Turkish Food – Cacık (Natural Yoghurt with Cucumber and Mint)

One of the first things we noticed when we came to Turkey was yoghurt! It seemed like it was everywhere. Twelve years on and those first impressions still stand; Turkish natural yoghurt plays a huge part in the cuisine of this country. The size of the tubs in the supermarkets are testament to that – think large tin of emulsion paint when decorating your home and you’re not far wrong! More on the Turkish love of yoghurt in another post but needless to say, the longer we stay in Turkey, the more we love yoghurt too – and, as we were brought up thinking yoghurt was a Ski strawberry pot, this is quite an achievement on our part!

During the hot summer months, having a side bowl of a Turkish national dish, cacık, with our meals has become an almost daily habit. It’s refreshing and cooling and really does help digestion. We’re saying right now that we’ve seen cacık of all consistencies and with more or less of the ingredients. It depends on who has made it! This is how we like it:

Cacık Ingredients

Cacık ingredients in the bowl before being mixed

A Turkish Recipe For Cacık

You need:

  • 300g kaymaklı yoghurt. If you’re not in Turkey and haven’t got access to a Turkish supermarket, Greek natural yoghurt is roughly the same consistency.
  • 1 small cucumber roughly chopped (I take the middle out)
  • 1 teaspoon of mint
  • 1 clove of garlic (optional) finely grated
  • Sprinkling of salt

Method:

Well, you mix everything together and preferably leave it in the fridge for at least an hour or so just to let the garlic (if you’re using it) infuse. Serve this with your meal and ohhhh, it’s a winner. It’s a beautifully tasty side dish and it’s good for you. Bonus!

Turkish Food - Cacık

Cacık – the ingredients mixed together

Now, this isn’t to say this is the only way we like cacık. It’s just how we choose to have it with meals. If you look up recipes on the internet, you will see recipes that suggest a drizzle of olive oil before serving. We’re happy with the yoghurt as it is so we choose not to do that.

Another (fabulous) version of cacık that we really enjoy is in some of the lokantas in Fethiye). It is what we presume to be the same ingredients as this recipe but the consistency is a lot looser. The cucumber is grated rather then chopped and the yoghurt is watered down so it resembles ayran. Add a little water at a time and keep stirring until you get a consistency which is slightly thicker than full fat milk. We actually love this consistency when eating cacık with a meal.

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Comments

  1. OH MY WORD. when i visited turkey in october, i discovered cacik on one of my last days…and i’ve dreamed of it ever since!! i’m definitely using this recipe! (off i go to get me some yoghurt!)
    this post made my day!

  2. Excellent!! I’m sure “Cacık” is the biggest turkish invention of all time with yogurt. Nice Post. Thanks.

  3. Thalia, enjoy your cacık! 🙂

    Thanks so much Kuday. I get very nervous putting Turkish recipes on this blog because I know we have a lot of Turkish readers! 🙂

  4. serap_tweets says:

    In my family, we always make 2 pots… one with garlic, and one without. As about half of us can’t stomach raw garlic, and it would be a crime for anyone to go without cacik!

  5. We both love garlic Serap. if we both eat it, it means we can’t smell it on each other 🙂 Cacık just isn’t the same without garlic for us.

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