Tzatziki, a cucumber and yogurt sauce or dip, originated in southeastern Europe. Its fresh, cool, savouriness makes it a perfect compliment for… in this case, chickpea waffles.
Usually associated with Greek cuisine, variations on tzatziki appear across southeastern Europe and the Middle East. The most well known and widely appreciated version consists of yogurt mixed with cucumber, garlic, olive oil, lemon, and herbs such as dill and mint. It is so widely available that I can buy pre-made tzatziki from a gourmet market in Saigon. But of course, it is more fun to make your own.
While there are only a few ingredients and no cooking involved, it does take some preparation to get the best result. The cucumber needs to be deseeded, grated, salted, and allowed to drain overnight. Likewise, the crushed garlic needs to be incorporated with the yogurt and allowed to meld overnight. The yogurt softens the pungency of the raw garlic to create a flavour enhancing combo. Yogurt and garlic is a combination that has appeared in a number of delectabilia creations.
Tzatziki makes a great sauce or dip for a wide range of culinary partners: roast vegetables, raw vegetables, grilled meats and fish, and of course various breads. So versatile.
In this recipe, what is being dipped are chickpea waffles. I love chickpeas and I love waffles, but it did take a couple of tries to get chickpeas to work in a waffle. Persivereance pays off, and they did. And not only were these really tasty waffles, the waffles and tzatziki enhanced each other. Mission accomplished.
Tzatziki with chickpea waffles
- 1 cup grated cucumber seeds removed first
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of a lime about a Tbsp
- 2 Tbsp finely diced fresh dill
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
- 1 cup almond milk
- 50 g butter
- 1 tsp bakers yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup dried chickpeas 2 to 2.5 cups after cooking
- 4 shallots peeled
- 4 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 eggs whisked
The night before (or at least a few hours)…
- Toss the salt through the grated cucumber and allow to drain in a colander.
- Combine the yogurt, crushed garlic, olive oil, and lime juice in a large bowl and refrigerate.
Making the waffles
- Add the almond milk and butter to a saucepan and heat over a low heat.
- Once the butter is melted, whisk it in then add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 Tbsp sugar.
- Once the sugar and salt have dissolved, remove the milk from the heat and allow to cool until lukewarm.
- Add 1/2 cup warm water to a large bowl.
- Add the yeast, stir, then allow to sit until foam forms on the surface (5-15 minutes, depending on the yeast).
- Add the almond milk mixture to the yeast in the the large bowl and stir.
- Slowly add the chickpea flour to the milk and yeast, whisking until smooth.
- Cover and refrigerate for a few hours.
- Drain the chickpeas then add 3 cups of fresh water.
- Boil the chickpeas for 2 hours, or until a suitable degree of softness is achieved. Keep in mind we need to mash them up in the food processor.
- Add the shallots and garlic to a food processor and process until finely minced.
- Add the chickpeas, cumin, and paprika and process until finely chopped. You may need to mix them about, and scrape down the sides, depending on your food processor.
- Add the whisked eggs, baking soda, and chick pea mixture to the waffle batter. Gently combine.
- Make the waffles according to the waffle maker instructions. Usually about 1/2 cup batter per waffle.
Making the Tzatziki
- Squeeze any remaining moisture from the grated cucumber.
- Combine the cucumber, yogurt mixture, and dill.
- Sprinkle with chili flakes.