Friday, January 19, 2007

Yayla Corbasi -- High Plateau Yogurt Soup

This is one of my all time favorite Turkish recipes. I have adapted it slightly by changing the white rice to brown rice and the white flour to spelt flour or whole wheat pastry.


  • 1/3 cup (60 g) brown rice
  • 3 1/3 cups (800 g) water
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 g) plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons (18 g) flour (I recommend whole grain spelt flour or whole wheat pastry)
  • 1 medium size (50 g) egg
  • 2 teaspoons (12 g) sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons (40 g) butter
  • 2 tablespoons (2 g) dried mint


Put rice in a saucepan with water. Simmer for 35-40 minutes or until rice is tender.

Combine yogurt, flour and slightly beaten egg in a bowl, mixing well. Stir in some soup liquid gradually, mixing thoroughly. This helps to warm up the yogurt and egg so that they don't curdle.

Blend the yogurt/egg mixture into the rice and water slowly, stirring constantly. Season with salt. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Melt butter in a skillet. Add crushed mint; stir. Sprinkle over soup. Turks also often sprinkle some red pepper into the butter/mint mixture.

Serve hot.

Cultural notes:

"Yayla" means high plateau. Since milk could not be well preserved during summer months in the old days when ice-boxes were not available, milk would be used to produce yogurt. The best yogurt would be obtained from high plateaus. The name comes from this practice. It is a delicious soup, very popular all over the country.

This recipe is adapted from Samples from Turkish Cuisine by Ayse Baysal.

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