Greek tzatziki, like Indian raita, is a cool and refreshing yogurt-cucumber sauce. In Greece, where it is accented with garlic and dill, it is also served as a meze, or appetizer, and is spread onto pita.
The cucumbers can be puréed and strained, or seeded and finely diced; then mixed with yogurt, herbs, and sometimes, olive oil.
There are variations of tzatziki throughout the Middle East, where the sauce is used as a side dish to meals with meat (another of its many names is tarator). The acidity of the yogurt is a counterpoint to the fat of the meat. Tzatziki is also used to top souvlaki and gyros (in the U.S. tahini, a sesame seed sauce, is more often used with these sandwiches).
The classic yogurt-cucumber spread is a new way for Americans to accent a chicken, turkey, pork, ham or veggie sandwich, or as a side or sauce with the meat. Instead of using whole-milk yogurt tzatziki, it is quite low-calorie when made with fat-free yogurt.
Click here for a tzatziki recipe. You can be creative with it, adding your favorite herbs (such as mint) and chopped olives.
There’s also a raita recipe, and an explanation of the differences between tzatziki and raita.
A pork chop with low-calorie yogurt-
cucumber sauce. Photo courtesy National