The benefits of yogurt are undeniable. Speaking as someone who has frequent problems with bowel movements, I can attest to this. I am by no means a medical professional, but the probiotic properties of white wonder are, as I said before, undeniable. And the Turks, as the inventors of the dairy product, have a wide range of recipes. So let’s dive into some recipes from here and there to help you incorporate yogurt into your diet.
As much as yogurt is an integral part of Turkish cuisine, the same can be said of eggplant. There are almost 51 different ways to prepare a vegetable, and this one is definitely the right one. The origins of this dish are disputed, but it would be fair to say that each country in the Middle East has its own interpretation. Some skip the chickpeas completely, while others add a lot. Here is our take on the dish / meze.
- 2 roasted eggplants
- 200 grams of cooked chickpeas
- 4 tablespoons of süzme yogurt (drained)
- 2 tablespoons of tahini
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
First of all, you want to roast your eggplants over an open fire if possible. Easier said than done and given our modern home setup, quite a mess. Alternatively, you can roast the eggplants in the oven. Once it’s softened, completely remove all of its black skin and stem. Using a spoon, scoop up to the last piece of eggplant flesh from the skin. Cut it as small as possible and squeeze the lemon over it.
In a separate bowl, remove the skin from the chickpeas and mix them. If the blender is a problem or giving you a hard time, you can add a few tablespoons of water to make it smooth.
Add the mashed chickpeas to the eggplant mixture before adding the rest of the ingredients – be sure to chop the garlic cloves as finely as possible. Mix well and serve!
A drizzle of olive oil on the mutabbal is for many a must! You can also incorporate crushed walnuts, toss them or just sprinkle them on top, for an entirely different texture.
As the days grow shorter, it’s natural to gravitate towards something warm and heartwarming. One of my favorite soups is yogurt soup for this reason. Accompanied by a slice or two of bread, I personally don’t need anything else for dinner.
- 90 grams of wheat
- 170 grams of chickpeas
- 1 kilo of yogurt
- 1 tablespoon of flour (optional)
- 1-2 tablespoons of butter
- Salt, dried mint and other spices to taste
Planning ahead with this soup can dramatically speed up the overall cooking time. It is for this reason that I like to cook chickpeas in advance and put them in the freezer. If you don’t have them ready, you can let the chickpeas stand in hot water, preferably overnight, or boil them until they soften, then set them aside.
In a fairly deep saucepan, boil the wheat for about 1 hour 30 minutes before adding the yogurt. The soup tends to get quite sticky after this point, so you need to keep stirring constantly; if you prefer it thicker, you have to add the optional flour. Add the softened chickpeas and simmer the soup for a few minutes before turning off the heat.
Melt the butter in a separate saucepan before adding the dried mint leaves, allowing them to simmer for about a minute. You can also add other spices, such as red pepper flakes if you want it to be spicier. Pour the butter sauce over it, add a little salt and stir one last time.
Who Said Cheesecake Has To Be Made With Cheese? Okay, the name suggests otherwise, but the Turks gave it a go and succeeded. The key here is to use süzme (drained) yogurt so that there is no unnecessary moisture.
For the dough
- 200 grams of butter or margarine
- 400 grams of flour
- 100 grams of sugar
- 1 egg
- 10 grams of baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 75 grams of powdered sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons of starch
- 750 grams of süzme yogurt (drained)
First, let’s prepare the dough by simply mixing all the ingredients in a bowl and kneading them together. Having the butter or margarine (or a mixture of the two) at room temperature is key. If you want, you can even make this paste more interesting by adding a few tablespoons of cocoa powder for a chocolatey version. Butter your springform pan and press the dough down and up on the sides. You will have a lot of dough, so make it as thick or thin as you want. You should have about a quarter of the dough left to sprinkle if you want.
For the filling, you will need to separate the eggs first before whipping the egg whites until they are firm. In a separate bowl, combine the yolk with the sugar. Once the yellow-sugar mixture is creamy, add the other ingredients and mix well. At the very end, fold in the egg whites and carefully pour the mixture over the bottom of the dough.
Bake the cake for about 45 minutes at 170 degrees Celsius (340 degrees Fahrenheit) and allow it to cool completely before you even try to remove it.
Cheesecake tastes best when it has rested for at least a day.