Tzatziki served with crusty bread
recipe

Authentic Greek tzatziki recipe

One of my favourite memories of Greece involves sitting at a tiny table in a tiny, twisting laneway, where a woman served me delicious, thick tzatziki through an open window. It filled a dinner plate, and was served with a single olive in the centre and a pile of flatbread. That was in Rhodes, but we had similar experiences throughout the Greek islands, with the fresh yoghurt in Naxos making their tzatziki particularly tasty.

For those we don't know, tzatziki is a cucumber dip (or spread) made from thick Greek yoghurt. It's usually served as a mezze (cold starter) or a side dish and is on menus throughout Greece. While it's widely available worldwide, finding a store-bought version with the right texture can be a challenge. So here is a tzatziki recipe to help bring Greece into your kitchen.

Tzatziki ingredients - Greek yoghurt, cucumber and garlic
A plate of tzatziki
Tzatziki served with crusty bread

The recipe

A couple of tips before we start. The yoghurt is key to getting the right texture. Try finding the thickest, gloppiest Greek yoghurt you can - it should be creamy, not runny. If you suspect your yoghurt is too runny, try draining it in muslin or a cheesecloth for an hour or two before using it.The other secret to good tzatziki is well-drained cucumber. I usually use a rasp grater (the one with the smaller holes) as it produces a sort of cucumber paste which drains very quickly in a sieve. The cucumber also flavours the yoghurt without making it watery. If you prefer to have larger bits of cucumber in your tzatziki, you may need to drain it for a little longer.

Prep: 45 min
Cook: 0 min
Total: 45 min

Ingredients

  • 1/2 telegraph cucumber
  • 1-2 teaspoons rock salt, for draining cucumber
  • 1 1/2 cups plain, full-fat Greek yoghurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh dill, finely chopped

Directions

  1. 1
    Grate the cucumber, lightly salt and drain in a sieve for at least half an hour.
  2. 2
    Combine the yogurt, garlic, oil, vinegar, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. 3
    Transfer the grated cucumber and fresh dill to the yogurt mixture and stir to combine.
  4. 4
    Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours (or overnight) until set.
  5. 5
    Serve chilled with pita bread for dipping.
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Roxanne de Bruyn

Author - Roxanne de Bruyn

Roxanne is the founder and editor of Faraway Worlds. She is a freelance writer and guidebook author and has written for several travel publications, including Lonely Planet and The Culture Trip. With a background in communications, she has studied ancient history, comparative religion and international development, and has a particular interest in sustainable tourism.

Originally from South Africa, Roxanne has travelled widely and loves learning the stories of the places she visits. She enjoys cooking, dance and yoga, and usually travels with her husband and young son. She is based in New Zealand.

Last Updated 3 May 2022

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