Typically people think of this as a Greek food, but I learned to make it from a friend when I was an exchange student in Germany. My friend, Hossein, was from Tehran, Iran (Persia) and he liked to have tzatziki with every meal (it is a condiment served on the side). As far as I can tell, most of the countries on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea, and other middle eastern countries like to eat something similar to this with many of their meals. Tzatziki is a yogurt salad typically made with cucumbers, onions and garlic. At least, these are what I consider to be the essential ingredients. I have had some in restaurants that omitted the cucumbers. Eh. Not so good, in my opinion. One of the dinners I usually serve with tzatziki in my home, is grilled salmon with rice, tzatziki and diced tomatoes on the side. I don't really follow a recipe for this, but here is my approximate amount of ingredients. For yogurt, you can use full, low or non-fat but I don't like the texture of non-fat. I prefer Greek style, it's smooth, thick and creamy not like gelatin.
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced (1/2 of a medium cucumber)
- 1⁄2 cup onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 dash lemon juice (optional)
- salt (you really need salt on plain yogurt...it helps it taste a lot better)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried dill, crumbled between your thumb and forefinger to sprinkle over the yogurt (crumbling it helps release a bit more of the flavor)
- 1 teaspoon fresh mint, finely chopped (or 4 pinches of dried mint, crumbled between thumb and forefinger, sprinkled over the yogurt)
- Combine all ingredients and stir well.
- Chill for at least a half hour before serving. Makes 4-5 very generous servings.
After visiting Greece and eating lots of gyros I just had to make some tzatziki myself. This was a great recipe! The only thing I did differently was I used a food processor for all of the chopping and poured the excess liquid off so I would have a nice thick consistancy still. Thanks for a great recipe!
Yummy stuff! I would think it is called something else in Iran but this was delicious with an Persian meal. I used Balkan yogurt, English cucumber, purple onion, the optional freshly squeezed lemon juice, sea salt, freshly ground 4 pepper mix, fresh dill, plus the rest of the ingredients. Served with Chelo Kebab Iran sprinkled with sumac, charred onions, saffron buttered rice, doogh (minty yogurt drink), and salad for a delicious meal. I may make this again to serve with Iranian meat skewers. Made for Visiting Iran(Persia) in June 2012!
This perfectly complimented my gyros. The flavors were great with little preparation and short refrigeration time.