Friday, February 16, 2007

Turkish Cuisine: Cacik

Yogurt is served with most evening meals in Turkey. The yogurt here is rich and creamy. We eat it salted as a side dish or add water to it and drink it with meals. This is called Ayran. It is wonderful. I hated it when I first moved here, but now it is one of my favorite drinks. Cold ayran can be found everywhere. The following recipe is another family favorite. We eat this at least once a week with our evening meal. I hope some brave souls will give unsweetened yogurt a try.

Cacik (Jojuk- the o is short)

2 medium cucumbers
2 cups of plain, yogurt (avoid low fat)
salt to taste
1 tablespoon fresh dill weed
1 large garlic clove

Peel and finely chop cucumbers, set aside.
In a mixing bowl whisk together the yogurt and enough cold water to make a creamy looking thick soup.
Add the rest of the ingredients saving the cucumbers for last.
You can drizzle olive oil over the top and garnish with dried mint flakes, crushed red pepper
and/or sumac if you wish.
Serve cold in small serving bowls as a side dish with meal.

If you make this, please let us know how it turned out. If you take a picture, I will post it.

Update: Stacy made it and and graciously sent in a picture. (Please note that she did not add water. Cacik is normally soupier than this, but she wanted to put it in tortillas/wraps.)


  1. Linda,

    This sounds wonderful and very refreshing! We will try this during Lent when Catholics abstain from meat on Fridays. THANKS!

    I'll be sure and let you know how it worked out.

  2. We eat yogurt this way as we live near a large Greek community (Tarpon Springs, FL) and eat a lot of Greek food.

  3. Sounds delicious! We'll have to try it when we can get those ingredients--it's hard to get decent cucumbers around here this time of year.

    DH and I got to go to a Turkish restaurant a few months ago and the food was so wonderful. I'd love to try some more Turkish recipes at home.

  4. Mmmm, yummy! I love both cucumbers and yogurt and make a very similar Indian dish called raita. I love the way you garnished it.
    Do you have any good meatless Turkish recipes?

  5. Betty16.2.07


    Do you know if your yogurt is from cows, sheep, or goats? I wonder if that makes a difference? I will try this! So this recipe is to eat out of a dish with spoon? Is there a brand of chai in the states that most closely resembles what you all drink over there?

    Can't wait to try this dish! I do know that we love to serve yogurt with bean dishes and soups. I'll let you know how it goes!

  6. Stacy16.2.07

    I've made something really similar to this before. Is it kind of like tzaziki sauce? Mmm... I think when I made it it had mint instead of the dill, and more garlic. And maybe lemon juice. But I will try this! :)

  7. Stacy16.2.07

    Hi Linda,

    Me (Stacy) again.
    I have a question that is off-topic from this post but CM-related. Can I ask it here?

    I'll be starting AO Year 1 in the Fall, but am using your history text recommendations in place of theirs, and adding in some of our own things for Bible and additional reading.

    My question is this: a 36-week schedule leaves a whole 16 weeks of "free time". I'm much more attracted to the idea of a year-round schedule. Do you know of anyone who has done that with primarily AO material? I was thinking more like a 44-46 week schedule, leaving 6-8 weeks free.

    What would you suggest? Maybe I'm bonkers in thinking that we don't need 16 weeks of no school. After all, I've never done this before (and that's why I'm asking *you*, a seasoned CM-er!)

    Any thoughts on this?


  8. Our yogurt is from cows. Goat cheese and milk is sold everywhere but it has a very strong taste and smell. Greek and Turkish dishes do overlap since they are neighbors. I still haven't visited Greece yet. We really like Turkish food. I must admit that our favorite food is Thai and Mexican.

    I'm excited that you are starting in the Fall. I hope you have a wonderful time with your kiddos.

    We school most of the year with just a six to eight week break in the summer. My kids don't like it to be longer. We school for six wks and then take a one week "grace week." We may concentrate on projects we've been wanting to get done or plan fun activities. It's a break for all of us. We also take off more time during a few holidays. I do not recommending adding for school time to your schedule. Spreading it out sounds like a better idea.

  9. Stacy17.2.07

    Thanks for your response, Linda! :)


  10. oops, it should be- i do not recommend adding school time...

  11. We made this for Ash Wednesday dinner (with a bean soup) and EVERYONE loved it. I used low-fat yogurt, but didn't use any water, so it came out great!

    This will definitely be a favorite around here ... now if I could just pronounce it properly....

  12. Mary G, I am so glad you enjoyed it!

  13. When I lived in an Armenian neighborhood in Pasadena, CA, they had commercial cazik...spelled Cacique....we were avoiding dairy at the time, so I only had it once or twice, but now that we found we don't react to raw milk, I might give this a try! Thanks for the recipe

  14. I make the greek style of this quite a lot (Mint instead of dill - my mom likes hers with dill and garlic). We love it as a dip for potato chips, or on top of baked potatoes. BUT one of my favorite ways to eat it: On top of a turkey burger.