Cyprus Cooking by Liz
Trachanas soup - Sour milk & wheat soup
Updated: Jun 26, 2020
Trachanas soup a delicious soup made from crushed wheat and sour goat's milk. This soup can be eaten all year round of course, but thinking of the very hot summers in Cyprus, I would say here on the island it is a typical winter dish. Prepared with a home brewed chicken broth and served with pieces of boiled chicken and with or without thin slices of halloumi, I can absolute recommend it. Not to everybody's likings as the soup is quite sour, but do give it a try when you are visiting Cyprus maybe this year!
Some back ground information I found on the internet of how it was traditionally made:
A traditional Cyprus product using goat's milk which is prepared by pouring it into large earthenware containers or churns and leaving it to turn sour, then pouring it into a clean churn every day for about a week. On the last day, it is put on to boil with wheat and salt. Then it is allowed to set and cool, at which time it is shaped. It is usually made in the villages which breed stock. ref: www.katsouras.com
Mrs. Amalia always bought the Trachanas she used at the market from a lady she knew there and she was sure this lady was clean and used good quality ingredients. Nowadays Trachanas is available almost at every supermarket, market and even at Grocers and Butchers. This year I made my Trachanas myself, not using milk that needed to become sour first, but goat's yoghurt and the result is amazing, very soft, smooth taste and not too sour.
For the Trachanas:
1 kg "konari" broken wheat
2 kg yoghurt, scoop the yoghurt into a large bowl and stir well and leave it outside of the fridge for a night or 2, it will become slightly more sour.
1 table spoon salt
For the soup:
200 gr Trachanas
1 liter broth (home made or chicken cube)
1 very ripe tomato or
1 full teaspoon tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
thin slices of halloumi
Scoop the yoghurt into a large bowl and stir well and leave it outside of the fridge for a night or 2, it will become slightly more sour.
(As mentioned above by the ingredients).
Scoop all the yoghurt in a large casserole and bring slowly to the boil, stirring all the time.
The yoghurt will become like milk.
Add the crushed wheat. (konari)
It will become really thick as the yoghurt is fully absorbed by the crushed wheat.
Transfer the Trachanas to a large glass bowl and let it cool down. Form by hand small balls and flatten them into patties, place them on a large dish covered with baking paper. Dry the patties in the sun for 2 to 3 days, or more depending on the outside temperature and sunshine. Turn them occasionally so they dry evenly. The Trachanas can also be stored in the freezer as it is. Place small quantities in plastic freezerbags and freeze until needed. The second method I find much more practical.
Pour the broth in a small casserole and bring to the boil.
When using dried Trachanas then break it into small pieces in a small bowl.
Pour some hot broth onto the Trachanas and let it soak for about half an hour.
The Trachanas absorbed almost all of the broth. Transfer the soaked Trachanas to the casserole and pour the rest of the broth into the casserole. Follow the instructions below, next to the picture with the tomato in the casserole.
When using fresh Trachanas from the freezer, break it slightly straight into your casserole.
Pour the broth onto the Trachanas and add also the tomato, cut a cross in the tomato before adding it to the soup. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Take the tomato out, peel its skin and chop very fine or puree the tomato in a small blender.
The tomato cooked in the soup will make it taste extra sweet.
Add the tomato puree to the soup. The soup will have a nice slightly pink color. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy! - Καλή όρεξη!
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