Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Recipe: Cucumber Yogurt Sauce or Soup

I'm no expert on ethnic foods, but I do enjoy them, even if I can't always tell you what they are called.  :) If you're into Greek or Middle Eastern cuisine, you've probably encountered something like this.  I've heard it called tzatsiki sauce (Greek food).  There is also a Persian drink called 'doogh' that tastes similar, and you could even drink this if you made it thin enough.  I like this as a soup by itself and have even craved it at times (especially when pregnant -- it has mint in it, the smell of which I have found comforting for morning sickness, and I can usually tolerate yogurt then as well).  However, the rest of my family prefers to use it only as a sauce, usually with falafel, either in a pita or just with the falafel itself.  If you like, you can use dill instead of mint, but mint is much more popular in my house.

We use a lot of sauce so we make a big batch of this when we make falafel, and if there's any extra I get to eat it as soup. ;)

Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce or Soup

    2 C. yogurt               
    1/2 C.  chopped cucumber (ours is very finely chopped, basically pureed, but you can do it for your taste)
    2 T. onion, finely chopped           
    1/2  t.  salt               
    1 t. dry mint
    1 garlic clove, crushed (or 1/8 t. powder)
    Mix all together -- serve chilled.

Very simple.  Falafel and pita are not so simple, but very tasty as well.  I'll try to post our recipes for those at some point. 

Want to make your own yogurt?  Try this site or this one or this one for some ideas on technique (Edit:  here's one more).  It's both an art and a science. ;)  I have successfully done yogurt in both a dehydrator and with a heating pad.  It's not difficult.  I don't heat the milk to 180, and I don't add powdered milk, for health reasons, and both of these things make it simpler too. My homemade yogurt is runnier than store-bought, but still good.  I could strain it, but I haven't bothered yet. 

This post is linked to Real Food Wednesday.


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