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Alternative name(s) Yoghurt with cucumber
Type Side dish
Place of origin Turkey
Region or state Turkey
Serving temperature Cold
Main ingredient(s) Yogurt, variety herbals, cucumber, garlic, salt, olive oil and sometime lemon juice or vinegar

Cacık (Turkish pronunciation: [dʒaˈdʒɯk]; Persian: ماست و خیار ‎; Albanian: xaxiq[citation needed] ; Kurdish: jaj [1]) is an Turkish[2] dish of seasoned, strained yogurt, eaten throughout the former Ottoman countries. In Greece a similar, much thicker yogurt dish is called tzatziki (Anglicised: /zɑːdˈzki/; Greek: τζατζίκι [dzaˈdzici] and is also similar to tarator in Balkan cuisine. In Turkey it is served less dilute, cold and sometimes with ice.


Cacık in the Turkish language refers to herbs such as mint and thyme. The suffix -ık comes from Turkish. This in combination results in cacık in Turkish and tzatziki in Greek.[3]

Ahmet Vefik Pasha's old Ottoman Turkish language dictionary defines it as "Herb salad with yoghurt" in 1876. (Ahmet Vefik Paşa, Lugat-ı Osmani (1876))



Turkish Cacık is made of yoghurt, salt, olive oil, crushed garlic, chopped cucumber, mint.[4] Among these ingredients, vinegar (mostly white grape or apple), lemon juice, and sumac are optional. Dill and thyme (fresh or dried) and sumac and paprika may be used alternately.

Mostly, cacik is served to accompany main dishes. As a side dish, it is diluted with water, which results in a soup-like consistency. If consumed as a meze, it is prepared undiluted but follows the same recipe. Often, dill and thyme are added as well. Ground paprika may also be added if it is prepared as a meze and to be served with some grilled meat, other mezzes or rakı (a Turkish spirit similar to Greek ouzo). More rarely, it is prepared with lettuce or carrots instead of cucumber under the name of kış cacığı (winter cacık) or havuç tarator.


Haydari is a different type of mixture of some herbals, spices, garlic with yoghurt. The main differences to cacık is that cucumber is not included in the recipe and that strained yoghurt or labne is used.[5]



Greek Tzatziki sauce is served with grilled meats or may be served as a mezze alongside other mezzes, dishes and ouzo. Tzatziki is made of strained yogurt (usually from sheep or goat milk) mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, and sometimes lemon juice, and dill or mint or parsley.[6] Tzatziki is always served cold.


In Cyprus, the dish is known as talattouri[7] (cf. tarator), and recipes often include less garlic and includes the herb mint, unlike the Greek counterpart.

The Balkans[edit]

There are same dishes with cacık are called as Tarator in many balkans countries.

In Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia and Serbia, the same dish is known as "dry tarator" (Bulgarian: сух таратор, Macedonian: сув таратур, Serbian: сув таратор), or as "Snezhanka" salad (салата "Снежанка"), which means "snow white salad", and is served as an appetizer. During preparation, the yoghurt (Bulgarian: кисело мляко, Macedonian: кисело млеко, Serbian: кисело млеко) is hung for several hours in a kerchief and loses about half of its water (drained yogurt, Bulgarian: цедено кисело мляко, Serbian: цеђено кисело млеко, Macedonian: цедено кисело млеко). The cucumbers, garlic, minced walnuts, salt and vegetable oil are then added.

Tzatziki salade.JPG

In Bulgaria,[8] tarator is a popular meze (appetizer) but also served as a side dish along with Shopska salad with most meals. Sunflower and olive oil are more commonly used and walnut is sometimes omitted. Tarator is seasoned with garlic and dill both of which can be omitted if so desired. Tarator is a popular dish in Bulgaria. A salad version of tarator is known as "Snowwhite salad" (Bulgarian: салата Снежанка- "salata Snezhanka" or "Snejanka" ), also called Dry Tarator. It is made of thick (strained) yogurt, without water. It can be served as an appetizer or as a side to the main meal. It is a common refresher during the summer.

When cacik is served as soup

In Macedonia, tarator or taratur is made with garlic, soured milk, cucumber, sunflower oil and salt. It is garnished with dill and served either room temperature or chilled (sometimes by adding ice blocks).

Tarator is a popular salad and dip in Serbia rather than a soup; it is also known as "tarator salata". It is made with yogurt, sliced cucumber and diced garlic, and served cold.

In Albania Tarator is a very popular dish in summer time. It is usually served cold and is normally made from yoghurt, garlic, parsley, cucumber, salt and olive oil. Fried squids are usually offered with Tarator

Middle East[edit]

Similar dishes in Iraq are known as jajeek. They are normally served as meze to accompanye alcoholic drinks, especially Arak, an Ouzo-like drink made from dates.

A similar dish is made in Iran, called mast-o-khiar literally meaning yogurt with cucumber. It is made using a thicker yogurt, which is mixed with sliced cucumber, and mint or dill (sometimes chopped nuts and raisins are also added as a garnish).

Other far variants and similar dishes[edit]

A variation in the Caucasus mountains, called ovdukh, uses kefir instead of the yogurt. This can be poured over a mixture of vegetables, eggs and ham to create a variation of okroshka, sometimes referred to as a 'Caucasus okroshka'.

In India a similar dish is made with yoghurt, cucumber, salt and ground cumin (sometimes also including onions) called raita.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]