120-130g crushed wheat
700g goat and/or sheep yogurt with live cultures (must not be pasteurized)
1 tbs salt
1. Sort through the cracked wheat and remove any red or dark pieces of wheat. (See picture above.)
2. Let the yogurt sit outside (not in the sun) for 24 hours until it goes sour. When it goes sour, it will look clumpy. I left my yogurt out of the fridge in the shade at about 25C for 24 hours.
3. Pour the soured yogurt in a saucepan on the stove. Add 1 tbs of salt (more or less to taste, I like mine salty). Bring the yogurt to a slow boil, constantly stirring to dissolve the large clumps of soured yogurt and to ensure the mixture does not stick to the pan. Once the mixture has boiled, turn down the heat to let it simmer and continue to stir for about 30 minutes, until the large clumps have mostly dissolved.
4. Add the crushed wheat. Continue to stir the mixture for about 10 to 15 more minutes on low heat. You will notice the mixture becomes thicker as the wheat begins to absorb the soured yogurt. Take off heat and let cool. Once cool (1 to 2 hours) cover the top of the saucepan with a towel and let it rest for 18 hours.
5. The mixture should now be slightly hard on top. Knead the mixture with your hands. If the mixture is very dry, coat your hands in a little milk (in this case, not soured and pasteurised milk is OK). Form triangular pieces (as shown in the photos above), or long and skinny rolls, and place on baking paper and leave in the sun to completely dry for approximately 8-10 days. Store in a glass container in a dry place. (Note you do not have to wait for the “trahana” to dry to eat it. You can make soup with it as soon as you have made the triangular pieces.)
6. To enjoy one portion, place about 40 grams in 2.5 cups of boiling chicken stock and/or water. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until desired level of thickness. The more you cook it, the smoother the soup is because the “pieces of “trahana” break apart. If you would like to add a little more flavour to your “trahana”, add fennel and thyme when you make your chicken stock. You can also add pieces of halloumi or grated tomato to your “trahana” as it is cooking.
I think I would love to make Trahana.
Do you know if this dish can be made with cultured buttermilk?
I adore cracked wheat and like to make a dish of it with stirred fried onions and golden raisins.
When I make many of my breads from pizza dough to artisan loaves, I ferment the dough for anywhere from 8 to 16 hours or so. Fermented foods are the greatest especially yogurt, buttermilk and lacto fermented veggies and breads.
I make my own yogurt as well. Perhaps Fage yogurt would work well for those who don’t make their own. It works magnificently as a starter as well.
Even though there is just the two of us, I bake every week.
Thanks for this recipe!
Hello! Trahana is such a pleasure. It is often a soup that people love or hate in Cyprus. But if you like cracked wheat, I think there is a big change you will like trahana! And – wow – your combination of cracked wheated, stir fried onions and golden raisons – left me drooling. I definitely want to give that a shot, as I think the bulgur wheat we have over here would go nicely with it. We actually have a recipe in Cyprus where we combine those ingredients plus butternut squash in a handheld pie called “kolokotes” (it’s on the website). So you might enjoy that too. You have to make sure with the yogurt (and the buttermilk) you use though that is unpasteurised! I know in Canada, we can’t find unpasteurised yogurt. Please do let me know how it goes. One of the reasons I published this recipe was because I love trahana so much and couldn’t find it in Canada. So I thought I’d learn how to make it. I’d be so great to hear that you enjoy it. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment – lovely to hear from you and so neat that you are reading this all the way from Texas! Christina xx
I don’t know if this recipe works but if it does and I sure will try it, I would like to announce that I love you hahaha. We could only ever get trachana from my yiayia in Cyprus. My dad would literally cry if I could pull this off!!!! Thank you!!!
Let me know how it goes for you Stavroulla, I do hope it comes out tasting good! Your message made me laugh out loud! Remember to use unpasteurized yogurt – otherwise it will not work!!
I am so glad I found this post. I give guided tours in London and next week I am dedicating one food tour to Cypriot cuisine. Its fantastic to now know exactly how to make it at home. If you do not mind I will point my attendees to your site. Thank you! And, keep up the great work. The site looks fantastic. x
Thank you so much for your kind words Penelope; I am so happy you left a comment! Congrats, Fox&Squirrel is incredible. How unique, interesting, educational and fun. I will be recommending it to my friends. I am also very happy to hear that you are dedicating one food tour to Cypriot cuisine. I really believe that there are a lot of little details that make Cypriot cuisine unique. Of course, I would love it if you pointed attendees to my site – thank you. If there are any questions I can answer, please do let me know. I look forward to keeping up with Fox&Squirrel. x
Efharisto!!! wonderful recipe! I have unpasturised, raw milk to use. Pls could you let me know how much milk I would use instead of the yogurt? Can I put lemon in the milk to make it sour faster?
Hi Irene, sorry for my belated reply, been traveling at the moment. I wouldn’t add lemon in it. I know the process when using raw milk in the old days was to store it in big clay canisters in the dark during the summer months, and keep adding fresh milk until it turned sour. I have only taken the easier road so to speak at home with the yogurt, so would have to ask my aunt about this but I will be in Canada until the beginning of March. So if you want I can let you know then?
I vaguely remember my mum putting yoghurt and milk in a large jar , the jar in water and every so often she would add milk and stir and I think she did this for about 2 weeks. Also she would cover top of jar with a cloth with a few added holes. Does this sound familiar to you.
Hi Sonia, yes it does sound familiar. The one thing I learned when making it was that it was unpasteurized milk/yogurt that is needed. In Canada it’s difficult to find that unless you own a farm yourself, but in Cyprus it seems you can still buy fresh milk and yogurt from people who own goats/sheep, etc. Your mum’s method sounds similar to what I saw, except just longer than what I saw – but perhaps that was because I learned from someone who made it to sell and so she made it in a faster way.
Thank you for your reply,
I am going to try and will let you know the outcome
My mum use to add whole gloves of garlic in the trahana to keep insects away.
Thanks for posting this recipe…we always seem to run out of trahana before the next person comes back from their travels to Cyprus to bring us more 🙂
Can bulgur wheat be used instead of cracked wheat?
I just can’t find a place that sells cracked wheat in Toronto…
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