Basic Yogurt Sauce

Serve this yogurt with basmati rice, quinoa, or couscous. Use to garnish lamb, chicken or fish kebabs. Spoon a dollop into pureed soups and shellbeans just before serving. Or thin with a little water to make a creamy dressing ideal for romaine or little gem lettuces.


  • 1cup Greek-style yogurt, preferably whole milk yogurt (8 ounces/225 grams)
  • 2tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2tablespoons lime juice (from 1 large lime), more to taste
  • ½teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1garlic clove


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, mint, oil, lime juice, salt and 1 to 2 tablespoons water. Use a rasp grater to finely grate garlic into the bowl. Stir, taste and adjust salt and lime juice as needed. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to five days.


  • To make Persian cucumber yogurt, stir in 1/2 cup minced, peeled cucumber (about 1/2 Persian cucumber), 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro and 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill. Serve alongside grilled chicken, fish or lamb. Thin with a little water and drizzle over sliced tomatoes for a simple salad.
  • To make carrot raita, substitute 3 tablespoons cilantro for mint and add 1/2 cup peeled, grated carrot (about 1 small carrot) and half a small jalapeño pepper, minced. Sizzle 1 tablespoon cumin seeds in 1 tablespoon ghee or neutral oil until seeds begin to pop, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir into yogurt. Serve with lamb or vegetable curries. Spoon atop spicy chickpeas, basmati rice, or roast salmon. Thin with a little water and drizzle over roasted beets, carrots and fennel.