Yogurt sauces. I want to make some.
August 13, 2010 5:39 AM   Subscribe

Your favorite yogurt/yoghurt sauce/dip recipes. I want them. Sour cream sauces are good too, if you have them.

For meats, beans, fishes, fruits, or vegetables.

It is summer. Yogurt sauces seem so summery to me.

I'm not currently flush with cash, but feel free to post fancy things, in hopes that someday I will have a real job again. Also, for the enjoyment of my imagination.
posted by bilabial to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
My tzatziki recipe:

plain non-fat yogurt
1/4 cuke grated
1tbs coarse ground black/white pepper
2tbs garlic powder (fresh is better)
1tbs onion powder
1tsp dill
3-4 big squirts of lime juice
1/4tsp olive oil

For a real treat, blend in some avocado
If you like hot peppers, add some ground (tastes AMAZING with ground urfa pepper if you can find it)

blend well and put in fridge covered for a few hours to let the flavors settle.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 5:44 AM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

Fava bean dip with roasted garlic and yoghurt (mm, roasted garlic)
Zucchini (courgette), mint and yoghurt spread (mm, courgette)
posted by neushoorn at 5:58 AM on August 13, 2010

My current favorite yogurt dish is a strained yogurt cheese with herb oil mixed in. It's tangy and fresh, and you can use it as a dip for vegetables or crackers or pita, as a sandwich spread, or thin it with milk or (yes!) unstrained yogurt to use as a sauce or a dressing (for potato salad, for cold pasta, for hearty salads of greens). What follows looks complicated, but is really foolishly easy and delicious!

Strain yogurt in your preferred manner. Low-fat is fine is what I normally use, and it's lovely --- heck, non-fat would probably be okay, since you're adding oil. I used cream-top yogurt once and my guests practically licked the serving bowl. You might as well use all of a 32-ounce tub (or similarly large amount), because A) it reduces greatly in volume and B) you'll wish you had made more because it's so crazy delicious.

I used to use a lined sieve to strain yogurt, but now that I'm doing it every week or so, I devised a more compact and convenient method for draining yogurt. Detailed instructions here [self-link], but the basic plan is: take an old yogurt tub and punch holes alllllllll over the bottom. With a permanent marker, label the outside rim "strainer" so you don't forget and use it to hold liquid; that's a mistake you only make once. Rinse it well and place it in another yogurt tub.

Line the perforated tub with cheesecloth, a single layer of food-safe paper towel, or a coffee filter. Stir your yogurt well and put it into the perforated tub. (If you can't fit all the yogurt in, wait a bit. The whey starts to drip down surprisingly fast, making room for more yogurt.) Put the lid on.

Ta-DA! Now you have a well-sealed compact yogurt strainer! You can pop it in your fridge overnight or longer. Just remember to empty the lower tub every so often. (If you use a clear take-out container rather than a yogurt tub for the lower reservoir, you can see how high the level of whey is, which is a handy reminder to empty is.) Some people reserve the whey for use in biscuits and other baked goods. I blushingly admit that I haven't tried that yet.

Take the yogurt cheese and mix it with a couple of generous spoons of this simple herb oil [self-link]. Serve immediately with crackers or bread or vegetables, or plunk it into a sealed container and keep for days --- probably longer, but we always eat it up too fast to find out how long it keeps!
posted by Elsa at 5:59 AM on August 13, 2010 [3 favorites]

I like to use strained/greek yogurt to make a fake "hummus" when tahini isn't on hand. Process together:
1 15 oz. can chick peas, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon
1-3 cloves garlic
6 oz. strained yogurt

Add salt, pepper, and cumin to taste, and olive oil (between 1 tsp and 1 tbsp) to adjust the consistency.
posted by telegraph at 6:14 AM on August 13, 2010

Mix ground fresh roasted cumin, finely chopped garlic, serrano pepper and fresh mint to some yogurt and let sit overnight, Makes an awesome chutney-like sauce thats especially good with Indian rice dishes. Also good on baked potato.
posted by elendil71 at 6:29 AM on August 13, 2010

Sour cream cucumbers are a classic, and are somewhere between a sauce and a side dish. Also works well with half sour cream, half yogurt.
posted by juliapangolin at 8:14 AM on August 13, 2010

Super easy one. A couple of cloves of garlic into minced or pressed into the yogurt. Amazingly awesome. I put it on some dilly-zucchini-and-quinoa, but I imagine it would be tasty on a lot of things.
posted by hannahelastic at 8:18 AM on August 13, 2010

This is a super tasty and more sophisticated take on the classic sour-cream-and-pack-of-onion-soup dip.

For a delicious, cheap and sauce for fruit salad: combine yogurt, honey and some zested lime rind.
posted by Katine at 8:23 AM on August 13, 2010

I really like marinating chicken in yogurt - I normally just create something which whatever herbs and spices I have on hand but here is an actual recipe you could use as a guide

posted by unlaced at 8:33 AM on August 13, 2010

To second unlaced's marinade idea, I like plain yogurt with lime juice, sumac, and zaatar as a marinade for anything. I think I've also tried yogurt + lime + cumin + cilantro; also delicious.
posted by emkelley at 9:01 AM on August 13, 2010

When I need a veggie or chip dip on short notice, I'll mix up:
1 packet Lipton Onion Soup mix (or generic brand is fine)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup light sour cream
chopped green onion, if I have it

Let it sit in the fridge for a half hour or so, and pour off any liquid that separates out before serving. It tastes surprisingly good considering how easy (and cheap!) it is.
posted by Jemstar at 9:06 AM on August 13, 2010

Greek yogurt, dill, and a splash of white wine vinegar is a hellagood light salad dressing. I like black pepper in it, too.
posted by Leta at 9:10 AM on August 13, 2010

I agree on the tzaziki, but it's better with lowfat (or full fat) yogurt and more olive oil than in the posted recipe, IMO. I would also use fresh garlic instead of garlic powder. I don't have a recipe though - I just make it up as I go along.

