This popular Turkish dip makes a delicious appetizer or side dish, and takes just 10 minutes to prepare.
Cacik (pronounced ‘jah-jik’), is a popular savoury dish from Turkey, made with yogurt, cucumbers, garlic and mint. It is normally served as a dip, but can also be blended with a little extra cold water to make a refreshing cold soup in the summer.
As a dip, Cacik is usually served as part of the meze (appetizers), but it is worth keeping it topped up as it works well with many main courses. On a visit to the Turkish restaurant Antepliler, we enjoyed several dishes where Cacik was used as a dip, combined in a Lahmacun with salad and chunks of meat, and spread in a layer under tiny meatballs.
Cacik is so easy to make, and it is a wonderful accompaniment to most barbecued and grilled meats. I usually serve Cacik with these delicious Kuru Köfte Meatballs.
Difference between Cacik and Tzatziki
Cacik is made using cow’s milk yogurt, while tzatziki is thicker and uses a sheep or goat milk yogurt
What type of yogurt to use
Select a Turkish or Greek, strained cow milk yogurt and add a tablespoon of water, then beat to a smooth consistency. For a more dense Cacik (such as the Iranian Mast O Khiar), skip the water, or for a more runny dip (like a Raita), use a normal plain yogurt.
Which cucumbers are best
I prefer to use small baby cucumbers (also known as Persian cucumbers, measuring approximately 5 inches in length), as they have a better flavour, are slightly sweeter, and less watery than regular cucumbers. However, if they are not available, half a regular cucumber will work too, but then you can probably skip the tablespoon of water in the recipe.
Cacik is usually made using cucumbers which can be substituted with spinach, chard, purslane, or herbs such as parsley or dill , depending on the dish you are serving it with.
To make Cacik Soup
After preparing the Cacik, mix with 1/3 cup of cold water to achieve desired consistency. Serve cold.
The combination of fresh produce, salt and dairy means that the Cacik won’t keep for longer than a day, so it is best to prepare it the same day. Ideally, make it a couple of hours before serving, then cover and chill till ready to serve.
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Check out my other Dips & Sauces recipes.
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Cacik – Turkish Yogurt Dip With Cucumbers
- 2 cups yogurt strained, Turkish or Greek
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 baby* cucumbers or 1/2 a regular size cucumber
- salt to taste
- 5 leaves fresh mint chopped
- olive oil to drizzle
- In a medium bowl, beat the yogurt and water till creamy and smooth.
- In a separate bowl, grate the cucumbers and the garlic.
- Add the cucumbers and garlic to the yogurt, season and mix well.
- Stir in the chopped mint and drizzle with olive oil. Cover and chill till required.