The Greeks call it Tzatziki and often add dill. In Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, we call it Laban Bi Khiar or Yogurt with Cucumber. This creamy dish works perfectly as a stand alone dip paired with pita chips or warm bread or as an accompaniment to meat and rice dishes. 

Over the years, my technique for making Laban Bi Khair has evolved … I’d say for the better, thanks to my teenage daughter, Sophie. 

From Sophie, I’ve learned the importance of using a fine grading tool in making this dish. As a child, I remember her scooping it up with pita chips out of the oven for her after-school snack.  I’d make it a little bit gruff… chopping Lebanese cucumbers and mincing garlic with a knife as finely as I could get it. 

But one afternoon, during those long COVID days,  Sophie asked if she could make the Laban bi Khiar for our roasted chicken supper side.  She pulled out my long, thin stainless steel lemon grater… a house warming gift from a friend in honor of our move up the mountain behind Beirut. 


And Sophie perfected our family’s recipe by grating the cucumber and garlic so finely, so that the texture of the dip is just the right amount of chunky and just the right amount of smooth!  Grating the fresh ingredients improves the texture and depth of flavor of this yogurt dip.  It's easy to remove much of the moisture in the cucumber when it is finely grated by straining and pressing the excess water out, ensuring the mix stays as thick and creamy as possible. And grating the garlic adds a depth of flavor and refinement to the dip with uniformity of texture. 

Now, Sophie is our family’s official Laban bi Khiar maker. 

This girl is my right hand and my eyes! Ya einey, ya Sophie! 

Go ahead and try our her recipe!

Sahtain! To your health and to Hope! 


Greek Yogurt, preferably 5% Milkfat 
2 to 3 cloves of fresh garlic, finely grated 
1 large English Cucumber or 2 small Lebanese cucumbers finely grated, with skin
1 tbsp Soul Roots Dry Mint 
Sea salt to taste
2 tbsp Soul Roots Extra Virgin Olive Oil and an es
Aleppo Pepper or Paprika for garnishing 

Finely grate the cucumber and place on a paper towel in a strainer.  Press down on the cucumber with a spoon until most of the moisture has been released. Remove cucumber from the strainer with the paper towel and pat with another paper towel to absorb any remaining moisture.  Remove the cucumber from the paper towel and place in a bowl. Finely grate the garlic into the same bowl. Add mint, sea salt and olive oil.  Add Greek yogurt.  Mix all ingredients until well combined. I like to use a silicone head spatula when mixing the yogurt so I can incorporate the mix that comes up on the sides of the bowl and present a clean looking dish. Serve with warm, toasted bread or pita chips. 


Picture of ingredients. 


Picture of finished product. 


Picture of me and sophie