Tzatziki is one of the Greek dishes that you will see people using as a highly versatile dipping sauce or appetizer.
That said, one of the vital ingredients for most of the Tzatziki recipes is dill. Imagine a scenario where you have all the ingredients you need but not dill. Should you scrap the idea of making Tzatziki? Or should you look for a substitute for dill in Tzatziki? I’m sure it’s the latter!
But what alternatives work for dill? And which one works the best? These are the questions that we plan to answer in this guide. So, if you want to know it all, you should continue reading!
What Is Dill?
Before anything else, we would like to ensure that you have a fair idea regarding what we are substituting. Dill is a type of herb. And it has a similar smell to caraway or anise. However, it is not just any herb you will find in the supermarket's spice section. Instead, people categorize it as a delicate herb. Why?
When you cook it for a prolonged time, it will lose all of its taste. However, if you use it as a garnish, it can add a lot of flavor to the entire dish. You will notice many referring to dill as an aromatic herb, meaning it is mainly used for adding a pleasant aroma to the dish.
What Is Tzatziki?
Now, let us get back to Tzatziki. Tzatziki is a Greek appetizer. It will be mostly of lemon, cucumbers, vinegar, strained yogurt, and herbs such as dill. However, as we have mentioned earlier, you can use Tzatziki as a condiment and place it on the table with other foods, such as oven fries, naan, shwarma bowls, and others.
Dill Substitute in Tzatziki - Find Some Great Replacement Now!
The unique thing about Tzatziki is that the dill complements the dish exceptionally well. It brings a unique aromatic scent, which makes the appetizer stand out. For that reason, when we were looking for alternatives, we had to make a lot of comparisons. And after all of that, these are the ones that we can suggest:
One of the most common alternatives to dill for Tzatziki is mint. In fact, it is so common that you will find debates online about whether dill or mint was in the original recipe. So, you can guess how perfect a replacement it would be for Tzatziki.
On that note, the role of mint in Tzatziki is not just to make the appetizer gain a unique aroma. Instead, it will also add a nice flavor to the dish. That flavor can enhance the overall taste of Tzatziki for you. Also, as mint is a highly aromatic herb, it will be hard to miss its smell when added to the appetizer.
If you have utilized thyme before in dishes, you might know it belongs to the mint family. Also, it has an intense flavor. And that flavor will be reminiscent of mint. But that does not only make it a proper replacement for mint but also dill as well.
You need to get back to mint regarding the reasoning behind using thyme to replace dill. People are using it to replace dill. And as you know by now, thyme is a perfect alternative to mint. So, if you match the equations, thyme can replace dill.
Unlike dill, thyme is not a delicate herb. That means you can cook it for a while without worrying about it losing its flavor. For that reason, you can use it to bring a distinct aromatic flavor to Tzatziki.
Did you know that you can find parsley pretty much all year round? Yes, it is not a seasonal herb, and you can even grow it inside your garden. But the great thing about this highly accessible herb is that you can use it to replace dill. In fact, if you compare parsley and dill, you will find both of them have pretty much the same flavor.
As the flavor of parsley is pretty mild, you will not have to worry about the herb overpowering all of the other ingredients that you might have on Tzatziki. Overall, it is an excellent substitute for dill, and as it is so common, there is a chance that you will find it in your kitchen right now.
Yes, chervil belongs to the same herb family as parsley. In fact, you will notice people referring to it as French parsley. It is an excellent alternative to dill in Tzatziki, no matter what you call it. It has the same flavor as dill, but it is not as delicate as that herb.
You can cook it in Tzatziki without worrying about the dish getting ruined. Also, as the herb has a mellow flavor, it will not overpower the other vital ingredients that you will use. For that reason, you can use chervil without overthinking.
Another herb that might be hanging in your kitchen right now is basil. Now, basil does not mimic the smell or texture of dill. However, you can still make great Tzatziki with it. In other words, even though it does not have the same flavor as dill, it does complement the dish exceptionally well.
Nonetheless, do note that there are different varieties of basil. And the flavor for them ranges from spicy to sweet. While choosing one, you should opt for the one that will blend well with your take on Tzatziki. You can also use the herb as a garnish, which will make it work pretty much like dill.
6. Fresh Tarragon
Last but not least, we have fresh tarragon. You will find it on loads of different French dishes. It is an excellent substitute for Tzatziki as it has a flavor that reminiscences dill. But the great part is that, unlike dill, this herb can withstand heat. Dill tends to lose all of its flavors when you introduce too much heat.
That means when you are reheating the dish without needing to worry too much if you use fresh tarragon. However, you need to understand that the flavor of fresh tarragon is pretty intense. If you do not want it to overpower Tzatziki, use it at a moderate amount.
Tips for Making Delicious Tzatziki Sauce
Now that you know the perfect replacements for dill in a Tzatziki sauce, you must be ready to make it yourself. However, if you really want to make the ideal Tzatziki sauce, you need to keep these tips in your mind:
Salt, Drain, or Dry Cucumbers
One of the vital ingredients of Tzatziki is cucumber. However, as you know, cucumbers are very watery. They release their liquid when they are cut or mixed with other ingredients. If you do not salt, dry, or drain the cucumbers before using them for the Tzatziki, the dish will be thin, watery, runny, and flavorless.
Do not use a blender.
If you have made Tzatziki sauce before and wondered why your sauce is bitter, it might be the blender. When you use a food processor or blender to make an emulsion, the blades will break the olive oil into tiny droplets.
Those droplets will release more polyphenols, which will disperse through the food. Eventually, the entire dish will turn bitter, and will barr you from enjoying the dip with other foods.
Add a little bit of flour or cornstarch.
Want to make your Tzatziki sauce a bit thick? You can use cornstarch or flour! It will thicken the dressing up and make it less runny. However, add the cornstarch or potato starch or flour before you add the yogurt.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Tzatziki healthy?
Tzatziki is mainly made of herbs, a bit of spice, and olive oil. All of the ingredients are considered to be healthy. That said, you can undoubtedly say that the Tzatziki sauce is healthy.
What can you eat Tzatziki with?
Tzatziki is a relatively creamy, mild, and subtle sauce. Considering the sauce's flavor profile, you can have it with anything. However, it goes the best with meat, naan, fries, and certain vegetables.
How long will Tzatziki sauce last in the fridge?
If you make Tzatziki sauce with fresh ingredients, you can expect it to last for four days in the fridge. However, if you like to get the most flavor out of this sauce, we recommend making a fresh batch every time.
We hope that after reading the article, one thing is clear; you do not have to refrain from enjoying Tzatziki if you do not have dill in your kitchen. Just pick any dill substitute in Tzatziki that we just talked about, and enjoy this fantastic Greek appetizer with any of your favorite food or veggies.
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