Haydari (Turkish Yoghurt Dip)


Haydari is a Turkish yoghurt meze. Herbed and spiced yoghurt, so to speak. There is another variety of it which uses both yoghurt and feta cheese. The recipe below uses yoghurt only. But, I know how to make cheesy one, too. So, I will publish that one as well as soon as I have the photo. Stay tuned, Peoples…

Haydari is made from very thick, strained yoghurt. In Australia, a yoghurt that ‘thick’ is very difficult to find. So, I use Farmers Union Greek Style Natural Yoghurt. It is gelatine free and does the job nicely. I also want my Haydari is a little bit more spreadable. I must admit, real Haydari looks as if you would need knife and fork to eat.

I do have a vegan version of Haydari here on VegFusion, by the way. I remember substituting real yoghurt with Tofutti Sour Supreme and lemon juice. It is close but still not quite the same. Anyway, you can find Vegan Haydari recipe here.

Haydari (Turkish Yoghurt Dip) is very easy to make and is a great addition to any meze platter. Here’s the recipe…

Haydari (Turkish Yoghurt Dip)

1 cup Farmer’s Union Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon Turkish ground sweet paprika (Use Hungarian sweet paprika if you can’t get Turkish one)
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried spearmint
½ tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
Salt to taste

• In a small bowl, mix together yoghurt, olive oil, crushed garlic, cumin, sweet paprika, black pepper, dried mint and parsley.
• Salt to taste and serve.

Serving Suggestions
Haydari is served along with other mezes as part of a meze platter. You could also serve Haydari with:
• Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders
• Fresh bread (preferably Turkish bread)
• Toasted rustic bread
• Corn Fritters
Mücver (Zucchini Fritters)
• Crudités
• Water crackers
• Pitta bread

Afiyet olsun Peoples!

Gardein Mini Crispy Crabless Cakes


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I don’t know if Gardein Mini Crispy Crabless Cakes taste like the real crab cakes but they are so tasty. At the moment, The Cruelty Free Shop and Taste Organic carry them along with other products from Gardein. I’d say … Continue reading

Yoghurt Soup with Rice or Yayla Çorbası

yoghurt soupThis morning my husband woke up with quite a bit of muscle ache. He felt the first signs of whatever he’s got yesterday while we were at Art Gallery of New South Wales for Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibition. After we got home, we had another plan for the day: supporting a friend of ours at his live gig. Of course, we had to cancel. The exhibition was really good though. For photos see our photo blog here.

When someone from your family is ill, Yayla Çorbası (yoghurt soup with rice) is what we make. That is the reason why it is mostly referred to as ‘sick soup’. Not that the soup is only made when someone is sick. I actually quite like it for many reasons like it’s creamy, nourishing and being a soup it is warm –something I especially appreciate in a cold winter day. And of course, it brings back memories of my old life back in Turkey.

Well, my husband is downstairs at the moment, enjoying his share. And I am getting ready to post the recipe for you. Please don’t wait until you’re sick to try this soup. Afiyet olsun Peoples!

Yoghurt Soup with Rice or Yayla Çorbası

2 tablespoons medium-grain white rice
2 cups water

For the soup base:
3 tablespoons plain yoghurt
1 egg
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon plain flour
3 cups water

For the mint tempering:
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon dried spearmint

Salt to taste

• Wash the rice and drain well. Place it in a small saucepan with 2 cups water and cook until the rice is soft.
• Whisk together the yoghurt, egg, lemon juice and plain flour. You could use your blender for the job, too. Once it is smooth, dilute the soup base with 3 cups of water. Boil the mixture stirring all the time. Once it starts to bubble, add the rice. Add salt to taste.
• To make the mint tempering, melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the mint. Swirl it around a little and remove from the heat. Add a ladle of boiling hot soup into the mint tempering and pour it all together into the soup. Serve warm with fresh bread.

