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January 22, 2013

Tsatsiki in Athens

One great thing about traveling is trying the local food. During our visit to Athens in Greece last year we were wandering through the Plaka area and came across Scholarhio Ouzeri Kouklis, a small traditional family restaurant. While perusing the menu we saw that chef Rick Stein recommended the restaurant and that sealed it for me. Rick Stein is one of my favorite celebrity chefs, and we decided to follow in his footsteps.

Athens Outside Plaka Restaurant


This is one of the restaurant owners. He brought out a tray of all their offerings, and we were able to choose five different dishes. Our meal also came with a glass of wine or beer, bread, mineral water and a dessert.

Kitchen and the cook

Hubby went into the kitchen and took a close up of all the dishes.


I loved the food. If I concentrate I can recall the intense flavors and textures. It was one of the most memorable meals we’ve had recently. See my frown of concentration? My brain is saying, Yummy food! Yummy food!

One of the dishes we selected was Tsatsiki, a yoghurt dip that some of you have probably eaten. We’ve made it before at home, but it never tasted like this—thick and creamy and full of flavor.

When we arrived home we decided we’d try again to make some in the hope of duplicating the dish we had in the Plaka. After discussion we decided we’d amend our recipe to make our Tsatsiki thicker.

Recipe for Tsatsiki


1 cucumber


ground black pepper

one large tub of natural yoghurt, preferably Greek

4 Tablespoons chopped mint

1 garlic clove, crushed.


1. Our Greek yoghurt isn’t as thick as it is in Greece, so the first thing we do is to drain some of the liquid out of the yoghurt. We use a coffee filter and a funnel and sit it in a beer mug until some of the liquid drains out. About 1 – 2 hours should do it.


2. Deseed the cucumber and discard the seeds. Cube the cucumber flesh.

3. Mix the cucumber with the drained yoghurt. Add chopped mint leaves and crushed garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Place in a shallow dish and serve with chunks of fresh bread. Perfect with drinks on a hot day.


Do you have memories of a particularly delicious meal?


  1. Maria Zannini

    Your pictures made me hungry.

    I’m bookmarking this post. I’ve always wanted to make tsatsiki sauce.

    • Shelley Munro

      It’s very easy to make, Maria. It’s also very delicious!

  2. Carol Kilgore

    I love tsatsiki, but I’ve never tried to make it or even looked for a recipe because I thought it must be difficult. Even I can make this! Thanks for the easy recipe :)

    The restaurant looks like someplace I’d love to eat.

    • Shelley Munro

      The restaurant was delightful. With all the trouble they’d been having in Athens we’d decided to give it a miss since we’d visited before. At the last minute we decided to catch the train into the city to visit the new museum and do a little wandering. It was the best decision ever!

  3. Harmony Evans

    One of my favorite meals was at a local Mexican restaurant. I suppose it would be considered a “dive” by most standards, but the food was incredible. My daughter and I love to go back often.

    I also love tsatsiki. This recipe looks easy and delicious!

    • Shelley Munro

      I adore Mexican food. We had a few Mexican restaurant visits during our recent trip to LA. We don’t have Mexican restaurants near us, and it’s a shame because we find the food wonderful.

  4. Jo Bryant

    that meal looks amazing…no wonder you enjoyed it

    • Shelley Munro

      Jo – it was fun just pointing at the dishes instead of puzzling over a menu.

  5. Angela Brown

    All that food looked so delicious I had to pause, wipe the drool, then begin again lol!!!

    • Shelley Munro

      I drooled over the photos too, and I’d actually tasted it :)

  6. Mary Kirkland

    Looks really good. I haven’t tried that. My mom and I stopped into a Vietnamese restaurant one time and they food was so good. I loved the tea the lady gave me and she was so nice she even gave me some tea to take home to make myself.

    • Shelley Munro

      I haven’t tried Vietnamese food. What sorts of things were on the menu?

      • Mary Kirkland

        There were three different vegetable stir fry dishes that we tried and they were all really good.

  7. Gerri Bowen

    The food looks so good, Shelley! I’ll have to try the recipe you gave.