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Yogurt Dip (Cacik)

Cacik is a garlicky yogurt sauce that is often served alongside grilled meats as well as a meze dish. Its close cousin is haydari, often served alongside raki, an aniseed spirit, and made with very thick strained yogurt called süzme. (To make süzme, line a colander with clean muslin or a clean dish cloth and drain three times the quantity of yogurt in it over a sink or bowl overnight and continue as for the recipe below.) Cacik is sometimes diluted with water or milk to make it soupier.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 cup (8 1/2 fl. oz./250 ml) plain Turkish or Greek-style yogurt
  • 1/3 cup (2 oz./60 g) grated cucumber, liquid squeezed out
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped and mashed to a paste
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried mint (optional)
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • Salt, to taste

Directions:

In a bowl, mix 1 tsp. of the dill with the yogurt, cucumber, garlic and olive oil. Taste and add the mint, lemon juice and salt gradually, tasting until you have a tangy sauce, flavored to your liking. Spoon into a small serving bowl and garnish with the remaining 1 tsp. dill. Serves 4.

Adapted from Istanbul, by Rebecca Seal (Hardie Grant Books, 2013).