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Cucumber yogurt salad is a dish that is mainly made up of cucumbers and yogurt. There are many different variations of this dish and other vegetables, herbs, and spices are often added to it. The dish is served cold, though it is often used as a topping on hot dishes. Different varieties of cucumber yogurt salad are traditionally made in Europe, Northern Africa, and Western Asia, where cucumbers are native and yogurt is commonly made.
The main ingredient of a cucumber yogurt salad is the cucumber. These fruits are in the same family as squashes and melons and grow on a vine that creeps across the ground. There are many different varieties of cucumber available, and all can be used in a cucumber yogurt salad.
The other primary component of cucumber yogurt salad is yogurt. This cultured dairy product can be made out of the milk of a number of animals, though yogurts based on cow's milk are the most common. Regions that culture milk from other animals, such as goats or camels, may use this type of yogurt in a cucumber yogurt salad instead of cow's milk.
Yogurt and cucumbers are commonly combined because the two flavors complement each other. Cucumbers have a lot of water in them, and a cool, clean flavor. Yogurt adds a tangy flavor as well as a bit of sourness to the salad. Traditionally eaten in hot climates, cucumber yogurt salad can be refreshing in warm weather. Likewise, it is often paired with spicy sauces as a way of cutting the heat from the sauce.
Cucumbers must be thinly sliced for a cucumber yogurt salad. Some varieties, such as lemon cucumbers, have a thick, prickly skin that should be removed altogether before the cucumbers are eaten. Once the cucumbers are sliced, they are mixed into the yogurt and allowed to marinate for anywhere from 15 minutes to a number of hours.
Aside from cucumbers and yogurt, a number of other ingredients can also be added to cucumber yogurt salad. Sliced onions and tomatoes are often mixed into the yogurt along with the cucumbers. Various herbs, such as dill or parsley, and spices such as coriander, cumin, or red chili can also be mixed in. A more sour cucumber yogurt salad can be made by adding lemon juice or vinegar.
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