Tzatziki is a Greek strained yogurt and cucumber dip which is served also as a sauce with appropriate main course. I had tried tzatziki while in US using thick Greek Yogurt but somehow found that it was very liquidy or watery (similar to normal raitha) and felt something amiss. After coming back I saw Chef George Calombaris explaining how to make a perfect tzatziki in MasterChef Australia and tried it with regular yogurt available here. It definitely worked and here is the simple dip in my words.
Cucumber: at least 1 medium peeled
Yogurt: atleast 2 cups
Garlic: 1/2 small clove finely grated
Shallots/ pearl onions: 1 small coarsely grated
Fresh Dill : small bunch finely chopped
Zest of 1 small lemon
Cayenne Pepper: a small pinch
Olive Oil: 2-3 tbsp atleast
Strain the yogurt by pouring it in a cheesecloth and letting the whey/liquid flow out into a bowl. Keep this overnight in the fridge or atleast 2-3 hours. I did this overnight. You can use this post for straining the yogurt.
Coarsely grate the peeled cucumber and squeeze out liquid from this.You can grate it on top of a tray covered with cheesecloth so that the liquid drains away.To this,mix in little salt and cover it with another clean cloth,leave for 5 minutes and then squeeze out the remaining liquid.To simplify, I squeezed out the grated cucumbers,mixed in salt, after few minutes again squeezed out. Make sure most of the liquid is removed from cucumbers and the yogurt as it affects the consistency of the dip which should be very thick.
To the thickened yogurt,mix in grated shallot, grated garlic,chopped dill,lemon zest and cayenne pepper.Add the squeezed out cucumbers and stir until combined.Add olive oil and mix well. Serve topped with more olive oil and dill leaves as a dip with chips/fresh veggies or as per choice.
Delectable dip this was and almost same as the tzatziki I had tried or seen. Perfect for the hot weather as well. Make your own and enjoy.