Haydari, a Turkish delicacy
Haydari is one of the main meze of Turkish cuisine. It consists of labneh (süzme), a preparation based on fermented and concentrated milk obtained from drained rayeb.
Rayeb is very close to natural yogurt. Haydari is scented with garlic, herbs, usually dried mint. It is accompanied by cucumber slices that resemble it cacik. However, haydari is more salty, acidic, and denser in texture than cacik. Haydari is especially refreshing, it’s as delicious as it is with pita bread or even raw vegetables. The haydari is also excellent with the famous grilled meats offered in Turkey.
What is the origin of haydari?
Haydari, like any meze, serves as an appetizer or simply embodies a type of meal consisting of many light preparations that can be enjoyed together. This makes it a very convivial meal.
Meze are found throughout Levantine cuisine, including Turkey, Lebanon, Greece, Armenia, Iran and even among the Kurds.
Meze 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 small piece of bread into it. They are served with arak or raki, very popular drinks in Turkey.
The exact origin of these preparations is not known, but it is believed that they come from the Bekaa plain in present-day Lebanon. The word meze is said to come from Arabic or Persian. It literally translates “flavor”.
The preparation of haydari is very simple and fast, just beat the labneh to relax it, add the finely chopped mint, garlic and salt. Once mixed, it is placed on a plate and decorated with slices of cucumber, olive oil and chopped parsley. It is eaten cold with bread.