The benefits of yogurt are undeniable. Speaking as a person who has frequent trouble with bowel movements, I can attest to that. I am by no means a medical professional, but the probiotic properties of the white wonder are, like 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 a few recipes from here and there to help incorporate yogurt into your diet.
As much as yogurt is an integral part in Turkish cuisine, the same can be said of eggplant as well. There are almost 51 different ways to prepare the vegetable, and this is a good one for sure. The origins of this dish are contested, but it would be fair to say each Middle Eastern country has its own interpretation. Some skip on the chickpeas altogether, while others add plenty. Here is our take on the dish/meze.
First off, you want to roast your eggplants over an open fire if possible. Easier said than done and considering our modern setup at home, quite a mess. Alternatively, you can roast the eggplant in the oven. Once it has softened, completely remove all of its black peel and the stem. Make use of a spoon to scoop every last bit of the aubergine's flesh from the skin. Chop this as small as possible and squeeze the lemon over it.
In a separate bowl remove the skin of the chickpeas and blend them. If the blender is a hassle or gives you a hard time, you can add a couple of tablespoons of water to make it smooth.
Add the pureed chickpeas to the eggplant mix before adding the rest of the ingredients – make sure you chopped the garlic cloves as finely as possible. Mix well and serve!
Drizzling olive oil over the mutabbal is for many a must! You can also incorporate crushed walnuts, mixing them in or just sprinkling them on top, for an altogether different texture.
As the days grow shorter, it is only natural to gravitate to something warm and soul-nurturing. One of my favorite soups is yogurt soup for this very reason. Paired with a slice or two of bread, I personally don’t need anything else for dinner.
Planning ahead with this soup can speed up the overall cooking time a lot. For this very reason, I like to cook chickpeas ahead of time and throw them in the freezer. If you don’t have them on the ready you can let the chickpeas rest in hot water, preferably overnight, or boil them until they soften then set them aside.
In a deep enough pot, boil the wheat for about 1 1/2 hours before adding the yogurt. The soup has the tendency to get quite sticky after this point so you need to keep stirring constantly; if you prefer it thicker, you should add the optional flour. Add the softened chickpeas and let the soup simmer for a couple of minutes before turning the heat off.
Melt the butter in a separate pan before adding dried mint leaves, letting them simmer for around a minute. You can also add other spices, such as red pepper flakes if you'd like it to be spicier. Pour the buttery sauce on top, add a little salt and give it a final stir.
Who says that cheesecake needs to be made with cheese? Okay, the name suggests otherwise, but the Turks gave it a shot and succeeded. The key here is to use süzme (strained) yogurt so that there is no unnecessary moisture.
For the dough
For the filling
First, let's make the dough by simply tossing all of the ingredients in a bowl and kneading them together. Having the butter or margarine (or a mix of both) at room temperature is key. If you like, you can even make this dough more interesting by adding a couple of tablespoons of cacao powder for a chocolate version. Grease your springform pan and press the dough down at the bottom and up around the sides. You’ll have plenty of dough so make it as thick or thin as you like. You should have about a quarter of the dough left over to sprinkle on top if you like.
For the filling you’ll first need to separate the eggs before whipping the egg whites until they are stiff. In a separate bowl, mix the yolk with the sugar. Once the yolk-sugar mixture is creamy, add the other ingredients in and mix well. At the very end, fold the egg whites in and carefully pour the mix over the dough base.
Bake the cake for about 45 minutes at 170 degrees Celsius (340 degrees Fahrenheit) and let it cool off completely before even attempting to remove it.
Cheesecake tastes the best when it has rested for a day at the very least.