There are many types of yogurt dipping sauce, and choosing the best one involves knowing how it will pair with the type of food with which it is served. A savory yogurt dipping sauce could include spices such as cumin, toasted sesame seeds, onions or bacon and goes well with toasted bread, roasted meats and dishes that have been cooked slowly and are not overly spicy. Some dipping sauces, such as tzatziki and sauces that have vegetables or cream added, have a more neutral flavor and can go well with spicy foods or classic dipping items such as crackers or vegetables. Sweet yogurt dipping sauces may have honey, sugar and fruits added, making them appropriate for sweet treats such as pieces of pound cake, cookies or fruit.
A savory yogurt dipping sauce is a good choice for grilled or roasted meats and dishes that have a smoky, developed flavor. These can include sauces spiced with cumin, coriander, turmeric, garlic, red pepper, thyme or sage. Ingredients such as grilled onions, roasted red peppers, chives, horseradish or mustard can provide a sharp contrast against fatty or greasy foods while complementing the tang of the yogurt. A yogurt sauce sometimes is cooked so some of the yogurt caramelizes and develops in flavor, after which it can be mixed with ingredients such as mayonnaise.
Some recipes for yogurt dipping sauce play on the somewhat neutral, fresh flavor of the yogurt. This includes sauces such as tzatziki, which is made with fresh cucumbers and yogurt that can help to cut through very spicy foods. Items such as scallions, fresh cilantro, lemon juice, diced carrots and fresh green peppers can all add texture and a light flavor to dipping sauce. This type of sauce pairs well with standard dipping foods such as chips, crackers, cheese, vegetables and pieces of pita bread.
A dessert-style yogurt dipping sauce focuses on enhancing the underlying sweetness of the yogurt. A basic honey, yogurt and fresh mint mixture can be used as a dipping sauce for fruit. Adding fresh fruit such as raspberries, blueberries or pears to the dish can make a sweet sauce suitable for pieces of cake or shortbread. Dried fruits, crushed nuts and even small pieces of candy or crushed cookies can turn a sauce into a filling dip for more substantial foods.
The best yogurt dipping sauce also might be the one that is the healthiest. Plain yogurt with no additions makes a very subtle and slightly sour dipping sauce. Mixing in powdered ingredients such as wheat bran or wheat germ can increase the nutritional value without greatly affecting the taste, and they can go well with a wide variety of flavors.