The tzatziki sauce is very popular in Mediterranean cuisine. I like Tzatziki sauce for its creaminess, freshness, and aroma brought together by the fresh herbs, olive oil, spices, and the richness of Greek yogurt. The first time I tried Tzatziki sauce was in a Mediterranean restaurant in New York with a Falafel gyro sandwich. The tzatziki sauce is commonly used with Greek/Turkish gyros or pita sandwiches, or as a veggie dip for cucumbers, carrots, tomato slices, or as a dip for crackers or any fried veggies like zucchini or eggplant.
While it’s very creamy, it’s pretty low in calories, with about 35 calories in two tablespoons of tzatziki sauce. Greek yogurt is creamier and thicker than regular yogurt. This is because the yogurt has been strained to remove the liquid whey. The Greeks strained the yogurt to reduce its water content and prevent spoilage. By straining, the yogurt also reduces its lactose content and makes it higher in protein. Protein is also one of the most important nutrients for weight loss.
The word Tzatziki originated in the Greek language, but the word also has origins in the Turkish word “cacik,”. In case you are interested in pronouncing it correctly, Tzatziki is pronounced as “tuh·zee·kee”.
Tzatziki recipe consists of Greek yogurt, garlic, cucumbers, extra virgin olive oil, salt, cumin powder, and fresh dill. In case you don’t have Greek yogurt, you may substitute it with a mixture of sour cream and whole milk yogurt in equal parts. I love Tzatziki sauce for its simplicity and use of ingredients that are commonly available in most homes or grocery stores.
You may try Tzatziki on Mediterranean salad (the word the Mediterranean comes from the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea such as Greece, Italy, Israel, Syria, and others). The key ingredients for Mediterranean salad come from the local produce such as tomatoes, parsley, and cucumbers. The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest diets in the world as it is rich in plant-based fibers and proteins.
I have also shared a few other Mediterranean recipes on my blog. For easy reference, please find the links below :
- Recipe for Tahini sauce: Sesame seed dip for pita bread, or a topping for salads and sandwiches. A traditional dish from the Eastern Mediterranean, Israel, and parts of North Africa.
- Recipe for Simple Mediterranean Salad Recipe for vegans – made with Olive oil, tomatoes, parsley, and cucumbers.
- Falafel gyros recipe – A traditional Greek dish adapted for vegetarians, falafels wrapped in pita bread with a topping of veggies and Tzatziki sauce.
- Recipe for Chickpea Falafels: Authentic Mediterranean protein-rich food that is crunchy, spicy and filled with aromatic herbs and spices.
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Tzatziki Recipe – A creamy sauce with greek yogurt & cucumbers
Tzatziki is a creamy Greek yogurt sauce with cucumbers and fresh garlic that is a perfect accompaniment to many Mediterranean dishes, sandwiches, pita bread, or your favorite vegetables!
- Remove stems from dill and chop finely
- Grate or mince cucumber – If you grate it, make sure to squeeze and strain the juice
- Mince Garlic
- Add the Greek yogurt to a mixing bowl
- Add dill, cucumber, and garlic
- Add Lemon juice,(Optional - cumin powder), salt, and extra virgin olive oil
- Adjust salt as needed
- Mix well
Serve with Pita bread, falafels, or gyros
Use Extra Virgin olive oil only – This is the highest quality of olive oil that has lower acidity content. It is considered the best simply because it retains most of the natural flavor and aroma. Also, this is the most commonly used type of olive oil for health purposes.