Ultra creamy and smooth, Haydari Tarifi (literally translated as yogurt dip recipe), is a delicious and tangy dip that you'd find as a part of the famous Turkish meze.
If you love Turkish food, this appetizer recipe is an absolute must try.
The dip is crafted using Greek yogurt, olive oil, feta cheese and some fresh herbs and seasonings, and takes less than 5 minutes to put together.
This protein rich, gluten-free dip has the perfect balance of creaminess and tanginess from all its ingredients, and is incredibly versatile.
Haydari is one of the most popular Turkish appetizers that is served with some meat and vegetable preparations.
If you're trying your hands at a meze recipe or just any other Turkish recipes, this one's an easy recipe you must try.
I'm a sucker for recipes that need minimal ingredients and kitchen time, and this Haydari recipe just ticks those boxes perfectly.
What's So Great About the Recipe?
My favorite part about this Turkish yogurt dip is its versatility. Thanks to its subtle, Mediterranean flavors, you can pair the dip with anything from veggie sticks and grilled meats to fried foods.
I love using it as a salad dressing too! Another big plus is the fact that this is a no cook recipe that you can get on your table in a matter of minutes.
Haydari is an essential part of Turkish cuisine, but that's not all you can use it for- the sauce can actually be a great side to many of your other foods too.
Ingredients For the Haydari Tarifi
Greek yogurt: Unflavored Greek yogurt forms the base of this dip. Use full fat version of the yogurt to get the perfect, creamy consistency.
Feta cheese: Feta cheese lends the dip a nice sharp and salty flavor. It's best to use the full fat version of this one too.
Fresh herbs: Fresh dill and mint leaves are crucial to this recipe. They bring in a nice touch of freshness and a pop of color to the sauce.
Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil add some extra richness and flavor to the sauce, and elevates its flavor to the next level.
Garlic: Fresh minced garlic lends an incredible flavor to the Haydari Tarifi.
Seasonings: I've used a simple seasoning mix of salt and pepper. You can also add in some sumac if you have it at hand.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make the Haydari Tarifi
In a large bowl, add the feta cheese and use a fork to crush it and get it smooth.
Now add the Greek yogurt, mint, finely chopped dill, garlic, salt and pepper.
Give it all a good mix. Taste and adjust accordingly.
Transfer into a serving bowl and top with a generous drizzle of olive oil and some mint leaves.
Substitutions & Variations
- If you don't have Greek yogurt, you can use regular, strained yogurt too. The idea is to have a thick base so that the sauce doesn't get runny.
- I've used fresh dill for this recipe, but if you can't get your hands on it, you can use dried dill instead. The same goes for mint too- you can make do with dried mint leaves as well.
- If you don't have feta cheese, you can make do with some blended cottage cheese instead. Blended cottage cheese has an incredibly thick and creamy texture, and is a great choice for any homemade dip or spread recipe. Plus, it is protein rich too.
- If you really want to use a fresh herb into the Haydari Tarifi, freshly chopped parsley is your best bet.
Remember to give the base a quick taste. If it doesn't have that slightly tangy flavor, you can add a bit of sour cream into the mix.
How to Store the Leftover Haydari
You can make Haydari 2-3 days in advance and refrigerate it, which makes it a great recipe for meal prep. In fact, its flavors develop even further when it is refrigerated.
The best way to do it is to use a clean container, ideally one with an airtight lid, to store the dip.
You can also arrange in in a clean glass container and cover it up with cling wrap before you pop it in the fridge.
This dip, is not freezer friendly, and can actually lose its creamy and smooth texture when it is frozen and defrosted.
You may want to read my detailed post about freezing dips to get a better idea about it.
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Haydari Tarifi
- If you're using strained yogurt, you'll need to watch out for the final consistency of the Haydari.
- Cacık is much thinner, which Labneh has a thicker, spreadable texture. You can use either of these, based on your personal preference and how you would want the Haydari to be.
- Remember that Haydari isn't the same as the famous Greek Tzatziki, though you can slightly tweak and play around with the ingredients to bring in different variations.
- Don't forget to top this simple to make Turkish dip with some of your favorite spice blends and seasonings and a generous drizzle of olive oil before you serve it.
How to Serve Haydari
This easy to make dip can be enjoyed in a lot of different ways. Here are some of my favorite ways to serve it.
With Pita Bread
The simplest way to enjoy this Turkish Haydari Tarifi is to team it up with some pita bread or any other flatbread of your choice.
With Grilled Meats
In Turkey, you'll usually find this strained yogurt dip served with some grilled meats and kebabs.
The creamy, rich consistency of this dip compliments the smoky flavors from the meat, and make for a no-fail combination everyone will enjoy.
As a Turkish Mezze
Haydari can be a great addition to your homemade Turkish mezze. You can serve it with a wide variety of different foods, salads and condiments.
Fresh veggies like carrots and cucumbers can also be great when served with this dish.
Haydari as a Sandwich Spread
Believe it or not, Haydari can also turn out to be an excellent sandwich spread, especially for sandwiches that need just that bit of extra creaminess to lift the flavors of the other ingredients.
And if you loved this yogurt based recipe, you can also try making Yayla Corbasi- a flavorful yogurt soup.
You can have a layer of marinated olives arranged on the top of the bowl of Haydari before you serve it to lend it some more flavor and make it look more aesthetically appealing.
If you don't want to use olives, you can also add some grated cucumber into the mix, and pour some extra olive oil over the top.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoon feta cheese
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- ¼ cup dill
- 2 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper crushed
- In a large bowl, add the feta cheese and use a fork to crush it and get it smooth.
- Now add the Greek yogurt, mint, finely chopped dill, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Give it all a good mix. Taste and adjust accordingly.
- Transfer into a serving bowl and top with a generous drizzle of olive oil and some mint leaves.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove