Chakkah is a very basic sauce to prepare but is used so frequently in Afghan food that I thought it should be my first post or “recipe”. Chakkah is basically a thick and creamy strained yogurt. It is used in countless recipes as either a dip or a sauce for many types of dishes. Chakkah is also stirred into some soups and Kurma dishes such as Chicken Lawand to create a creamy sauce.
Making Chakkah is very simple. All it involves is straining plain yogurt in cheesecloth. Then fresh minced garlic and salt is added just so the Chakkah has a nice garlicky flavor. If the Chakkah is being used as a dip ground mint can also be stirred in. But if the Chakkah is being used as a topping for a dish then it is usually left plain.
The consistency of Chakkah is important; I think it’s a step some Afghans overlook. Chakkah being used as a topping for fried vegetable dishes should be thicker, but when going over pasta dishes it should be slightly thinner in consistency.
Here are the basic steps that can be modified depending on what is needed.
6 cups plain yogurt
½ clove of fresh garlic finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon mint (or more if you want)
1-) Place the yogurt in a cheesecloth and let strain for about an hour. The yogurt should be thick and creamy for the chakkah.
2-) Place thick yogurt in bowl mix with garlic, salt and mint. Make sure it has a nice delicious garlic flavor.
A really easy short cut is if you go to an Afghan of Middle-Eastern store and buy ready-made strained yogurt. Sometimes these yogurts are bit too strained and thick, so you can just mix a tiny bit of water to get it the right consistency.