Dandeegeen Diaries—Chapter 13: Jajukh

As temperatures climb, menus are shifting to grilled protein, pilaf, vegetables and an array of wonderful mezze/Armenian appetizers. I suggest adding this wonderful summer salad to the menu: jajukh, Armenian cucumber yogurt salad. This is a cool refreshing dish that takes only five minutes to prepare. Even this Dandeegeen has mastered it. 

The combination of yogurt and cucumbers is a perfect blend of a smooth and creamy texture with a little crunch. Don’t forget the fresh mint garnish; bonus points if it’s from your backyard garden. Some people like dill as well. Personally, I do not, but you can experiment if you’d like. Jajukh is not to be confused with Greek Tzatziki which is thicker and acts more like a dip. Jajukh is a little smoother. Of course when making the combination you can add more or less water to either thin or thicken your yogurt base. It’s a preference. I prefer it a little thicker, and I like my cucumbers chopped small. Some prefer to grate the cucumbers thin. It’s up to you. 

During the hot summer months, a nice refreshing cold Jajukh is a great way to stay cool and provides a healthy dose of dairy, vegetable and some live cultures to boot. This is a Dandeegeen 101 recipe that anyone can master, even the worst of cooks. Try it at your next weekend cookout. You can’t go wrong. This is the recipe I used. 


2 cups Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and grated, and squeezed dry with paper towels or chopped (This is a personal preference.)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint for garnish
1/2 tsp salt
Water (For yogurt thickness preference)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl, except for mint. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour or overnight for flavors to mingle. If left to sit overnight, the liquids will separate. Just stir to combine again.
  2. Garnish with fresh mint. Serve with pita chips or lavash bread. 
Heather Krafian

Heather Krafian

Heather Apigian Krafian was born in Detroit, Michigan and was one of the founding students of A.G.B.U. Alex Manoogian School in 1969. She graduated Michigan State University in 1988 with a bachelor’s in International Relations and cognate studies in German and Russian. She holds a master’s in Early Childhood Education from Lesley University. As an ANCA intern, Heather worked for the Minority Rights Group in London under Ben Whittaker. She’s also worked at Zoryan Institute as its Armenian Studies Coordinator. She began her career in education in 1990 after which she became the assistant principal of St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School from 2006 to 2008; she currently serves on its Education Committee. She has also served on the Board of Trustees at St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church. Heather is a member of the ARS Cambridge “Shushi” Chapter and a member of the ARS Eastern Region Board of Directors. Heather was the 2010 recipient of the Knights of Vartan “Community Leader” Award and the 2015 recipient of the Eastern Prelacy’s Certificate of Merit. She is married to Ara Krafian; they live in Belmont, MA with their four daughters Araxi, Nairi, Anoush and Knar.


  1. It would have been decent to allow comments without censoring them.
    Dandeegeen? It’s been a long time since women have been working to support children and a family.
    Unless this term applied to minority women sitting at home and taking care of husband and children,
    it does not apply to me. And I find it appalling when some of those men come on self proclaimed internet sites and
    advocate for women to stay home taking care of children and be dan deegeens. Get in touch with reality of others, don’t just brag nonsense that has nothing to do with all the realities of average Armenian woman in America.

  2. Heather
    Jahjugh was a summer staple in our house. Especially refreshing because no one had air conditioners at the time. My mother made it in a coffee cup by first putting in an ice cube and then the madzoon (home made of course) on top with a touch of mint and fresh garlic. The ice cube would melt as you ate it and boy was it light, cooling and wonderful. She used 1/4 inch cucumber cubes. I still make it about once a month but somehow it just doesn’t taste the same as when she made it.

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