This Turkish cacik recipe uses plain yogurt, cucumber and mint and is so easy to make at home.
If you spend any time around me you’ll know that I’m all about the sauces. I am passionate about dip. As an adult, I replaced my love for ketchup as a kid with Argentinean chimichurri…actually who are we kidding, I still adore ketchup.
I fell in love with food in Jordan from discovering the different flavours and SO MANY dips and sauces. And so this year I’ve pledged to share some of my favourite dips around the world.
What is Cacik Dip?
Cacik (prounounced ja-jik). is a yogurt cucumber dip. This is not a unique dish. All over the world there are so many yogurt dips. They are very popular in the Mediterranean but you can also findmast-o-khiar in Iran and raita in India.
With an ancient spice route, it’s not surprising to see so many regions with similar recipes as they would have been introduced with traders.
Cucumber and yogurt just work.
The Turkish cacik recipe always uses salt, olive oil, garlic, cucumber and plan yogurt. Some recipes also use vinegar, lemon juice and sumac and other herbs like dill, mint and thyme.
The Difference Between Cacik and Tzatziki
Although tzatziki is a more familiar term, the Greek word tzatziki is derived from cacik. But many also believe that the first origins were from Amenian cacig.
ALSO MAKE: Traditional Greek Tzatziki Recipe
The Greek word tzatziki comes from the Turkish word cacık which in turn is likely a loanword from the Armenian word cacıg.
Is Greek yogurt and Turkish yogurt the same?
Plain yogurt is a staple food in both Greece and Turkey.
While tzatziki and cacik both appear to use the same ingredients the difference is the yogurt. Traditionally, Greek tzatziki uses sheep or goat yogurt, which gives it a very distinct taste. It’s also usually quite thick. However in Turkey, it most often with cow dairy.
How to Eat Cacik?
As a mezze (small dish) it’s served thick. It can accompany grilled meat or meat balls, pita bread and other small plates as a condiment. But as a side dish it is the same recipe diluted with water to give it a soup-like quality and can be eaten similar to a cold gazpacho soup.
It is one of the most popular Turkish recipes and if you see it on a table you should try it immediately as it’s often the first to disappear.
Turkish Cacik Recipe
This Turkish cacik recipe is for the thicker version. I used full fat Greek-style (cow dairy) yogurt for this. But if you’d like the runny version just add enough water to give it a thinner consistency.
Unlike other yogurt cucumber dip, it’s more common to see a cacik recipe with diced rather than shredded cucumber. Shredding the cucumber affects the texture but also makes it significantly more watery. If you’d like shredded cucumber but a thick consistency simply keep it in a strainer for 2 hours with a bit of kosher salt. It will extract the water and then you can add it to yogurt.
Olive oil tip: Splurge on a high quality extra virgin olive oil. Not one that you would get at the supermarket or Costco but something with taste. It’s expensive but really high quality olive oil can make a dish sing.