Do you ever get tired of ketchup and mustard? Does mayonnaise just not cut it anymore for your taste buds? Well, a different kind of side sauce, Tzaziki (also known as Cacik), has satisfied the taste buds of the former Ottoman nations for centuries. Today, it is often served as a delicious sauce accompanying many meat and bread dishes.
Making Tzaziki is a two-step process. First, you’ll need to make “hung” yogurt, yogurt that has had its water removed so it is thicker. Although making hung yogurt on your own can sound daunting, it is actually quite easy and requires only a few ingredients that can be found in your local grocery store. Overall, the ingredients for Tzaziki won’t cost more than $20, and this recipe can usually serve two to three people, depending on which dish it is accompanying.
What you’ll need:
1 kg of normal full-fat yogurt
2 cheesecloth squares
1 string of twine
1 mixing spoon
1/2 grated cucumber
2 tbsp of chopped garlic
1/2 tbsp of salt
What you’ll do:
Part 1 — Hung yogurt
1. Place the strainer in a bowl, and cover it with two cheesecloth squares.
2. Place the yogurt in the center of the cheesecloth.
3. Form a pouch around the yogurt using the cheesecloths, and tie the top of the pouch off using twine.
4. Hang the pouch containing the yogurt on your kitchen sink or another peg. Place the bowl and strainer below it to ensure you don’t make a mess.
5. Let the yogurt hang there about 5 hours. After 5 hours, remove the yogurt from the pouch.
Part 2 — Tzaziki
1. Pour the hung yogurt into a bowl.
2. Add the 1/2 tablespoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic.
3. Mix the contents of the bowl.
4. Grate the cucumber, and add this to the bowl. Mix the ingredients until they are well integrated into the yogurt, which should be smooth.
Tzaziki can also be eaten as a dish on its own and can be a healthy alternative to prepackaged yogurts. It appears in different variations in several Middle Eastern and European cuisines and goes well with dishes from all around the world. It has a distinct flavor and is quite simple to make. So say goodbye to the days of regular condiments, and say hello to something new.
Image Source: Spandana Singh/Staff
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