Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tatziki Sauce and Felafels

The traditional sauce for gyros is tzatziki (Greek name), or cacik (pronounced jajik) in Turkey. I've lived in both countries and the recipe is the same. This is a traditional recipe.
First, pick up a large container of plain yogurt, full fat, low fat, or fat free. They all work. Line a collander with plain white paper towels, dump the yogurt into the middle, top with a paper towel. Set the collander over a bowl to catch the whey and set it in the refrigerator to drain. The longer it drains, the thicker it will be. If you let it go long enough, you'll have yogurt-tart cream cheese!
Peel a cucumber, cut it in half, stem to blossom end. Scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon and discard. Grate cucumber, place it in a paper towel and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Place drained yogurt in a bowl, add the cucumber and two or three cloves of chopped/mashed garlic. I simply use a garlic press. Add a scant teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of good olive oil. Stir to blend and refrigerate for a couple of hours while the flavors merge. That's it! No mayonnaise, and for pity's sake, do NOT use sour cream! A local Greek restaurant does, and it's a travesty! Tzatziki will keep in the fridge for four days or so, but mine is always gone a lot quicker than that!
Oh, and fresh garlic has a nice bite. Garlic powder does not. I prefer the fresh. It's not unheard of to add a bit of dill weed or even spearmint. Or both. Fresh dill is better than dried. But the basic recipe is pretty close to universal in both Greece and Turkey. It's delicious!

(This is from a message board in which someone asked what the white sauce on a gyro was).

  • 1 3/4 cups , or 1 15.5 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed Cooked Dried Chickpeas
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup safflower or canola oil
  • For serving: pita bread, sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, romaine lettuce leaves, and store-bought tahini sauce.


  1. STEP 1

    Place half of chickpeas in food processor and pulse a few times until chopped, transfer to a large bowl.
  2. STEP 2

    Place remaining chickpeas in food processor with garlic, onion, herbs, spices, baking soda, salt, and lemon juice. Pulse to a thick, chunky paste, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl with chopped chickpeas.
  3. STEP 3

    Add egg and sesame seeds to bowl and stir to combine. Cover and chill batter in fridge 30 minutes.
  4. STEP 4

    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil shimmers, drop heaping tablespoons of batter into skillet and gently press batter into 2-inch-round patties. Cook, turning once, until deep golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  5. STEP 5

    Serve falafel with pita bread, sliced tomatoes and red onion, romaine leaves, and store-bought tahini dressing.

    ALso, green felafels made with collards look good through I am unconvinced that it tastes like a true green felafel. http://minimalistbaker.com/better-than-restaurant-falafel-vegan-gluten-free/

1 comment:

  1. Use dried. It's pretty bad when they're too soft to firm in hot grease. Sad sad.