Preparation: 15 minutes
Cacik or yogurt with cucumbers and herbs is a Turkish favorite. Its versatility and easy preparation make it a perfect companion for grilled meats and roasted vegetables. It can be enjoyed before or during a meal in place of a salad. It is a cooling dip that can be eaten alone or with pita bread on the side as part of a meze.
The difference between cacik and tzatziki is in the yogurt. Greeks use a strained sheep’s milk yogurt, Turks use yogurt from cow’s milk. As sheep’s milk yogurt is rather difficult to source most of the Tzatziki sold or served in restaurants is actually based on cow’s milk yogurt.
I prefer to use English cucumbers as they have fewer seeds and are easier to grate. Grating cucumbers give Cacik more body and a crunchy bite. Passing cucumbers through the food mill will render a more liquefied texture to the dip. Your call!
- 2 English cucumbers
- 2 cups (500 ml) plain full-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp fresh dill or mint
- 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
Wash cucumbers. Remove seeds with a small spoon or a melon baller. Do not peel. Shred cucumbers using the large hole side of the grater. Put grated cucumber in a sieve and let it drain well for about 10 minutes squeezing cucumber shreds to remove as much juice as possible. Mix cucumber and minced garlic with the yogurt. Add dill, salt, and pepper. Drizzle olive on top and refrigerate until ready serve.
Garnish with an olive if you like. Cacik should be served cold.