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Tzatziki spread and Talatouri spread are two of the most iconic sauces in Greek cuisine, Cypriot cuisine, and many Middle Eastern countries.
So much so, this creamy, flavorsome sauce is known globally as a must-have condiment with pita bread, spicy meats, and a range of other Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes.
The beauty of tzatziki or talatouri is in its simplicity. Both use only a handful of ingredients, yet mix to create a spread with a deep, rich, and unique flavor.
And if you’re looking to bring plenty of Greek or Cypriot magic into your home kitchen, you’re in luck: this spread is so easy to make!
Talatouri/tzatziki spread has been served on tables since the reign of the Ottoman Empire, as far back as the 14th century.
Its core ingredient is always a strained, sour yogurt, hence Greek yogurt is widely used in variations all over the world.
The yogurt is mixed with shredded cucumber, minced garlic, and a range of herbs, along with some other ingredients depending on the country or region.
Talatouri or tzaziki spread is always served cold. It’s a common part of Middle Eastern meze and used as a dipping sauce or side dish to other dishes.
Many variations of this delicious spread exist. The Balkans, Turkey, and the Middle East, are just some of many regions with a take on this spread in their cuisines.
My recipe is heavily inspired by Greek tzatziki and Cypriot talatouri spread.
Talatuori is native to Cyprus. Often, talatouri is made with fresh or dried mint and lemon juice.
Tzaziki spread is native to Greece, and it’s the spread that’s the most well known globally. It is commonly made with white vinegar and dill instead of mint and lemon juice.
My personal favorite uses fresh mint and lemon juice. You can try substituting the fresh mint with dill, or dried mint and lemon juice with vinegar, and see which one you like the best.
Get all the ingredients for the talatouri or tzatziki spread.
First, peel the cucumber and grate it on the large shredding holes of the box grater.
Then, squeeze out the liquid from the shredded cucumber. You can do so by pressing the shredded cucumber with your palms to remove excess moisture and place them in a bowl.
Following this, add the remaining ingredients one-by-one, and stir until combined.
For the best flavor, leave the tzatziki to rest for a few minutes before serving. It is best served with Cypriot village bread, pita bread, or rye bread. It’s also delicious with grilled meat, in pita wraps, on falafel. You can also have it as a dip with pita chips or vegetables such as carrot sticks, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, and more.
Please note that the tzatziki can be stored in the refrigerator for about three days.
Peel the cucumber and grate it on the large holes of the box grater.
Squeeze the liquid out of the cucumber by pressing the grated cucumber with your palms and place the grated cucumber in a bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients one-by-one, and stir until they combine.
Leave the tzatziki / talatouri to rest for a few minutes before serving.
Tzatziki or talatouri can be stored in the refrigerator for about three days.
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Author: Doina Johnson is a content writer and creator, who has traveled to over 30 countries. She is passionate about trying new foods and loves to make foods she has tried on her travels in her home kitchen.
Contributor: Anastasiya Tikhonova is a writer and translator who has lived in Cyprus for several years. Anastasiya writes about all things Cypriot culture, and she is fluent in three languages.
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