A deliciously cool and refreshing yogurt dip/sauce made with cucumbers and dill.
Tzatziki is one of my favorite Greek condiments. Most often I've had it in gyros or with lamb and pita as a dip. It is super flavorful and delicious with plenty of cool cucumber and yogurt. This was my first attempt at making tzatziki and it was very simple and delicious.
One main component of tzatziki is Greek yogurt. I didn't feel like buying yogurt so I used strained kefir ("a fermented milk drink"-wikipedia). I always keep kefir on hand and mostly use it in smoothies or as a substitute for buttermilk in baking but it has many uses. One of these uses is that it makes a great yogurt like substitute when strained. You just line a mesh colander with a couple layers of cheesecloth or alternatively, I use an old, thin, white t-shirt rag (that's clean). Then pour in about 3-4 cups of kefir and let it sit and drain until it is thickened to desired consistency. I place the colander inside a large bowl to catch the liquid being drained off (this is whey and there are many uses for it too so no point in wasting it). Usually by the time it is the right consistency it has drained off to about 1/2 to 1/3 the original volume and what you are left with is a thickened kefir of yogurt like consistency. The flavor is a bit different, maybe more sour, but it works in a pinch. For more information about kefir check out my Tutorial: How to Make Kefir.
2 cups Greek yogurt or strained kefir
2 cucumbers, seeded and shredded
1-2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1 tsp dried dill
Place the shredded cucumbers into a cloth lined mesh colander. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for about 10-15 minutes. Then gather the sides of the cloth and twist it around the cucumber squeezing out even more liquid.
Stir together the cucumbers and yogurt with the juice of the lemon. Add the garlic (I ran the cloves over a microplaine to make a very fine grate so you wouldn't bite into a big chunk of raw garlic) and dill and mix thoroughly.
Allow to sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving. Pour off any liquid that accumulates on top and serve as a dip or on sandwiches.
Makes about 6-8 servings. Enjoy.
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