I was once tricked by an Indian friend into attending an Indian single mixers night. I walked in the room introducing myself as Anya from Punjab. People actually believed this Greek and it turned out to be an incredibly fun night. It was probably this night that inspired the tzatziki.
I've never experimented cooking anything Indian at home since 1) I had friends who had Indian moms and 2) It's overwhelming too many moving parts gathering up all the spices, roasting and toasting them, milling them and simmering for hours. My way out is adding spices like turmeric and curry to foods and pretending. So, I did it again, but this was so successful and easy I had to share.
I found Poona Kheera cucumbers in Portland at the Portland State Farmers market - an Indian cucumber - crisp and juicy with a hint of Asian pear. It was a last of the season affair, but I'm sure these will be back when the sun comes back. In the meantime, it might be interesting to try a Persian cucumber and a bit of Asian pear.
There is nothing magical about this tzatziki - I just put a twist on the original by using this super crispy cuke, adding good curry powder and cilantro instead of dill. Homemade naan was swapped for pita and voila, a whole new Friday night appetizer happened.
Here is the basic recipe but feel free to add more/less curry according to taste.
1 cup Fage yogurt (full fat or 2%)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced or passed through garlic press
2 tsp cilantro, chopped finely
2 tsp curry powder
1 large Poona Kheera (if you can't find, try subbing a Persian cucumber and 1 quarter of an Asian pear), grated, strained in colander
Squeeze cucumber to insure excess liquid is removed. Stir all ingredients together. Taste to adjust seasoning and salt. Drizzle with extra olive oil and serve with naan.