very own Greek style yoghurt.
- 18 oz/500 g Sahara Greek Style Yogurt (plain)
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup cold water
2 to 3 cucumbers (peeled and finely diced)
- Optional: 1 to 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped, or 1 to 2 tsp. garlic powder)
- 1 tsp. salt (more or less to taste)
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. oregano (dried)
- Optional: 1/4 tsp. hot red pepper flakes (or sweet paprika)
- Garnish: 1/4 cup dill weed (fresh, finely chopped or 1 tsp. dried dill weed)
- Garnish: 1/4 cup mint leaves (fresh, finely chopped or 1/2 tsp. dried mint)
First, whisk the yogurt and olive oil together to make a smooth mixture. Gradually whisk in the water until you get the consistency you want. Some prefer their 'cacık' watery while some like it thick. It's completely up to you.
Next add the cucumbers, garlic, and spices and mix thoroughly until smooth. Adjust the spices to your taste.
It is best to refrigerate your 'cacık' for a few hours before serving. Serve your ice-cold 'cacık' in small, decorative bowls. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in the centre of each one. Garnish each with a small sprig of fresh mint or dill weed.