cacik (turkish yoghurt and cucumber)

cacik is a turkish yoghurt dip, similar to greek tzatziki - a simple but deliciously creamy cucumbery garlicky dip - combining yoghurt, cucumber, garlic and herbs.

this recipe is from one of our favourite turkish recipe books, istanbul cult recipes.

ideally, cacik is made with small persian cucumbers, but if you can't get these, a good old regular cucumber will do just fine. some people like to peel the cucumber, but we skip this step as quite like the extra texture and crunch.

we recently dolloped some cacik on our iskender kebab pizza, but you could serve this with bread as a dip, or on the side of a variety of turkish and other middle eastern dishes.


200g cucumber
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
300g turkish or greek-style yoghurt
a handful of mint leaves (or dill, or both), finely chopped
salt (table salt and sea salt flakes)
extra virgin olive oil


  1. grate the cucumber into a colander or sieve, and place over a bowl.
  2. sprinkle the grated cucumber with a generous teaspoon of salt and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
  3. drain well and squeeze out the excess moisture.
  4. crush the garlic in a mortar and pestle with a tiny pinch of sea salt flakes.
  5. mix the garlic into a tablespoon of yoghurt, then mix in the rest of the yoghurt. this makes sure the garlic mixes through evenly.
  6. stir in the cucumber and chopped herbs.
  7. serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sumac.

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