What is haydari?
Rayeb is very close to natural yogurt. Haydari is scented with garlic, aromatic herbs, usually dried mint. It is accompanied by cucumber slices which brings it closer to another famous mezze, the tzatziki (cacik in Turkish). However, haydari is more salty, acidic and thicker in consistency than the tzatziki.
Haydari is particularly refreshing, it is delicious as it is with pita bread or even raw vegetables. Mezze are Turkish appetizers that are popular throughout the region. The haydari is also excellent with the famous grilled meats offered in Turkey.
What is the origin of haydari?
Haydari, like any mezze, serves as an appetizer or simply embodies a type of meal made up of many light preparations that can be enjoyed together. This makes it a very convivial meal.
The mezze are all served at the same time. In general, there are about a dozen preparations in the family or restaurant versions, but in the context of large parties such as weddings, you will easily find dozens of them. Each mezze is served in a separate cup, which makes it easy to dip a little piece of bread. They are served with arak or raki, very popular drinks in Turkey.
The exact origin of these preparations is unknown, but they are believed to originate from the Bekaa plain in present-day Lebanon. The word mezze is said to come from Arabic or Persian. It literally translates “flavor”.
How to make haydari
The preparation of the haydari is very simple and quick, just beat the labneh to relax it, add mint, finely chopped garlic and salt. Once mixed, it is placed in a dish and decorated with slices of cucumber, olive oil and chopped parsley. It is eaten cold with bread.
Labneh can very easily be found in Middle Eastern markets, also under the name of süzme, but it can also be very easily prepared at home. Just place plain yogurt in a cloth, over a colander with a small press above and a bowl below so that the whey drips. Reserve for twenty four hours in the fridge. The preparation can be salted after twelve hours to firm it up further. Whey can be consumed because it contains a lot of probiotics (before salting the yogurt). Thus prepared, labneh keeps for several days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
What are the variants of haydari?
Cacik is a variant of haydari that does not contain cucumbers. In haydari, mint can also be replaced by dill or a mixture of both. A little lemon juice, chili flakes or chopped nuts, can also be added.
In a more contemporary version, the haydari can simply be used as a base for toast by being covered with slices of raw vegetables for example.
The most popular mezze
The haydari can be tasted with other mezze, such as the fatouche salad, a salad made of raw vegetables, the Turkish tabbouleh based on bulgur and aromatic herbs called kisir, the hummus with chickpeas, the baba ganousch with eggplant, kibbeh, small croquettes generally of meat and bulgur which are fried, beanstalk, dolma, grape leaves stuffed with vegetables or rice and sometimes meat or even börek, small crispy turnovers.
- 1 cup labne (süzme yogurt)
- 1 tablespoon dried mint flakes
- 3 cloves garlic , chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Mini cucumber , sliced
- Flat parsley , chopped
- In a bowl, add the labneh and beat it with a spoon.
- Add the mint, garlic and salt. Mix.
- Place the haydari in a dish.
- Garnish with cucumber slices around and drizzle with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with parsley.
- Serve chilled with toast.