Haydari (Turkish yogurt dip), by Emine at Çançan Cafe and Restaurant, Göreme, Türkiye

We had variations of this yogurt dip in Lebanon and Egypt, and in Türkiye, we started ordering it at every meal. It’s great as a dip for bread, meat, and veggies (raw or grilled). This simple recipe is based on one that Emine, the mom/cook at our favorite restaurant in Cappadocia, generously shared with us.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 ounce) container plain full-fat yogurt*
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 Tbsp feta cheese, mashed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 2 tbsp each chopped fresh dill, parsley, and mint

Instructions:

  1. Strain yogurt by scooping it into a muslin bag or a colander lined with cheesecloth, thin cotton dish towel, or paper coffee filter. Let it drain overnight.** 
  2. Create a garlic paste by mashing the garlic cloves with the salt (in a mortar & pestle or with the back of a knife on a cutting board). 
  3. Mix garlic paste, feta, dried mint and fresh herbs into the yogurt. Make sure the garlic and feta are mixed throughout. 
  4. Spread onto a dish and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, sliced cucumber, red pepper flakes and/or more fresh mint, parsley and dill leaves. 

*You can substitute store-bought greek yogurt and skip the first step. Don’t give into the temptation to substitute nonfat or low-fat yogurt – it really won’t taste as good!

** Don’t pour the whey down the drain! It’s got protein, probiotics and lots of vitamins. Use it instead of water when making smoothies, soups and baked goods. 

Pano at Rose Valley, before another delicious meal at Cancan

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