Jajik is a Middle Eastern cucumber, yogurt, and mint salad. It’s so simple to make, and a really flavorful side to so many dishes. Just 5 minutes, and a few ingredients and you get this classic yogurt salad.
What is jajik?
Jajik is derived from the Turkish word Cacik, meaning a cucumber yogurt dish. Different countries do it different ways, with the Greek version tzatziki including olive oil, some places add fresh herbs like dill.
In the Middle East, our yogurt cucumber salad is usually made very simply with dried herbs, yogurt, cucumber and garlic. We often serve this alongside rice dishes, or grilled meat.
Why make this cucumber yogurt mint salad?
Because it comes together within minutes. You just need a handful of ingredients, and you get this refreshing, crunchy and light salad.
Because of the cooling properties of yogurt, this is a great accompaniment to spicy dishes like curries, or to cut the richness of heavy rice dishes.
Basically, jajik pairs well with everything!
In my opinion, this tastes even better the next day, once the flavors have had the chance to meld in the fridge. Perfect make ahead recipe.
Ingredients you need for jajik:
Yogurt: I prefer using regular yogurt, whole milk. You can also use low fat yogurt if preferred. I use plain yogurt, but this would work just fine with Greek yogurt.
Cucumbers: I used large cucumbers, no need to peel them. You can add as much or as little as you like. I grate the cucumbers in the recipe, but you can also finely dice them if you prefer.
Garlic: While you technically could use garlic powder (or omit garlic altogether), I really like the punchy flavor fresh garlic gives. So it isn’t overwhelming, make sure to crush the garlic or really finely mince. I usually add more garlic than indicated in the recipe, but I’ve been told that I have a weird obsession with garlic so I listed the more typical amounts.
Dried mint: A key ingredient in this. Give so much flavor! Feel free to add more if you like.
Salt: Start with the amount listed, then after mixing taste and adjust adding more if desired.
How to make jajik:
- Prep the cucumber by grating it, and squeezing out any excess water so the dip doesn’t become too watery.
- Mix together the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, dried mint, and salt, and stir until totally combined.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
- Store in the fridge until ready to use and enjoy!
Watch how to make it in the video below!
What to serve cucumber yogurt mint salad with:
We traditionally serve this alongside rice dishes, and alway alongside this Hashweh rice.
Bulgar Pilav is another one that this works so well with.
Chicken machbous, Lebanese chicken and rice, Ouzi and Lamb Mandi are other rice based dishes that this compliments perfectly. I absolutely love a cucumber yogurt salad with Mujaddara (A lentil pilaf).
You can also serve this as a stand alone dip or spread, with some pita bread or chips.
I use whole milk plain yogurt. You can also use low fat yogurt or Greek yogurt.
Leftover cucumber yogurt salad can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you want to avoid it going watery, then you can prepare the yogurt garlic sauce and store it seperately from the grated cucumber until just before serving.
You can if you really don’t like garlic. However, it really adds so much flavor. Maybe try using a pinch of garlic powder instead of fresh garlic if you really prefer that.
If you liked this recipe, you might like:
- 2 large cucumbers
- 16 oz plain yogurt 500 g, 2 cups
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely minced
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- Grate the cucumbers, and squeeze out any extra water. Alternately, you can finely diced the tomatoes. No need to peel in either case.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, dried mint and salt. Taste, and adjust seasoning as you like.
- Store in the fridge until ready to serve!