'Haydari' (hai-DAHR'-ee) is a tangy, flavorful Turkish 'meze,' or appetizer, that features among other ingredients, Greek yogurt. I could talk endlessly about which came first, Turkish strained yogurt or Greek yogurt, but it's the flavor that counts. Both are exactly the same.
Whether you prefer to buy your favorite Greek yogurt from the supermarket or to strain your own plain yogurt Turkish-style, you'll still get the same result. A rich, delicious, creamy 'haydari.'
'Haydari' is a favorite traditionally served as part of a long line-up of appetizers offered before a fish meal. If you've travelled to Turkey, you may have had it while dining at a fish restaurant.
But you don't have to limit 'haydari' to only seafood meals. I serve it as a spread for crackers or toasted bread, and as a fresh dip for raw vegetables, too. I like to bring this recipe out during the spring and summer when fresh herbs are at their best.
However you decide to serve it, definitely try this recipe for 'haydari' and put a Turkish twist on Greek yogurt. You'll also learn how to strain yogurt the Turkish way.
Photo © Elizabeth Taviloglu, 2013