It’s pronounced zad-zi-ki, in case you were wondering. I do have a penchant for strange sounding names, they intrigue me and force me to delve deeper into them. And this dip is something that you want to dive deep into. Especially on a hot summer day! It’s really refreshing and cooling and goes fabulously with vegetable crudités or grilled meat. After making it, I served it with some olives and toasted pita for a mezze like feel. And announced with a flourish that the Tzatziki was served! Mom took a look at it and declared that it was not really that exotic or strange, actually it reminded her of the ubiquitous Indian raita or pachadi! Nothing like ‘experience’ to throw water on someone’s excitement! (hmph!). I of course brushed the comment aside with a cool wave of the hand and grumbled that she was closed to experimenting with new cuisines (all the while knowing that I had lost the battle!). So in essence, yes it does look and feel like pachadi and maybe the Greeks were our distant cousins and swapped recipes. (one global village huh?) But that doesn’t take away from the fact that its bloody delicious and makes for one fabulous dip!
Prep time: 20 mins + refrigeration
Makes: 2 cups
What you need:
2 med Cucumbers
500 gms thick Yoghurt (I use Nestle set dahi)
4 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 tsp finely chopped Dill
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Freshly ground Black Pepper
2 Pita Breads
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
What to do:
Wash, peel and cut the cucumber in half. Scoop out the seeds. Now grate the cucumber coarsely and spoon into a strainer. (Do this to remove the water from the cucumber. Collect the cucumber juice and reserve – I made a fabulous cocktail with it later. Recipe in next post). After you are fairly certain that you have pressed out as much water from the cucumber as possible – press into strainer again. Surprised? Yes there will still be some more cucumber juice you can extract. (I got 400ml of gorgeous green cucumber juice from 2 cucumbers). Now the grated cucumber is ready to go into the dip. (Note: You can also strain the yoghurt to make the dip creamier).
In a medium bowl add the cucumber, yoghurt, dill, garlic and olive oil and mix well. Cover and refrigerate till use. (Some people leave it overnight to develop the flavor). My impatience reduced overnight to till I toasted the pita bread …. The dip tasted fine!
Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut through the center of the pita bread. Brush the rough sides with olive oil. Now cut each circle into 8 wedges. Bake bread on ungreased tray for 10-15 mins or until crisp. Serve with olives and tzatziki!