What is the difference between a tzatziki dip and an Indian mint dip? Aren't both just yogurt and mint? Or o is the difference that tzatziki also has some cucumber in it? Also, while tzatziki looks predominantly white Indian mint dips are green throughout, so do the latter have some natural color. What's the difference between how these two dips are prepared?

EDIT: I'm talking about the dip on the left in the picture below (which is served in many Indian restaurants with papadums as a starter dish). From the Wikipedia entry for chutney, a chutney may be a yoghurt, cucumber, and mint dip (is this what this is?).

three Indian dips including the mint dip

Just for the reference, here is a tzatziki sauce I've made:


So pardon my ignorance, but why is a tzatziki not a chutney? Anyways, I want to know what this papadum appetizer dip is called and how to make it. That should make my question clear enough. Thanks.

And also, what is the difference between a chutney and a relish?

  • 5
    Part of the definition of "chutney" is that it's from the Indian subcontinent... Tzatziki could broadly be considered a chutney in the more general sense of the term... but it's of Middle Eastern/Greek origin... not Indian. It's like asking why marmalade isn't "chutney"... It's not Indian.
    – Catija
    May 31, 2016 at 22:04
  • What is a chutney? cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/20470/… (It's kind of like asking "what is a dip?" or "what is a jam?" - it's a broad category, not a specific dish.)
    – Cascabel
    May 31, 2016 at 22:13
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    Difference between chutney and relish: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/27730/…
    – Cascabel
    Jun 1, 2016 at 0:08
  • 2
    British English has adopted chutney for a variety of (usually pickled) foods in the dip/relish/table sauce category. However a yoghurt-based dip would only be known as a chutney when served as in the original picture. A better term for the Indian dip, when searching for recipes, might be raita.
    – Chris H
    Jun 1, 2016 at 6:35
  • 2
    If there is any analogue of tzatziki in Indian cuisine, it would be raita, not mint chutney.
    – rumtscho
    Nov 4, 2017 at 10:47

2 Answers 2


As far as I'm aware, the traditional Greek tzatziki doesn't generally include mint at all.

It's a cucumber dip that is made of yogurt and sometimes includes dill or mint as a flavoring:

Tzatziki (Anglicized: /tsɑːtˈsiːki/ }; Greek: τζατζίκι [dzaˈdzici] or [dʒaˈdʒici]) is a Greek sauce served with grilled meats or as a dip. Tzatziki is made of strained yogurt (usually from sheep or goat milk) mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and sometimes dill. American versions may include lemon juice, mint, or parsley.

The main ingredients in all of the recipes I've looked at in researching this, are yogurt and cucumber and the flavorings are usually dill but occasionally either dill or mint. The Indian mint dip doesn't ever contain cucumber, as far as I know.

So, no I don't think they're similar products at all, mostly because tzatziki isn't "mint sauce" it's "cucumber sauce" that may happen to include mint.

  • But then Wikipedia states a chutney may contain cucumber. I'm perplexed. May 31, 2016 at 21:11
  • 3
    There are dozens of different types of chutney... hundreds, probably. I'm sure there's a cucumber chutney in there somewhere... but that's not the same thing as mint sauce.
    – Catija
    May 31, 2016 at 21:13
  • Then again, can't a dip be a chutney, rather than a sauce? Maybe a mint sauce is something more watery and may contain vinegar or something similar, not really sure. Thanks May 31, 2016 at 21:15

Mint chutney is normally almost all herbs (mint and cilantro), and it's ground/blended so it's completely green:

mint chutney

(from this mint chutney recipe)

I can't really see the chutney/dip in your picture that well. You say it was mint and yogurt, and it looks like it might be pale green, so I'd guess it just had overall more yogurt than usual. But as long as it's got a lot of mint and it's blended, it's going to be green. (And yes, it's a chutney: it was served at an Indian restaurant with papadums.)

If you want to make it, you can find a million recipes by searching for "mint chutney" recipe.

Your tzatziki, on the other hand, is mostly made of yogurt, with a relatively small amount of herbs, and they're just chopped, so the color doesn't spread. As Catija points out, it doesn't necessarily even have mint at all. It's not a chutney because it's not Indian:

Chutney (...) is a side dish in the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent that can vary from a tomato relish to a ground peanut garnish or a yoghurt, cucumber and mint dip.

The two are similar in that they share one or two ingredients, but the relative quantities are completely different, and the additional ingredients are different.

  • Ok, so the ship in the picture doesn't have a name and all I need to do to reproduce it is mix yoghurt and mint in a blender? May 31, 2016 at 22:27
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    I can't tell anywhere near enough from the picture to tell you what's in it. I'm basing everything on what I can tell of just the color, and the fact that you said it had mint and yogurt. If it's a yogurt-heavy mint chutney, it's still a mint chutney. And you can read recipes and try to find something that matches what it tasted like; I doubt it was just mint and yogurt.
    – Cascabel
    May 31, 2016 at 22:31
  • I guess then next time I'll just have to ask the waiter at the restaurant. Thanks. May 31, 2016 at 22:34
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    @JackMaddington ...or you can make mint chutney, with whatever adjustments seem appropriate to make it match what you had at the restaurant, e.g. more yogurt, like I keep saying. Unless you're saying you think there's a difference that we're missing?
    – Cascabel
    May 31, 2016 at 23:45
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    @JackMaddington Chutney is Indian. Relish is not necessarily. If you google "mint yogurt chutney" it's all Indian stuff. If you google "mint yogurt relish" it's not all Indian. The individual recipes vary. Chutney and relish are both broad terms, so neither refers to one very specific recipe, and it's kind of meaningless to try to compare.
    – Cascabel
    Jun 1, 2016 at 0:06

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