Plain yogurt is a staple in Turkish cuisine. It's used for everything from appetizers and salads to soups, toppings, and desserts.
'Cacık' (JAH'- juck), or yogurt with cucumbers and herbs, is yet another Turkish favorite made with yogurt. 'Cacık' is a very simple dish that's served cold. It's eaten with a spoon, like soup, but it's enjoyed before or during the meal in place of a salad.
'Cacık' is very easy to make with very simple ingredients. You can serve 'cacık' anywhere you would serve Greek "tzatziki." It goes especially well with classic Turkish meat fare like grilled meatballs, or "köfte," and kebabs of all kinds.
Try it at your next barbecue or casual meal by adding a small bowl of ice-cold 'cacık' next to each place setting. Garnish each bowl with a few drops of olive oil and a sprig of fresh dill weed or mint.
Make sure you eat your 'cacık' fresh the same day. If it stays in the fridge for too long, the cucumbers will become soggy.
- 18 oz/500 g yogurt (plain)
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 to 3 cucumbers (peeled and finely diced)
- Optional: 1 to 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped, or 1 to 2 tsp. garlic powder)
- 1 tsp. salt (more or less to taste)
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. oregano (dried)
- Optional: 1/4 tsp. hot red pepper flakes (or sweet paprika)
- Garnish: 1/4 cup dill weed (fresh, finely chopped or 1 tsp. dried dill weed)
- Garnish: 1/4 cup mint leaves (fresh, finely chopped or 1/2 tsp. dried mint)
First, whisk the yogurt and olive oil together to make a smooth mixture. Gradually whisk in the water until you get the consistency you want. Some prefer their 'cacık' watery while some like it thick. It's completely up to you.
Next add the cucumbers, garlic, and spices and mix thoroughly until smooth. Adjust the spices to your taste.
It is best to refrigerate your 'cacık' for a few hours before serving. Serve your ice-cold 'cacık' in small, decorative bowls. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in the center of each one. Garnish each with a small sprig of fresh mint or dill weed.