Haydari is a traditional Turkish yogurt sauce loaded with fresh herbs and salty feta. This haydari is cooling and refreshing. It is delicious served with hot flatbreads or as part of a large spread. Your family and friends are guaranteed to love it.
What is haydari?
Haydari is usually served as a mezze dish, and is typically enjoyed with hot pide (flatbreads) and grilled meats. Mezze is a Middle Eastern spread of small dishes, similar to Spanish tapas.
I first tried haydari at my local Turkish restaurant, and immediately loved the creamy, salty and refreshing taste. It reminded me so much of beloved Greek tzatziki, unsurprising as there is often crossover between Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes.
Haydari or tzatziki?
The main difference between haydari and tzatziki is that there is no cucumber in haydari. Instead, it is thicker, creamier and celebrates the flavours of the fresh herbs.
Why you’ll love haydari
Creamy, salty and refreshing, this yogurt sauce complements a wide variety of dishes. It is also:
- Easy and quick to make – the hardest part of this recipe is chopping the herbs. It will take you no more than 5 minutes to prepare once you have collected the ingredients
- Cooling and refreshing – cool Greek yogurt and mint are so soothing and settling for the stomach. This sauce is the ideal accompaniment for hot or spicy dishes
- Versatile – this sauce is delicious served with absolutely anything.
How to make haydari
I love this recipe because it is so quick and easy! Here are the steps:
- Crumble the feta into a bowl
- Add the dill, mint and parsley
- Scoop the Greek yogurt into the bowl and mix well
- Add a pinch of sea salt
- Drizzle with good quality olive oil, and serve.
Let’s watch this video to see how haydari is made:
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Süzme or Greek yogurt – traditionally, haydari is made with süzme, which is a thick strained Greek yogurt. It is available to buy at specialist shops like Turkish Porter. Alternatively full fat Greek yogurt is a great substitute that’s readily available in supermarkets
- Feta – haydari is traditionally made with cream cheese. However when substituting süzme with Greek yogurt, feta is the best cheese because it mimics the natural tanginess of süzme
- Dill – 2 tablespoons of dill very finely chopped
- Mint – 10 mint leaves very finely chopped
- Parsley – 1 tablespoon of parsley very finely chopped
- Garlic – Raw garlic is traditionally used in this dish and has a lot of health benefits. However raw garlic can also cause heartburn and an upset stomach. I choose not to use raw garlic in my cooking, but if you like it, then mix in 1 minced garlic clove to the yogurt at the end. The garlic will give the sauce some heat
- Good quality olive oil – I like to use Filippo Berrio extra virgin olive oil for drizzling over dishes.
Haydari is such a versatile sauce. Here are some ideas for how you can serve it:
- As a dip, with flatbreads, pitta or naan
- Alongside grilled meat or fish
- Inside a wrap with falafels, or these mushroom veggie balls
- As an alternative dip for Indian street food such as pakoras and samosas.
- Drizzled over roast vegetables, like these tandoori vegetables
- Store in the fridge for up to 2 days
- Freezing haydari is not recommended.
Use full fat Greek yogurt
It tends to be thicker and creamier than low fat versions. Natural yogurt is too thin for this sauce.
Use only the leaves of the herbs
The stalks are usually too tough and woody. Chop the leaves as finely as possible.Print