Ingredient Profile: Broccoli


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Ingredient Profile: Broccoli Broccoli –botanical name is Brassica oleracea cv.italica—comes from the highly nutritious Brassica family and considered to be a cruciferous vegetable. Brassica family also includes Brussels sprouts, cabbage, spinach and chard. Origin Broccoli is originated from Italy more … Continue reading

Ajoy Joshi’s Moong Dal with Tadka Tempering

moong dal tadka tempering

Nilgiri’s has always been one of my favourite Indian restaurants in Sydney. For me, it’s an education, an institution of fine Indian cuisine. This may sound like Nilgiri’s is closing its doors but they are just moving to a new location. Change is good; it freshens things up. So we are excited about the new location. And to celebrate, I have a recipe from Nilgiri’s. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes: The recipe below is Ajoy Joshi’s very own but I had to make some changes. Because, the recipe yields a lot of dal. When you think of it, it’s just the two of us. So, I halved the dal ingredients, however, used the exact measurements for the tadka tempering. It just worked perfectly.

Moong Dal with Tadka Tempering

2 cups moong dal (mung lentils)
8 cups cold water (tap water)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Step 1: Wash and drain lentils.
Step 2: Add turmeric and oil to the lentils along with 8 cups of water and bring water to the boil.
Step 3: Cook lentils until soft, add the salt, turn off the heat and set aside (mung dal should be soft to touch when cooked).

Now for the tadka or ‘tempering’:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida powder
1 teaspoon ground chilli
salt, to taste
juice of half a lemon
2-3 fresh coriander leaves

Step 1. For tadka, or ‘tempering’, heat oil in a pan and let it smoke, remove from the heat and crackle the cumin seeds.
Step 2. Add the asafoetida and then chilli powder.
Step 3. Pour the hot oil (this is called the ‘tempering’) on top of the cooked lentils.
Step 4. Add lemon juice and the coriander leaves and serve immediately!!

Nilgiri’s new home address:
Shop 3, 283 Military Road

Product Review: Viana Veggie Chickin Fillets


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Viana Veggie Chickin Fillets are fast, practical, organic and vegan. However, they are nothing like how they look on the package. Viana Veggie Chickin Fillets are more like real chicken schnitzels minus the thick batter. They are quite dense but … Continue reading

Herbed Garlic Bread, VegFusion Style

I have always had a thing for garlic bread. Any kind, really. We used to make garlic bread at Family Tree as people loved to have them with salads, soups, pasta dishes and just on their own as appetizer/starter. Over here, it is something people eat with pizza as most pizza places in Sydney make garlic bread. I personally prefer to have them with something fresh like fresh salad or soup like my fantastic lentil soup.

garlic bread

At Family Tree, we made garlic bread differently. When I say differently I mean different to what you get in Sydney. We used sliced bread instead of baking the whole loaf of bread like they do over here. I certainly like both types. Sliced bread one is more practical but I find the other one more filling and hearty. So it’s a win-win situation really.

A few weeks ago, we were invited to our next door neighbour’s place for barbeque and drinks. As being vegetarians, we decided to pop in just for a drink or two. The next day, our lovely neighbour gave us a left over baguette. I decided to make garlic bread with it. I cut the baguette into equal 3 pieces. Prepared the garlic butter and baked only one piece and froze the rest for later use. That’s how I ended up with the recipe below. Enjoy!

Herbed Garlic Bread

1 baguette (about 35cm long)
80 grams butter, softened
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tablespoon dried oregano
Salt to taste

• Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Cut bread into 2.5cm-thick slices without cutting all the way through.
• Combine butter, garlic and parsley in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spread mixture over cut sides of bread slices. Wrap loaf in foil.
• Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until butter is melted and bread crisp. Serve.

garlic bread

Fruit Profile: Pomegranates


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Fruit Profile: Pomegranates Pomegranates are a member of the Punicaceas family. Its name comes from the French words “pomme garnete”, meaning seeded apple. Every pomegranate fruit is composed of a rind, inner membrane and seeds. Seeds are covered with juicy, … Continue reading

Gardein Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites


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When Gardein entered Australia, I was so overjoyed. Perhaps something my husband did not understand at the time but these days, after trying a few Gardein products himself, he even goes out to buy them. Gardein products are made in … Continue reading