Courgettes with Yoghurt and Chilli

Courgette Meze

I go through 1kg tubs of yoghurt at an alarming rate. I love its cool creamy blandness, which can take on many other flavours, be they salty, spicy or sweet. It’s no wonder it’s so important to so many cuisines. One of the reasons I love Turkish food so much for example, is that every meal is accompanied by yoghurt based dishes; cucumber, purslane or celeriac are my favourites, swathed in thick, whippy clouds. They beg to be dunked into with too much fluffy bread. It would be impossible to do a no-carb diet in Turkey unless you have some seriously steely willpower. I put on about half a stone in the week we were there, which just goes further towards proving that bread should be considered as the One True Evil if you are ever trying lose any weight. It obviously had nothing to do with the all the kebabs and künefe I was scarfing three times a day. 

I can’t believe this tastes so good, because it has only a few ingredients: courgettes, chilli, yoghurt, salt and an optional squeeze of lemon. The key really is in the method. The courgettes must be salted and allowed to drain their liquid, otherwise you’ll have a soupy disaster on your hands. If you want to take this in a slightly different direction, with more of an Iranian bent, then a little chopped mint would be lovely.

Courgette Meze

Courgettes with Yoghurt and Chilli

(serves 4 with other dishes)

450g courgettes, young if possible (different colours make it look extra pretty)
1-2 red chillies, seeded and finely sliced or chopped
Enough natural Greek style yoghurt to combine (about 5 tablespoons or so)
Squeeze of lemon (optional)
Bread, to serve

Grate the courgettes (most easily done in a food processor with grating attachment). Put them in a colander then sprinkle with about a level teaspoon of good salt and toss well. Set over a bowl or the sink for about half an hour, to drain their liquid.

Put the yoghurt in a bowl and beat it a bit with a fork until smooth. Put the courgettes in a separate bowl and add the chilli then gradually add some yoghurt until it’s all nicely bound together. Taste for seasoning, it will probably be salty enough. Add the lemon if you like. Scoff with bread and kebabs.

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  • Avatar
    Reply S August 8, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I love how you have used raw zucchini – I had never thought of doing that. I love this x

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 10, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks Shayma x

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    Reply Catherine August 9, 2014 at 6:22 pm


    Where did you get your yellow courgettes? I haven’t seen any this year?

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 10, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      They sell them in the veg shop next to General Store on Bellenden Road.

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    Reply Becs @ Lay the table August 10, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Wow Helen this sounds fabulous, and so unusual. I could totally see me eating this with some kofte!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 11, 2014 at 11:04 pm

      Do iiiiittt

  • Avatar
    Reply Ed August 11, 2014 at 6:51 pm


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    Reply Julia August 12, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    AH, I absolutely love this idea :). I saw a recipe for smoked courgette dip the other week that I want to try, but i think I will try this first. Thank you!

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 15, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      Smoked, eh? Smoked yoghurt? Or smoked courgette?

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    Reply Jean Claire August 15, 2014 at 8:49 am

    This may be so delicious and so healthy! I wanna try this at home and cook for My family this weekend.

  • Avatar
    Reply Catherine August 16, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Thanks for the yellow courgette tip-off.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen August 16, 2014 at 11:49 pm

      No problem!

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