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Imagine a refreshing, palate-cleansing dish, perfect for summer days or a delightful accompaniment to heavy, grilled meats. Allow me to introduce you to Cacık (pronounced ‘jah-jik’), a stunning Turkish cucumber salad that’s not just a salad but an experience in itself. Similar to the Greek Tzatziki cucumber salad, this variation is brimming with flavors that dance on the tongue; this chilled delight is something every food enthusiast must try. Read on to find out why this salad is perfect for you and how to whip it up right in your kitchen!
Cacık is the go-to recipe for those who want to add a touch of the exotic to their daily meals or surprise guests with something fresh and invigorating. This recipe is:
For the Health Conscious: With cucumbers and yogurt as the main ingredients, this salad is rich in nutrients and low in calories.
For the Taste Adventurers: Offering a mix of tangy, herby, and refreshing flavors, it’s perfect for those who crave something different.
For the Busy Bees: Simple to prepare with minimal ingredients, it’s great for anyone on the go.
Why Cacık is Great
Versatility: Serve it as a cold soup, a dip, or a salad. It complements various dishes and can be a stand-alone course.
Taste: The freshness of cucumber combined with tangy yogurt and herbs creates a unique and appealing flavor profile.
Diet Friendly: Suitable for vegetarians, gluten-free, and easily adaptable for vegans by using plant-based yogurt.
2 cups plain yogurt
10 Persian cucumbers or English cucumbers peeled and finely diced
1/4 cup cold water
1 tsp. salt, more or less to taste
juice from 1 lemon
4 to 5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup fresh dill weed, finely chopped or 1 tsp. dried dill weed
¼ tsp. hot red pepper flakes or sweet paprika (optional)
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
Kitchen Equipment Needed
Garlic Crusher or Fine Grater
Decorative Small Bowls for Serving
Whisk the Yogurt Base: Whisk the yogurt, salt, and water together to make a smooth mixture.
Add Freshness: Add the cucumbers, garlic, dill, and lemon and mix thoroughly until smooth.
Chill: Refrigerate your “cacık” for a few hours before serving.
Serve: Serve your ice-cold “cacık” in small, decorative bowls. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in the center of each one. Garnish each with a small sprig of fresh mint, dill weed, or parsley.
Tips, Shortcuts, and Variations
Speed up Chilling: Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes for a quicker chill.
Vegan Variation: Use plant-based yogurt for a vegan version.
Herb Variations: Experiment with mint or basil instead of dill.
Spice It Up: Adjust the red pepper flakes or paprika to your liking.
I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.