Jajik is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that can be served as a sauce, dip or salad.
It’s similar in texture and taste to Turkish cacik and Greek tzatziki. Jajik sauce is often served as a cool and creamy side dish to accompany roast meat, rice or flatbread.
Our authentic Jajik recipe features flavourful and healthy ingredients like creamy yogurt, tangy sour cream, garlic, cucumbers, fresh mint and cilantro, olive oil and black pepper.
The simple Middle Eastern recipe is gluten free and vegetarian.
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What Is Jajik?
Jajik is a refreshing Middle Eastern dish made with creamy yogurt, cucumbers, fresh mint and garlic. It is popularly served as a side dish to accompany grilled meat and rice.
The healthy vegetarian recipe can be referenced as Jajik Sauce or Dip (a thinner version spooned over meat or dunked with flatbread) and Jajik Salad (a thicker version, which we prefer).
Jajik tastes similar to Turkish cacik, Greek tzatziki and Indian raita. It’s popular across the Middle East, from Iraq to Armenia.
Thanks to the cooling properties of the yogurt, Jajik is a great accompaniment to spicy dishes, or to cut through the richness of hearty rice dishes.
We personally think it tastes better the longer it loiters in the fridge. Once the flavours have had a chance to really meld together. It’s the perfect quick & easy make ahead salad recipe.
Travel to the Middle East by Making Jajik at Home
I love traveling to the Middle East and North Africa.
As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in the Middle East, from authentic markets to award winning restaurants.
For over ten years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best Jajik recipe via adventures that had me zig-zagging through Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Dubai. You guessed it! Some of my fondest food memories while traveling in the Middle East include colourful eye-popping mezze platters featuring mutabbal, humus, tahini and jajik sauce.
I ate a creamy bowl of Jajik Dip at a traditional Moroccan riad, on food tours of Istanbul and Bodrum, accompanied by Egyptian tea on a Nile Cruise and in bustling market in Cairo, late night snack in Amman, al fresco market lunch in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and as a pita spread at a massive Middle Eastern barbecue in the middle of the Dubai desert while belly dancers twirled under the night sky.
My Family Loves Cucumber Mint Yogurt Salad
When my family moved to Oakville the first restaurant we visited was a local Egyptian and Lebanese restaurant called Agabi. Ranked as one of the best restaurants in Oakville, Agabi became our family’s go-to Middle Eastern take out joint.
We’d always order a mezze platter featuring labneh, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, falafel and creamy jajik sauce.
After falling in love with Middle Eastern food at our favourite local restaurant, we enjoyed vacations to the Arab Peninsula, feasting on endless bowls of hummus, falafel stuffed pita and fresh mint topped jajik.
If you’ve got company coming for dinner and are looking for a healthy vegetarian dip, sauce or salad, Jajik is always a crowd pleaser!
Our homemade Jajik recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Packed with calcium and friendly probiotic bacteria, sour cream and yogurt help keep your bones strong and your gut healthy. Yogurt may also help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and some types of cancer.
Cucumbers are low in calories and high in water content so are great at hydrating the body. To maximize their nutrient content, cucumbers should be eaten unpeeled. Peeling them reduces the amount of fibre, as well as certain vitamins and minerals.
It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.
Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.
Fresh mint is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and can have a calming effect on the digestive system. It is also a good source of folate, which supports blood health.
A good source of bone-strengthening vitamin K, cilantro is also rich in antioxidants that help protect the eyes from damage by free radicals.
Homemade Jajik Recipe Cooking Tips
If it’s your first time making homemade Jajik be sure to review our detailed step-by-step recipe below. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to get you started:
- We’ve used Greek yogurt in this recipe as we like a thick consistency that can be scooped like a salad. You can substitue for Balkan-style yogurt or plain yogurt to produce a thinner product that is better suited if you want to serve Jajik sauce or dip.
- We like to combine a little sour cream into the recipe to give it a tangy and creamy mouthfeel. You can exclusively use yogurt if you prefer.
- We use grated cucumber in our Jajik recipe but you can also finely dice cucumber if you prefer a crunchier consistency. We use English cucumber but Persian cucumbers work well.
- Be sure to use fresh mint and cilantro rather than dried herbs.
- To impress guests garnish the serving bowl with a sprig of fresh mint, freshly cracked pepper, flaky salt and swirl of extra virgin olive oil.
What To Serve with Jajik
We love to make this healthy vegetarian dip at Middle Eastern-themed meals or as a dip to serve on a snack table.
If you’re serving Jajik Dip, serve it alongside carrot sticks, celery, crackers and flatbread. It also tastes great as a spread on fresh slices of sourdough bread.
If you’re making Jajik Sauce, serve it spooned over grilled meat, hearty rice dishes or couscous.
If you’re making Jajik Salad, serve it in a bowl with a large serving spoon so guests can easily scoop a portion onto their plate.
If you’re hosting a large Middle Eastern-theme dinner party or buffet you may want to serve Jajik with these popular recipes:
- Lebanese Beef Hashweh Rice
- Mdardara Lebanese Caramelized Onion Lentil Rice
- Ejjeh Vegetarian Lebanese Herb Omelette
- Adas Polo Persian Lentil Rice
- Lebanese Spiced Minced Beef Stuffed Pita Arayes
- Vegan Lebanese Cabbage Malfouf Salad
- Kookoo Sabzi Vegetarian Persian Omelet
- Moghrabieh Lebanese Chickpea Chicken Couscous
- Vegetarian Middle Eastern Spiced Pea Fritters
- Healthy Chicken Shawarma Plate
- Palestinian Chicken Musakhan
- Beef Kafta Afghan Kebab
- Lebanese Kibbeh Fried Beef Croquette
- Vegetarian Lebanese Eggplant Fatteh
- Lebanese Lamb Dumplings Shish Barak
- Lebanese Lentil Soup Adas Bil Hamod
You May Also Enjoy These Dip Recipes…
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How To Make Traditional Jajik Sauce, Dip or Salad
Jajik Cucumber Mint Yogurt Dip
- mixing bowl
- Spatual or Wooden Spoon
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- cheese grater
- French knife
- 1 1/2 cups Greek Yogurt
- 1/3 cup Sour Cream
- 2 Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 Medium Cucumbers peeled, grated, squeezed and drained in a colander
- 2 tbsp Fresh Mint chopped
- 1 tbsp Fresh Cilantro chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
- Pinch Black Pepper
- In a mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, sour cream, garlic, cucumbers, mint, cilantro and oil. Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours or overnight. If you're in a rush you can serve it immediately.
- Before serving, garnish with mint and black pepper. Accompany with pita.
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