Tzatziki is an appetizer, called “orektiko” in Greek, made from Greek whole fat strained yoghurt, cucumber, garlic, salt and extra virgin olive oil, usually served with pitta bread and served as a mezes. In Cyprus, mint is added and it is called talatouri.
What makes our tzatziki so delicious is the Greek yoghurt, which is velvety, thick, rich and full of flavour. However, using a low fat Greek yoghurt with 2% fat makes it equally delicious and you can save on some calories. We just add a few ingredients in it and it is perfect.
I have seen a lot of recipes in which dill, oregano or lemon or vinegar is added in the tzatziki. These are probably Americanized versions of tzatziki.
If you ever visit Greece you will see that neither dill or lemon or vinegar or oregano is added in any Greek tzatziki and the cucumber is always grated, so that you can enjoy the velvety taste of the yoghurt.
If you don’t have Greek strained yoghurt, line a colander with cheesecloth or a coffee filter and put your regular yoghurt inside. Leave it for 4 – 5 hours, or preferably overnight in order to drain.
Cucumbers in Greece or Cyprus do not have any big seeds. If the cucumbers you are using have big seeds, remove them before grating.