18/09/2005

Tzatsiki (aka yogurt-cucumber dip)

500g Greek-style thick yogurt
1 small cucumber or 1/2 large
1 clove garlic (optional)
1 tsp dried mint

Method:
grate the cucumber (unpeeled), crush the garlic if used, and stir into the yogurt. Transfer to a dish and sprinkle the mint on top. Give a couple of swirls with a spoon to mix it in slightly.

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This is a traditional Middle Eastern dish which is often served in Cyprus as a dip, with pitta bread. It goes well as a side dish with many main courses too. It can be bought ready-made at supermarket delicatessans, but is quick and easy to prepare at home. In Cyprus the cucumbers are small, about the size of courgettes, similar to the size of American cucumbers but with softer skin. However British ones are a lot bigger - hence you would probably not need a whole one unless making double quantity.

As with most recipes, exact quantities can be adjusted to suit personal tastes. If when it's made there doesn't seem to be much cucumber in the mixture, add some more. If you like garlic a lot, put in two or three crushed cloves.

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