Roasted Whole Rainbow Carrots with Haydari or Cucik Sauce

from Culinary Herbs

Haydari (hay-dar-ee) is a Turkish yogurt sauce or dip, delicious as meze (appetizer), with meat kebabs, meatballs called kofte and pita bread.  Prepare sauce a couple of hours ahead of time for best flavour.

Makes 4 servings


2 pounds whole “rainbow” carrots (about 2 bunches, approximately 12 carrots)

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon each finely chopped fresh rosemary and lemon thyme

Salt and pepper to taste


Makes 1 cup (without the feta)

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

2 to 3 tablespoons finely crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Olive oil

Dill or mint sprig to garnish


Peel carrots, trim, leaving a small piece of stem.

In a small bowl, mix together oil, garlic, rosemary and thyme.  Season with salt and pepper.

Place carrots on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Brush all over with herb-garlic oil.  Roast in a 400F oven for 28 to 30 minutes, stir twice during baking.  Roast until softened and slightly browned. 

Serve with Haydari or Cacik Sauce.

Haydari Sauce

In Turkey, this sauce is made with thickened yogurt called suzme.  Thick Greek yogurt is more widely available.  Or you can make your own by draining yogurt in layers of cheesecloth over a bowl.  It’s a bit like tzatziki but without cucumbers.  Also serve with grilled eggplant or sweet peppers.  If desired, add finely chopped walnuts.

In a medium bowl, mix together yogurt, garlic, dill and mint.

Stir in feta, if using.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 2 days.  Before serving, drizzle a little olive oil over the top.  Garnish with herb sprig.

Cacik (caw-seek) Sauce

This sauce, similar to Tzatziki is popular in Southeast Europe and the Middle East.

Prepare as for Haydari (without the feta), adding 1 cup finely diced English cucumbers (unpeeled).  Regular yogurt may be used as it is a thinner sauce.

Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Use up within a day or so as the cucumber will weep a bit and make the sauce watery.

Spice Garnishes: If desired, sprinkle top of either sauce with sweet paprika, smoked paprika or ground sumac.

Note: Sumac is ground from the dried, deep red berries of the sumac bush grown in the Middle East.  It has a tangy, lemony, bit fruity flavor.  But at major grocery or from most bulk stores.  Use on grilled meats or fish or to top hummus.  

Content and images used with permission by author Yvonne Tremblay, Whitecap Books and Fitzhenry & Whiteside. 

Nada’s Tips & Tricks: This is a great side dish for any meal.  Perfect with lamb or any barbecued meat.  We paired it with ham for Easter dinner.  We had the Cacik sauce and it gave the sweet carrots a nice tangy offset.  Add a little oil or cream to lessen the thickness…mine came out thicker than I wanted and it was hard to “drizzle” the sauce.