Yoghurt has a special place in Turkish cuisine; some of the finest yoghurt in the world is made in Turkey and is included in some way at most family meal times such as in soups like in Yayla Corbasi, mezzes, marinations for the meat and more. Praised for its health-giving qualities, yoghurt is rich in calcium, phosphorus and B vitamins and has earned a reputation as one of the most valuable health foods. I love Pinar’s Strained Yoghurt, Suzme Yoghurt, which works very well in this recipe. The mild & sweet sautéed carrots go really well with the garlicky yoghurt and make a wonderful dip or a delicious accompaniment to grilled meat and vegetables. You can prepare this mezze ahead of time and keep the left overs in the fridge for the next day.
Serves 4 Preparation time: 15 – 20 minutes
3-4 medium carrots, grated
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed in sea salt
450gr/16 oz. / 2 cups natural plain yoghurt – whole milk yoghurt recommended-
30ml/2 tbsp. olive oil
Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to serve
Heat the olive oil in a wide heavy pan and sauté the grated carrots for 3 -4 minutes, until they are about to soften up, but still a little crunchy. Turn the heat off and leave them to cool aside.
In the meantime, crush the garlic clove in sea salt and stir them into the bowl of yoghurt. When cooled, combine the sautéed carrots into the yoghurt bowl and give a good mix. Stir in the chopped parsley and mix well.
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You can serve this wonderful mezze with slices of flat bread, pitta bread or crackers, or with sliced vegetables like celery, broccoli, cawliflower to dip in. It also complements grilled meat and vegetables beautifully.
Ready to be back home; Istanbul Here We Come ! : )
“Ozlem’cigim, Mevlubi’yi hazirlamaya basladim, size dort gozle bekliyoruz” in English, “My dear Ozlem, I am getting the Mevlubi ready, so look forward to seeing you all” says my dear mother warmly over the phone. Mevlubi is a special Antakya style dish, consisting of delicious layers of sautéed aubergine (eggplant), potato, onions, meat and rice, all cooked together, then turned upside down. It looks like one very impressive savory cake, and once it is on the table, you know it is a special occasion and you are there for a treat. Food has always been the focal point in Turkish culture; and cooking for family and friends have been our way of telling them that they are special, that we care for them.
What makes a place special for you? In these days, I am full of excitement of going back home, and reflecting on the reasons why my home land, Turkey, is so special for me. Sure, there are the family and friends, that you long to see and they look forward to seeing you. Now that I have my own small children, I cherish every opportunity to go back home, get them know their roots and reconnect, so very special.
Then there are all the amazing sites like the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and more await you; they were there centuries ago, still intact and take your breath away, enrich your soul.
But then there is the spontaneous, unconditional kindness, generosity from the heart that welcomes you at home. Like, while we were in Antakya, these local children, a little shy, but also curious, eagerly wanting to show us around and tell the story of the St Peter’s Church.
Or this vendor selling pine nuts and regional honey in Pergamom, offering us to sample the pine nuts– along with the complimentary cay, Turkish tea!-. Or the abundance of cay offering, as a sign of hospitality, wherever you are; in banks, visiting homes, shops, everywhere!: )
It is this generosity from the heart, hospitality that really makes home special for me. Don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of things I greatly wish that would improve at home – starting from the traffic!- but when I look back, it is this happy memories, time well spent with family and friends, the kindness of people stays with me. That’s all I remember.
I hope you keep on making happy memories wherever your destination is and I look forward to be in touch from Istanbul soon!
Happy Travels, Iyi Yolculuklar,
oh wow…this all looks so good. i wish i had some right now!
Hi Joyce, thanks – this mezze is so easy to make; just grab some carrots, garlic and yoghurt, tastes sensational 🙂
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I bet your mum can’t wait to have you and the children back home. Have a great trip.
Merhaba Back to Bodrum, so right, she is looking forward to seeing us all, so do we! Many thanks for your kind wishes, will be in touch soon.
Just delicious. The garlic stands out even more the second day. I used fat free yogurt and it was still plenty rich. Tesekurlar!
Delighted that you enjoyed this delicious dip, Afiyet olsun
When I was younger carrots and yoghurt seemed very everyday and uninteresting for some reason but these days I can’t imagine life without them. Especially in this kind of dish – it sounds lovely. Have a great trip – I’m very jealous.
Thanks a lot Phil, I think this is your kind of mezze too; a dash of olive oil, garlic and yoghurt brings another dimension to the taste of carrots. Will reposrt back from Istanbul 🙂
Ozlem your yogurtlu havuc meze looks amazing. I am going to have to try and make your pistachio lamb kebabs they look great too. I know you can’t wait to go back to Turkiye and I hope you have a safe and happy trip. One of the things I miss most about Turkiye is like you said the hospitality, helpfulness of people in general and the family and social life. Iyi yolculuklar!
Merhaba April; thank you so much; I think you will enjoy the sauteed carrots with yoghurt, especially with the pistachio kebabs; the mild dip really complements the richness of the kebabs. Many thanks for your kind wishes, look forward to the trip and promise to have Iskender Kebab for you : ) x Ozlem
Stunning colours in this dish Ozlem! So creamy and beautiful. I don’t use yogurt in my cooking very much but I think I am missing out on delicious new flavours. You have inspired me today. Thank you.
Yoghurt is a big part of Turkish cuisine Alida, you get a great creamy flavor in a healthy way, minus the calories – glad it inspired 🙂 Ozlem
Oh so yummy, dear Ozlem! This mezze looks simple and delicious, perfect as a dip and with kebabs…best part is all the ingredients are in my fridge:) going to give it a try. So wonderful to see your adorable parents, precious picture:) have a wonderful time in Istanbul, yet another gem of a class awaits:) xx Peri.
Thank you, thank you, for all your support Peri, I think you’ll like this mezze, light yet delicious 🙂 We will be thinking of you on the 20th; hope to make it to Istanbul together sometime!
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i wish to come back to Turkey soon.Exploring places and tastes at the same time.
I hope you too Raky, thanks for stopping by!
Dear Ozlem, you have one of the most delicious blogs that i know. 🙂 Turkish cuisine is very similar to Serbian and other cuisines from Balkans, and maybe that’s why i love your Table so much. 🙂 I’m already following you via FB and every time i see your new recipe and pictures of meals, i get so hungry. :))
I only wish you had some kind of translator for us who speak different language, because it’s much easier to read and understand in your own language. But.. ok 🙂
Just keep on going what you’re doing. 😉
Big hug from Belgrade, Serbia!
Dear Alba, merhaba, thank you so much for your very kind note, you made my day!:) So glad you are enjoying “this table” and it is always a pleasure to see similarities and variations in our cuisines, so fascinating. Many thanks for the feedback re a translation gadget perhaps in the blog for different languages – I will investigate that, perhaps a google translator may help. Big hugs to you back! Ozlem : )