With its thick, silky texture and gorgeous lactic tang, Greek yoghurt brings much to the table.
Emma Knowles

14 Sep 2018 - 11:20 AM  UPDATED 10 Jan 2019 - 2:37 PM

While the Greeks certainly know a whole host of ways to put yoghurt to good use, there are plenty of non-Greek uses for this most versatile of ingredients. From Middle Eastern to Indian, Mod-Oz to Mexican, and everything in between, Greek yoghurt happily takes its place in dishes both sweet and savoury. It acts as a tenderiser, thickens soups and sauces, imparts unparalleled flavour in marinades and adds a certain something to desserts and baking - not to mention bringing extra goodness to your morning smoothie or making the perfect accompaniment for your muesli. Who knew that such simple ingredients could add up to so much? Read on and consider adding these to your kitchen repertoire. 

1. Yoghurt-rose panna cotta 

Think of this as a slightly fancier version of your mid-week yoghurt and fruit breakfast scenario. This beauty makes for a perfect Sunday brunch, but truth be told, it would also go down well as a light, near guilt-free dessert.

Soften 3 gold-strength gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes, then squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and combine in a small saucepan with 150 ml milk and 3 tbsp honey. Stir over low heat until gelatine dissolves. Whisk 500 g Farmers Union Greek-Style Yogurt and 2 tsp rosewater in a bowl until smooth, then whisk in gelatine mixture to combine. Divide among 4 small serving bowls and refrigerate overnight to set. Serve scattered with raspberries, sliced strawberries, your favourite granola and a crumble of freeze-dried raspberries. Drizzle with extra honey if you like. 

2. Yoghurt cake with strawberries 

Sometimes all you need to satisfy that mid-afternoon sweet craving is the simplest of cakes. This one has the most tender crumb, thanks to a generous helping of Greek yoghurt in the batter. Now, where’s that cuppa?

3. Fish in yoghurt curry 

Using Greek yoghurt as the base of a spice-laden fish curry brings a certain lightness and smoothness to proceedings, while making the fish itself fall-apart tender. 

4. Turkish dumplings with yoghurt sauce (manti) 

Traditional Turkish manti are tiny handmade dumplings stuffed with a spiced lamb and onion mixture, but this cheat’s version uses store-bought raviolini instead. One thing that doesn’t change is the signature Greek yoghurt sauce - arguably the hero of the dish - and the drizzle of melted butter spiked with dried mint. 

5. Cumin-roasted carrots with yoghurt-tahini dressing 

Greek yoghurt makes everything more delicious - just take these spice-roasted carrots as a case in point. A generous drizzle of a simple yoghurt-tahini dressing is the proverbial icing on the cake. Serve as a side dish alongside roast lamb, or serve on a bed of quinoa as a meal in itself.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Scrub and trim 4 bunches of Dutch carrots, spread on a baking tray lined with baking paper and drizzle generously with extra-virgin olive oil. Scatter with ¾ tsp each of lightly crushed cumin seeds and coriander seeds and the finely grated rind of 1 lemon and roast for 20-25 minutes until tender and caramelised. Meanwhile, stir 120 g Farmers Union Greek-Style Yogurt, 1½ tbsp tahini, the juice of ½ lemon, 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil and ½ finely grated garlic clove in a bowl to combine. Thin with a little hot water to drizzling consistency and season. Drizzle over warm roast carrots, scatter with coarsely chopped pistachios, torn mint and flat-leaf parsley and serve.  

6. Lamb filo cigars with mint and orange yoghurt

Lamb and yoghurt are a culinary match made in heaven, and these tasty little lamb filo cigars show us exactly why. A simple spiced lamb filling contrasts beautifully with the cooling tang of the minty yoghurt dipping sauce, while the crisp flaky filo pastry adds just the right amount of crunch. Be warned – no double-dipping!

7. Yoghurt-roast chicken 

Yoghurt punches above its weight in this finger-licking roast chicken recipe. In addition to doubling down on the flavour as the base of a marinade, it also tenderises the chicken to succulent effect. Win-win.

Process 400 g Farmers Union Greek-Style Yogurt, 1 small diced Spanish onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 tsp smoked paprika and the finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon in a food processor until smooth, season to taste. Rub all over the flesh of a butterflied chicken that has had its thighs slashed in several places, place on a tray, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight to marinate. Preheat oven to 200°C. Wipe excess marinade from chicken and place skin-side up on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil, season to taste and roast for 40-45 minutes until browned and juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer. Rest for 10 minutes and serve with lemon wedges and your favourite salad – try a lighter take on a celeriac remoulade, dressed with lemon and garlic-spiked yoghurt in place of the traditional mayo dressing.

8. Fish tacos 

Classic fish tacos filled with a crunchy slaw are a sure-fire crowd-pleaser, and never more so than when crowned with a generous dollop of Greek yoghurt – generally a lighter option than sour cream. 

9. Raki tomato prawns with yoghurt flatbread

Sometimes the support act simply steals the show. It could well be the case with this pillowy yoghurt flatbread, where Greek yoghurt helps to create the most irresistible flaky texture, all the better to scoop up the boozy sauce of these Turkish-style prawns. It’s so good, we’re tempted to make a double batch, just to eat as a snack - swiped through a dollop of extra yoghurt for good measure.

10. Chocolate mousse

Swapping out the richness of cream for the tang of Greek yoghurt in this chocolate mousse results in a much lighter finish. That means we can go back for seconds, right?

Farmers Union harnesses the goodness and simplicity of three natural ingredients - milk, cream and cultures to create our deliciously simple yogurt. It’s so versatile, it goes with just about everything and can be used in many recipes to replace ingredients such as sour cream, thickened cream, coconut cream, olive oil in marinades and in some recipes, even eggs. For more inspiration on how you can use Farmers Union Greek Style Yogurt to enhance your favourite dishes go to farmersunionyogurt.com.au/recipes/.

Have we got your attention and your tastebuds? The Chefs' Line airs weeknights at 6pm starting August 6. Check out the program page for episode guides, cuisine lowdowns, recipes and more!