This old-world yoghurt sauce is worth a try for a truly Greek experience
This sauce made of yoghurt and cucumber in the original Greek tradition with mint keeps you craving for more.
With those succulent chicken nuggets, try this classic sauce. It is generally used with slow-cooked lamb but goes very well with chicken nuggets too. Have the surreal experience of visiting Greece by sitting in your home by making this dip.
History of Tzatziki Sauce
The word tzatziki is derived from Modern Greek. It refers to herbs used in cooking. It has many variations like the Turkish variation with nuts and basil or the Bulgarian variation which is served as a soup. Today we are making the Greek variation.
As we all know, Greek food staples are wheat, olive oil, and wine. The most characteristic feature of Greek food was its frugality. It was not pompous with elaborate cooking procedures of Indian cooking. It was rather straightforward and basic but even in ancient times, it was a class apart. It was different in its simplicity. Interestingly, it used a lot of seeds and nuts too. Meat was not very common until recently. Fish was a more natural choice due to its proximity to the sea. We all love the Greek pita bread, salads, and dips.
So today let's check the recipe to make the tzatziki sauce. In this recipe, the consistency of the sauce is very important. To achieve this, firstly the cucumbers are left in salt and excess water is squeezed out and secondly, the mixture is left to sit for a couple of hours. Along with cayenne pepper and lemon juice, the flavours are sharpened. Finally, Dill leaves and mint leaves are added. Dill is called soya in India and has a peppery green feel. Now, the glorious sauce is ready to be served.
1 large English cucumber, peeled and grated
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups Greek yoghurt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch of cayenne pepper, or to taste
½ lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 sprig fresh dill for garnish
1 pinch of cayenne pepper for garnish
Sprinkle grated cucumber with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl and let stand 10 to 15 minutes to draw out the juice. Place yoghurt into a separate bowl. Dump cucumber and its juice onto a sturdy, dry paper or cloth towel and squeeze as much moisture as possible from the cucumber. Mix cucumber into yoghurt. Add garlic, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice; mix thoroughly. Stir dill and mint into yoghurt-cucumber mixture; season with salt and black pepper. Adjust all seasonings to taste. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 or 4 hours (or overnight). Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with a sprig of dill and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper for colour. This yoghurt based dip or sauce is good to go with your chicken nuggets.