Tzatziki Greek Yogurt Cucumber Mint Sauce
This is a staple on our table for any meze or Cypriot BBQ that we make at home. I hope if any of you ever buy tzatziki you will be converted to making it yourself, after you see how quick and easy it is.
A few tips:
Use your favourite Greek yogurt for me it is Total Greek Yogurt, it makes the thickest most delicious tzatziki. If you are catering for a larger crowd and keeping costs down try Aldi’s Greek Yogurt the full fat version works well too. Traditionally tzatziki would be made using goats or ewes milk yogurt but I’m not partial to the flavour, you can use those yogurts if you prefer.
Some use dried, others use fresh, I use dried mint.
My grandparents used to grow and dry their own mint, adding the dried leaves to jars and crushing the leaves when they were needed. The smell released from the dried mint is intense when you rub the mint between your three fingers or between the palms of your hands. The aroma released from the dried mint is amazing. So when you add the dried mint rub it between your fingers or palms of your hand.
I sometimes make the tzatziki with fresh mint, but for me the intensity of the dried mint works best. I do garnish the bowl with a sprig of fresh mint. Try it both ways and see what you prefer.
Whether you chop or grate the cucumber the tzatziki will be delicious.
Personally I grate the cucumber on the micro-plane or box grater on a medium plate. Skin on and right down to the core with the seeds. I use English cucumbers so you never get those huge difficult to eat seeds. I then squeeze the cucumber between my palms and I still am dumbfounded by the amount of water that is released. Keep squeezing or you can add the cucumber to a muslin bag and squeeze it that way, it’s less messy.
Some people love to add so much garlic that the sauce is actually hot. I prefer to add 1 small clove of garlic to 1 tub of Total yogurt, but again you add as much as you enjoy and if you are not partial to garlic leave it out completely.
A glug of olive oil at the end adds a subtle smoothness to the sauce.
I only add salt just before serving the tzatziki, as even though you have squeezed all the water out of the cucumbers adding salt can release water.
- 1 large cucumber
- 500 ml Total Greek 5% natural yogurt
- 1 small clove garlic, crushed
- 1 heaped tablespoon dried mint, crushed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt to taste just before serving
- fresh mint to garnish or a sprinkling of dried mint
- Wash and grate the cucumber using a fine blade.
- Squeeze all the water out of the cucumber using the palms of your hands or using a muslin cloth.
- In a bowl add the yogurt, dried mint crushed in your hands and garlic.
- Mix well and add the cumber, stir till combined.
- Just before serving add salt to taste.
- Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint or sprinkling of dried mint.