Yogurt Salad

by Sarah on June 6, 2009

Kacik in Greek or Tzaziki in Turkish

Yogurt is derived from the Turkish word yoğurt, which isn’t at all surprising given the abundant yogurt used in their cuisine. One of the first recorded evidence of yogurt consumption is found in an 11th century Turkish book describing its use by the local nomads. Yogurt has been a staple in Central, South and Western Asia as well as the Balkans for centuries. Isaac Caraso, from a Jewish Sephardic family of Salonica Greece, was the first to mass produce yogurt in 1919. He was inspired by the a nobel prize winning Russian microbiologist, Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov, who believed that yogurt helped to cure stomach ailments as well as increase longevity. Caraso’s company, located in Barcelona, was named Danone, or little Daniel after his son. The name expanded into the United States under the name Dannon.

1 cucumber, cut into small cubes

1 bunch dill, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

Salt and pepper

250 ml yogurt, drained

Combine all the ingredients and mix well. In Jordan dried mint replaces dill and a few tablespoons of water is added to the yogurt for a more soupy consistency.

Yogurt is also served plain with fresh za’atar leaves (Majorana syriaca) or purslane (Portulaca oleracea) in the Levant. Delicious eaten together with zaátar pita (simply made by toasting pita bread with olive oil and zaátar spice) and vegetable salad.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ena June 8, 2011 at 5:54 am

I love this dip/salad, but you mistook the name. It’s tzatziki in Greek and kacik in Turkish. I’ve only discovered your blog yesterday, via David Lebovitz’s link about the Bulgarian food and haven’t stopped browsing ever since.:-)


Sarah June 10, 2011 at 11:47 am

Ena, Thank you. Yes you are right, I made this recipe before I visited Northern Greece and ate Tzatziki morning, noon and night. Not a mistake I will make now :-)


Cecil April 28, 2012 at 6:51 am

And, in fact, it’s not “Kacik”, but “Cacik”… the “C” is pronounced “g” as in “generic” for instance.
“Tsatsiki” in Greek is just the same word, “mispronounced” – the “g” becomes “ts”!
Your recipe is wonderful!


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