Tzatziki and Hummus

Today’s video demonstration will show you how to make hummus and tzatziki, two famous Mediterranean dips. Our guest is Gail Charalambous, a well-known member of the Port Elizabeth community, whose marriage to George, who is of Cypriot descent, has fuelled her passion for Mediterranean cooking. When the Global Table visited the Charalambous home, it was being blessed by the ‘”pater” from the Hellenic Church in Port Elizabeth, who was as enthusiastic about Gail’s mezze table as we were! Gail serves her tzatziki and hummus in small bowls with chunky bread or pita breads.  Tzatziki is also a great side dish to lamb.

Tzatziki and Hummus: The Recipes

Picture: Salvelio Meyer

Picture: Salvelio Meyer

Ingredients and method for the tzatziki


2 cups yoghurt; 3 cloves  garlic, crushed; 1 cup grated cucumber; 3 tbsp olive oil; l tbsp white vinegar; 1 tsp dried mint; salt to taste.
Put the grated cucumber in a colander, sprinkle with salt, place a plate on top of the cucumber and weighit down with some tins. Let it stand for about half an hour so all the liquid can drain off.
Put the garlic in a bowl and mix it with the olive oil and vinegar.  Add the yoghurt bit by bit and stir at the same time, until it becomes a smooth cream.  Add the drained cucumber to the yoghurt mix, stir in the dried mint and season to taste.
Ingredients and method for the hummus
1 cup tinned chickpeas, plus a few tablespoons of the reserved liquid; 1/4 cup tahini; 2 gloves garlic, crushed; 1/4 cup lemon juice or to taste; salt, olive oil; powdered cumin; cayenne pepper.
Blend the chickpeas, garlic and  olive oil in a blender; add half of the lemon juice, the salt and a little cayenne pepper and blend some more. Add more lemon juice and cayenne pepper if desired.
Gail says this is a “taste” recipe – if you like more lemon or a little more spice then just add it.
If the hummus is too thick add some of the reserved liquid. Put the  hummus in a serving bowl and sprinkle with a pinch each of cumin and cayenne pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.


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5 Responses to Tzatziki and Hummus

  1. Gillian says:

    You and Gail are domestic goddesses … & what’s that going on with the herby head annointing?

  2. Bev says:

    Sounds delicious. Is Tahini freely available – never heard of it before but cannot wait to try this recipe.

  3. globaltable says:

    You can get tahini in PE – just check the health section at Pick ‘n Pay, although it’s often also with mediterranean goodies like hummus in the fridge section. Valley Harvest and Fruit and Veg also stock it. If in doubt just ask!

  4. Danelle says:

    I want to make the hummus from fresh chickpeas but what do I use in place of the preserve’s liquid? Or do I ‘HAVE’ to get the preserved one for home made hummus?

  5. globaltable says:

    When we make hummus at home we also tend to use the dried chickpeas, which we first soak overnight and then boil till tender – this can take a few hours! You can simply use some liquid from the pot or else just a bit of cold water.

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