This recipe is incredibly simple but so refreshing. Yogurt is a staple in Turkey- which is made even more evident by the large plastic tubs they sell it in. They ain’t havin’ none of that little cup stuff like in the states! Typically yogurt is plain- and you dress it up however you like. Drinking/ eating yogurt as a savory, salty product rather than sweet took a lot of getting used to when it was introduced to me 4 years ago, but now it is my preferred method of consumption!
Ayran is incredibly popular in Turkey. Ayran is simply watered down, salty yogurt. Another step up from this is cacık, which you may recognize as tzatsiki in greek restaurants in the US. Don’t be surprised when many foods we know as greek pop up in Turkish cuisine. These countries share a deeply intertwined history, and their common foods indicate this.
Here is a quick recipe for cacık, which can be served as a cold soup or beverage. I did not include any ratios because they are completely up to the person making it. Some people like theirs thick, lightly salted, with only a little cucumber. Others like it thin, salty, and swimming with cucumber. We usually do the latter.
Garlic, mashed (optional: for soup)
Put salt, cucumber, yogurt and (optional) garlic into a large bowl and mix well.
Thin out yogurt to desired consistently by pouring in cold water slowly, mixing all the while.
Once yogurt is at desired consistency, serve in bowls or glasses and garnish with mint.
This goes incredibly well with meat dishes