Cucumbers were first introduced to the world through Mesopotamia, back in around 2000 BC.
So it cannot be arrogant to claim this cooling side dish as Iraqi, since simple research would agree.
This dish is so wide-spread, and has so may uses.Even Aunt Josephine makes it for the children in Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events.
People consume it as cold cucumber soup, a dip, a salad, dressing for sandwiches, and as a sauce, among others.
Greeks add dill and lemon and name it tzatziki.
Indians add spices and name it raita.
Turks use goat milk and name it cacik.
Arabs simply call it khiar bil laban (خيار باللبن).
In Iraq, our recipe is very similar in name (جاجيك) and method to the Turks, most probably due to the shared border and interchanging influences.
A touch of garlic is usually included in the jajeek, but you most certainly can leave it out.
1 cup yogurt
1 cup peeled and diced cucumbers
1 clove garlic, crushed, optional
2 tsp dry mint
1/2 tsp salt
Peel and slice the cucumber lengthwise.
Discard the cucumber seeds (it will release too much water), and dice.
Mix the yogurt, cucumber, crushed garlic (if using), dry mint, and salt.
Serve cold, as an accompaniment to barbecued meats, or over rice, or as a dipping, as simply as is for a cooling appetizer.