Savoy Yogurt Sauces: Raita and Tsatsiki

Raita is a frequent condiment in Indian cuisine, tsatsiki in Greek cuisine.

If these sauces have a chance to sit, the flavors will infuse and meld, so if you can, make them at least a few hours (or a day) in advance. Serve on pitas or with fresh vegetables.

Makes 4 cups

Time frame: One hour


  • 1 large or 2 small cucumbers
  • 1 tbs. salt, or to taste
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped

For Raita

  • 1 tsp. cumin, dry-roasted then ground
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For Tsatsiki

  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • Ground white pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint and/or parsley


Grate cucumber into a colander, sprinkle with salt, mix well, and leave in a sink or over a bowl to drain excess water for about one hour (or longer).

Mix other ingredients with cucumber in a bowl. Try varying these standbys with other herbs (fresh dill, oregano, chives, thyme, bee balm or other flower petals) or grated vegetables (kohlrabi, radishes, burdock).

Taste. Much of the salt will have dripped away with the water. If desired, add more salt, as well as other seasonings.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe excerpted from Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods by Sandor Ellix Katz (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2003).

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