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Cacık is a Turkish dish of seasoned, diluted yoghurt, eaten throughout the former Ottoman world. In Greece it is called tzatziki. It is served cold in very small bowls usually as a side dish or with ice cubes.

Left: A small bowl of cacık, served with few drops of olive oil and a few pieces of dill.

Cacık is made of yogurt, salt, olive oil, crushed garlic, chopped cucumber, dill, mint, and lime juice, diluted with water to a low consistency, and garnished with sumac. Among these ingredients, olive oil, lime juice, and sumac are optional. Dill and mint (fresh or dried) may be used alternately.

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Cacık, when consumed as a meze, is prepared without water but follows the same recipe. Ground paprika may also be added when it is prepared as a meze. As a rarer recipe, when prepared with lettuce or carrots instead of cucumber, it is named kış cacığı (winter cacık).

Left: Turkish cacık, made with yoghurt and cucumber.

A similar side dish prepared in India is known as raita. Particularly popular in the state of Maharashtra, it is prepared with cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and quite often, grated carrots.


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