Tzatziki with ‘home drained’ yoghurt
Tzatziki is one of the best dips I know, and if you are one of the few people in the world that haven’t totally surrendered to this wonder; please try it out! It goes with almost anything, but I especially love it with barbequed Greek tasting lamb or a whole roasted chicken stuffed with lemons and herbs. Also a greek salad of tomatoes, feta, red onions, fresh basil fits it very well. Uhhh or with mousakka. I could go on forever, but will stop on the rambling now.
It is definitely possible to make this without taking the time to drain your own yoghurt, but the draining is really fun, and it makes me feel like an old-fashioned house wife (in a very good way!). You need 2 liters/8,5 cups plain yoghurt, 1 cucumber and 3-4 large cloves of garlic to make it come together. Aside from that, I always add a bit of dried mint and pepper to finish it off. If you are not up for the challenge of draining your own yoghurt, just buy 1 liter/4,5 cups drained yoghurt (but please not the low fat variety).
The first thing you need, is a device that can hold the cloth over a big bowl. I am sure you could figure out a way to do it without getting a special thingy for it. I made this at my mom’s house, and she had one in her kitchen that she used last in the early nineties. Lucky for me, she hadn’t thrown it away! Then attach a fine masked cloth or dishtowel with some clothes pins to the device, and place it over a big bowl.
Pour in two litres/8,5 cups plain yoghurt, and let it drain for the day (at least 7-8 hours). This will make the yoghurt much more dense, and creamy since a lot of the water will run into the bowl. After it has drained, throw away the yoghurty water from the bowl, and transfer the yoghurt from the cloth to another bowl.
Grate the cucumber, and squeeze the water out of it until it forms sort of a hard cucumber ball. Add it to the yoghurt, along with 3-4 cloves finely minced garlic and a little bit of dried mint, and combine. It should be nice and creamy, and add some salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!