There are also lots of Indian raita recipes that are yogurt-based. Again, I tend to make them up as I go along, so I don't have recipes.
posted by insectosaurus at 9:17 AM on August 13, 2010

I'll buy plain low fat yogurt and strain it (or strain homemade) to get thick, greek style yogurt.

For a great chicken salad (all measurements are approximate)
  • 1 leftover chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 1/2c. thick yogurt
  • juice of half a lime
  • 2 tsp garam masalla, or whatever curry powder you like
  • 2 spring onions, sliced thin
  • 1/2 of a medium sweet apple, diced small
  • A tsp of golden raisins (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, plus extra cayenne, to taste
Put it in a (whole wheat) pita with a big handful of salad greens. Take along the rest of your apple, and eat it with that "oh damn, my lunch is so healthy" smug smile.

This would probably lean towards extravagant, but I love this beautiful Saffron yogurt on warm french lentils.

BTW, if anyone is interested in the economics of making your own greek yogurt I recently did a bit of math on this.

I made yogurt from 1 gallon of milk. I then strained it and got about 64oz in volume.

Straining store bought yogurt to greek yogurt consistency reduces it by about half. A 32oz container of yogurt yielded 16oz greek yogurt.

A 32oz tub of Fage greek yogurt, 1% fat, is about $5.25
One gallon of 1% milk is around $4.25
Dannon 32 oz lowfat (1.5%) plain yogurt is around $1.40

So, per oz you'll pay:

Fage: $.164
Strained store bought: $.088
Home made: $.066

These prices, are of course without consideration for your time, which is valuable. These prices are from Texas, and will depend on where you live. Yields will vary greatly with fat content.

Straining took 8-12 hours (just leave it in the fridge overnight). I use thin cotton weave towels, reserved for food use (and washed with unscented detergent, and no dryer sheets). So no extra cost of paper towels or cheesecloth. Making yogurt takes 8-12 hours of passive time, plus a few pots to clean. I also wouldn't advise straining warm yogurt, I let it chill overnight, then strained it for the next day.

So, how does it taste? A semi-scientific blind trial on one male subject (my boyfriend) preferred the store bought and strained yogurt to Fage. I did as well. My homemade yogurt was quite sour which was my fault (we stayed out late, and it cultured for 13 hours), but I'm also not sure I liked the texture as much. Further testing is called for.

Conclusions: I'm not sure it's worth the time to make from homemade. While not difficult, it is a bit of a pain, and takes 2 days. I think further research could be done with organic milk/yogurt, and I believe there is potential for a greater yield of savings. Purchased greek yogurt is probably not worth the price, even considering the time saved.
posted by fontophilic at 9:31 AM on August 13, 2010 [3 favorites]

Here's a sauce that I posted in a thread asking for sauces for pumpkin tortellini. I've used it over butternut squash and wild rice. This sauce doesn't have any yogurt. The base is a combination of sour cream and cream cheese.
posted by marsha56 at 11:28 AM on August 13, 2010

a nice raita:

yogurt (natural, thick)
cayenne pepper
toasted whole caraway seeds
chopped mint and or dill
sliced up tomato
posted by iamnotateenagegirl at 12:39 PM on August 13, 2010

I make tzatziki with mint instead of dill, NEVER use non-fat yogurt, and a tablespoon or so of lemon juice and olive oil each. Also, skip the onion powder and use two-three cloves of garlic, very finely chopped. It gets better in the fridge overnight. I'm half Greek for what it's worth, and I wouldn't eat Cat Pie's tzatziki. I'm also a snob.

I love, love, love Knorr's dill yoghurt salad dressing (hard to find in the U.S.). You could probably make something similar with dill, citric acid (or lemon juice) and salt, but the stuff in the packages is like crack.
posted by halogen at 2:18 PM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

Full-fat greek yogurt
minced shallots
lemon juice

Great with lamb, also good just on a pita. I haven't played with it much but it would probably take a bit of salt and possibly garlic to use more as a standard bread/veggie dip.
posted by ch1x0r at 4:26 PM on August 13, 2010

roast aubergines (2 large ones cubed) in olive oil and lots of garlic (3 large cloves) and lots of coriander powder (cover all the flesh of the aubergines). Add some grated orange zest (to taste, we like lots). Season with coarse sea salt and black pepper.

When it cools, strain a little from the oil and fold into greek yoghurt. Use the oil for other things. It keeps about 10 days in the fridge although we tend to eat it on tortilla de patata rather quickly.

A lady from Isfahan taught me this and called it something which sounded like Mostok Bodumjum but my Farsi is not up to the correct spelling!
posted by Wilder at 1:53 PM on August 15, 2010

So glad you asked! This is a super simple recipe for banana raita which can be eaten by itself.

Finely sliced or chopped bananas
Black mustard seeds crushed using a pestle/bowl
Sugar and a pinch of salt
Mix everything together and let the mustard work it's magic in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
posted by cynicalidealist at 4:43 PM on August 15, 2010

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