What Is Tzatziki?
First things first. What is Tzatziki? Tzatziki is a refreshing Greek yogurt dip with a strong garlic flavor. It is made with full-fat Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, vinegar, olive oil, and plenty of garlic. Yeap that’s it! No lemon, no dill and IT IS NOT A SAUCE! So what is it? It’s a DIP.
The reason I’m emphasizing on this point so much is that I see the term Tzatziki Sauce so many times and I wanted you to know, first hand by a Greek (me ?) that Tzatziki is not a sauce. IT’s a thick and creamy dip. Now don’t get me wrong here, you can, of course, go ahead and make it any way you like, but here, I’ going to show you how to make the REAL Greek stuff…
So How Do You Make This Greek Yogurt Tzatziki Dip?
Making Tzatziki is very simple. It requires only 5 basic ingredients and only a bit of hand-mixing to make. Now don’t get discouraged with the hand-mixing process as it is not really required. But as I said I’m going to show you how the authentic Tzatziki recipe is made.
So here it goes…
The Tzatziki Dip Recipe:
With a hand grater, you grate the cucumber (with skin on) combine with a bit of salt and let it drain for a few minutes in a strainer. Add the Greek yogurt in a mixing bowl, and add the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, the grated cucumber and some finely grated garlic. You combine everything by hand-mixing (traditional way so the yogurt won’t form any lumps and everything will combine thoroughly) and let the Tzatziki rest in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours or ideally overnight. This lets the garlic cool down a bit and you end up with a stronger flavor blend.
Want to make something cool with this Tzatziki Dip? Check out this flavorful Greek Homemade Gyros Wraps. Easy to make and utterly delicious!
But I Don’t Want To Get My Hands Dirty…
Well in this case…Don’t make it! Just kidding 🙂 Now because I really want you to try this Tzatziki Recipe, I came up with this solution. Since mixing with a spoon won’t combine the mixture thoroughly, you can cream the Greek yogurt with a whisk before adding the rest of the ingredients. This way the yogurt won’t form any lumps when combined with the rest of the ingredients. Didn’t require a lot of brains to come up with this solution huh? ? Well, at least it is one.
The Tzatziki Dip Recipe Ingredients
Tzatziki recipe is originally made with FULL FAT Greek yogurt, cucumber, vinegar, olive oil, PLENTY of garlic (not just a hint), salt, and pepper. In a proper Tzatziki recipe, you can actually taste a lot the flavor of garlic. In fact, there is even a (much overused) joke in Greece about Tzatziki and first dates due to the smell of garlic.
Why Use full-fat Greek yogurt In A Tzatziki Recipe
Do you know why Greek yogurt is famous about? Yeap, for its health benefits. But do you know why it has so many health benefits? Because it’s a full-bodied yogurt product with all of its organoleptic characteristics. And you know why I can use these weird extravagant words like organoleptic? Because it has a Greek origin (organolitika – οργανωλιτικά). And that’s the only reason why 😛
And I’ll tell you something else as well, a product that’s labeled Greek yogurt with 2% fat it’s not a Greek yogurt after all. It’s just a plain yogurt missing many of the good stuff that Greek yogurt is famous for. So like the nutritionist tutor on my culinary school used to say if you’re going to eat a milk product with a 2% fat than you may as well not eat it at all.
The one I used is a 10% fat. So in case, you can’t find any Greek yogurt, just grab a yogurt that has a good percentage of fat.
What To Serve With Tzatziki
Traditionally, Tzatziki is the Greek Gyro Sauce that you find inside these delicious wraps. It’s also served as a grilled meat dip or even a bread dip. You can also add Tzatziki to any meat wrap you like. Serve it with a classic Greek salad, or some grilled pita flatbread.
The Real Greek Tzatziki Recipe
- 800 grams full fat Greek yogurt at room temperature
- 1 medium-sized cucumber
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ground pepper
- Rinse the cucumber and grate it using a box grater. Not too thin, not too thick.
- Add grated cucumber into a strainer and mix with a bit of salt. Let it drain for at least 15 minutes.
- Squeeze the cucumber with your hands to remove any remaining liquid and add to a mixing bowl.
- Combine cucumber with the remaining ingredients.
- Mix thoroughly with your hands to make sure the yogurt doesn't leave any crumbles.
- Refriegerate for at least 3 hours before serving for the garlic to cool down (ideally overnight).
Here are some Greek ingredients to use on making Greek Tzatziki:
- 2017 GOLD Medal Winner PJ KABOS 16.9Floz Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil | 100% FRESH olive oil born in Ancient Olympia vicinity
- Idyll Organic Sweet Vinegar from Greece