Garlic Yoghurt Sauce

Sarımsaklı Yoğurt

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Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

By Jason Goodwin

Published 2016

  • About

The great French chef Escoffier became famous for establishing five mother sauces to be used in his Victorian kitchens – Tomate, Béchamel, Velouté, Espagnole, and Hollandaise.

There are a number of mother sauces in Turkish cooking, too. One, made with yoghurt, is essentially a garnish, which takes seconds to make and transports the dullest boiled vegetable to Topkapi Palace. It’s good on pilafs, vegetables, salads (try it with raw grated beetroot), and lamb dishes and, without the garlic, it makes a delicious refreshing drink, too.


  • Greek yoghurt 250 g/8 oz
  • garlic 1clove, squashed, peeled and finely chopped with apinch of salt
  • water 50 ml/4 tbsp
  • lemon juice
  • mint 1 tsp, fresh or dried


  • Beat the yoghurt in a bowl with the garlic, a pinch of salt, and a splash of cold water. That’s it. Did you wish for more?
  • Very well: it’s up to you to play with the other ingredients. A squeeze of lemon juice adds sharpness. The water simply alters the consistency – you might want a very thin, runny sauce to dress a bowl of salad leaves (purslane is traditional), or a more meaty dollop to cool down a spicy kebab. It’s up to you whether you want mintiness, too.