Meet your new favorite side dish; carrots with yogurt (and a finger-licking spicy butter sauce)!
I don’t think there is anything more comforting than the combination of minced garlic and yogurt! It’s no surprise than Turkish people eat this delicious sauce with pretty much everything. And after living in Turkey, I pretty much do the same thing. One of the most popular ‘mezze’, that you’ll see at every family gathering is a version of this carrot salad. It’s made with cooked grated carrots, a garlicky yogurt sauce, and dill. Maybe one day I’ll also post this recipe, which is more traditional.
I (re)created this version of havuç tarator (carrot salad) specifically for my husband who prefers it this way. Whenever I made the traditional salad you could be sure he would say ‘It’s good, but you know when I was a child I used to go eat at a friend’s place and his mum would cut the carrots this way and adds a spicy buttery sauce, I really liked it, it’s the only place I ever ate it, blablablabla’. I don’t know how many times I heard that story so partly because I loved my husband, and partly because I hate hearing ‘It’s good BUT’ whenever someone tastes my food, I decided to recreate his childhood’s salad and I’ve got to say, it’s delicious! I’ve got to see the day when a recipe wouldn’t be improved by adding butter.
Sweet carrots meet salty sauce, spicy pul biber meets minced garlic, hot melted butter meets cold tangy yogurt, it’s heaven and comforting! I admit to having licked the plate multiple times after being done because the sauce is thaaat good. It’s so savory that it reminds me of a cheese dip. And since I don’t have a food processor anymore, not having to grate carrots by hand really is time-saving.
SIMPLE RECIPES ARE THE BEST
Carrots with yogurt are (as for most Turkish recipes): 1/ super good, but also 2/ super simple! All you need is to cook sliced carrots until soft, mix in a few ingredients for the sauce and melt some butter. The spicy butter sauce is a cornerstone of Turkish cuisine and is added on top of multiple meals, from mercimek çorbası (lentil soup) to mantı (small meaty dumplings). So to put in on your carrot salad is not far-fetched but it should be done more often because it’s super good. I don’t think there is a child who could resist eating his/her veggies if they are covered with this yogurt sauce (at least not a Turkish child).
You should cut your carrots as uniformly as possible to be sure that they’ll cook evenly. You can cook the carrots and mix them in the yogurt and keep it the fridge for up to 3 days in advance. However, you should do the spicy butter sauce just before serving. It really is what makes this salad come together beautifully and the hot sauce with cold yogurt contrast is a must. If you use Greek yogurt instead of Turkish yogurt, it might congeal so add 1 tsp of cold water to loosen it up before whisking.
➝ How to substitute Turkish yogurt? I encourage you to try the real thing but seriously I get it if you want a substitute. Not everyone has a Turkish grocer nearby, and even if you do, in the current situation going outside just to buy a specific type of yogurt is a bit ludicrous. So you can use strained full-fat Greek yogurt from wherever you usually shop, as it is more widely available than Turkish yogurt. BUT Turkish yogurt is thicker than Greek-style yogurt so pick the thickest Greek yogurt you can find. The tangiest the better also.
➝ How to substitute pul biber (also called Aleppo pepper)? You would definitely find it at a Turkish grocer. It’s great, used widely in Turkish cuisine, and last forever stored in the fridge. BUT if you can’t go to a Turkish grocer and you don’t want to order it online (shipping fees are usually as expensive as the product itself) you can substitute it with chili flakes, preferably the mild sweet kind.Print
Meet your new favorite side dish; carrots with yogurt (and a finger-licking spicy buttery sauce)! Carrot salad is a staple of Turkish cuisine for all the right reasons; it’s simple, quick and delicious.
- 250g carrots, about 3 medium carrots
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 150g Turkish yogurt (2/3 cup) (or Greek)
- 1 big garlic clove
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp butter
- ½ tsp pul biber (mild chili flakes)
- Peel the carrots, then cut them into round slices, approximately 50mm (0.2 inch) thick.
- Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over low heat and put the sliced carrots. Cover the pan and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the carrots are wilted but not browned. It should take about 15 min.
- In the meantime, pour the yogurt into a mixing bowl and thinly chop the garlic. Add the garlic to the yogurt along with the salt. Mix until the yogurt is very smooth.
- When the carrots are ready, gently mix in the yogurt sauce with any leftover cooking juice.
- Melt the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. When it sizzles, add the pul biber and cook for 1min, stirring constantly. Pul biber can burn pretty quickly so be careful.
- Drizzle the carrot salad with the delicious spicy butter sauce and serve straight away.
Can keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.
- Serving Size: 1 plate
- Calories: 236
- Fat: 16.9g
Keywords: fall, mezze, turkish food, quick side dish