Yogurt Plain and Simple
It's not uncommon to hear stories of old people in Asia living to be hundreds of years old. Diet, and particularly yogurt consumption, often contribute to their longevity.
Yogurt is an important part of the diet of many nomads and herding peoples historically as well as in modern Turkey. A large proportion of Turkish cuisine is made up of plain yogurt, which is consumed almost daily. Approximately ten pounds or five kilograms of yogurt are consumed each week by the average family of four.
Yogurt is a fact of life: It's served at nearly every meal, as a snack, dessert, and even as a beverage. As an example, it is often served as a topping or a side dish with many hot main courses, including Turkish spinach and tomato stew and cooked summer squash.
Adding honey, sugar, or fruit preserves to yogurt is recommended for children and young babies. 'Yayla corbasi' (YAI'-lah chor-BAH'-su) or highland meadow soup, are also prepared with yogurt as a base and thickener.
It is common to combine strained yogurt with veggies and greens similar to how some people use mayonnaise with their salads. In Turkey, a dish made of purslane leaves, yogurt, and garlic is a tasty appetizer or meze. Over the past few years, breakfasts have become increasingly popular with yogurt, fruit, and oats or muesli.
The refreshing drink 'Ayran' (ai-RAHN'), made of plain yogurt, ice-cold water, and salt, is a delicious, healthy alternative to cola or to eating fast food like grilled meatballs, ‘Kofte’ (Kuf-Tay’). Most restaurants and stores sell pre-packaged ayran alongside carbonated soft drinks.
Serving ayran traditionally is with a wooden yayik (yai-UK), a narrow barrel tap that hangs horizontally. Shaking the yayik back and forth briskly until the ayran becomes frothy, it is the method used to combine the ingredients.
Traditionally, yogurt is made in red clay pots, and most families still make their own every day using milk and yogurt cultures. Manufacturers sell their products in contemporary plastic tubs up to a weight of 5 kilograms at all supermarkets.
Those who have acquired a taste for plain yogurt will find it hard to eat the sweet and fruity varieties, which are also plentiful in most urban areas. In terms of richness and creaminess, Turkish yogurt is more like sour cream.
'Kaymak' is a term for varieties that are sold with a layer of cream or skin on top.
How To Use Plain Yogurt?
Are you grossed out even by the mention of plain yogurt, or are you just unsure of how to use it? It's time to consider it again.
If you have never tried making anything with plain yogurt before, you will be pleasantly surprised. Make plain yogurt more delicious and interesting by incorporating Turkish regional cuisine into its preparation, as well as incorporating it into other dishes so they are more nutritious and tastier.
Yummy Yogurt Dip Recipes
Put an end to those heavy, calorie-filled dips! Making dips for chips and vegetables with plain yogurt is simple and tasty. When you add different herbs and spices, it becomes just as creamy and flavorful as anything made with mayonnaise or sour cream.
Substituting veggie sticks for chips and low-fat, low-calorie plain yogurt will make a nutritious, low-fat, low-calorie snack. You'll be the favorite of your friends, family members, and guests!
The following yogurt dips might be of interest:
- Mixing powdered salad dressing with strained or Greek yogurt is the fastest and easiest way to make yogurt dip. These recipes work best with Italian and garlic and herb yogurts.Use a wire whisk to stir in the dressing powder. Just adjust the amount of powder you mix in to make it as strong or bland as you like.You don't need to add anything else to the salad dressing since it contains salt and spices. To ensure a smooth blend of flavors, let the dip sit in the fridge for a few minutes before serving.
- Alternatively, you can prepare the dip with yogurt by blending your own spices and herbs. Dry spices work best. The combination of garlic powder, onion flakes, parsley flakes, oregano, basil, dill, paprika, celery salt is up to you.Experiment to find the flavor combination that suits you. Stir in a teaspoon or two of olive oil if you think the dip needs more body! And don't forget to season with salt and pepper.
- It is possible to get even more creative if you use a food processor or blender. You can also add things like garlic, red or green peppers (which will make wonderful-looking dips), feta cheese, parsley, and dill to make wonderful dips. Blend it all up!Don't forget to add just a little bit of fresh vegetables when cooking. Otherwise, your dip will be too watery. It's enough to add two or three strips of pepper, one clove of garlic, or two sprigs of herbs to a cup of yogurt. Remember to season with salt and pepper to taste.