For this Meri Month of May recipe we visited our cousins in Cyprus and learned how to make sour trahana and also the much-loved Cypriot Sour Trahana Soup! The EVER-AMAZING Eleni Georges @myfamilysfooddiary takes us step-by-step through both processes, with handy hints along the way!
It’s a gorgeous soup, it is reminiscent of a tangy avgolemo soup, but the trahana adds more body and texture, the broth is creamier and the halloumi adds squeaky, salty bites.
Watch, learn and be inspired to make this wholesome, nourishing Cypriot Sour Trahana Soup! And maybe while you are enjoying it try to say “sour soup from Cyprus” quickly 10 times! ????????????
Eleni's Cypriot Sour Trahana Soup
A tangy, creamy soup of trahana and shredded chicken with salty, squeaky halloumi bites!
For the sour trahana you will need...
- 1 kg goat’s milk yoghurt
- 1 kg sheep’s milk yoghurt
- 800 g kibbled wheat, course grind (see video visual)
- ⅔ cup lemon juice
- 3 tbsp salt
For the sour trahana soup you will need...
- 3 l water
- 2 tsp salt
- 500 g chicken thigh cutlets, bones in
- 6 trahana balls
- 225 g halloumi, cut into small cubes
Preparing the sour trahana
Leave the yoghurt in its sealed containers at room temperature for 9 days
Sort through the kibbled wheat to remove any pebbles or chaff
Wash the kibbled wheat to release some of the starch – wash until the water runs clear
Add and mix through the salt and the washed kibbled wheat
Add the lemon juice while continually stirring the trahana-porridge
Stir the trahana-porridge regularly, but not continuously
Continue to cook until the trahana-porridge thickens
Leave to cool for 3-4 hours
Add the yoghurt to a large pot and heat on medium-heat until it comes to a gentle
boil – stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon
Raise the heat to medium-high until the trahana-porridge returns to the boil and
then reduce to medium heat again
You can test the readiness of the trahana-porridge by placing a wooden spoon
upright in the pot (handle upwards) – if the wooden spoon stays upright it is ready; if
it easily tips over it’s not ready
Take the pot off the heat, place a clean tea towel over the pot and place the lid on
Leave to cool for 3-4 hours
Preparing the sour trahana balls
Using a large spoon scoop out 100g of the cooled trahana-porridge and shape into oval balls with your hands – approximately 12cm long, 6 cm wide and 1.5cm thick –then set aside
Continue doing this till all the trahana-porridge has been formed into oval balls
If the trahana-porridge has dried out too much during the cooling phase, and is difficult to shape, wet your hands with water or milk to soften the trahana-porridgeas you form it into the oval balls
Place in an airtight container, layered with baking paper and place in your freezer for later use in the Cypriot Sour Trahana Soup!
Preparing the sour trahana soup
Add the salt and water to a medium pot and bring to the boil
Add the chicken pieces and gently boil for 40-45 minutes
Remove the chicken pieces, set them aside to cool before shredding them
Add the trahana balls and gently boil for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally –the trahana balls will break down and the broth will become thick and creamy
Remove the pot from heat
Serving the sour trahana soup
Ladle the trahana soup into bowls, add shredded chicken, halloumi cubes and squeeze in some lemon juice
- Traditionally the trahana balls are placed out on a table in the hot sun for 4-5 days to dry out completely. They are then broken into chunks and dried out further. These bone-dry fragments are then stored in an airtight container for later use in the Cypriot Sour Trahana Soup. Melbourne weather does not provide us with enough consecutively hot days to follow this traditional process, so Eleni has cleverly decided to freeze the trahana balls instead. This means that Eleni can make her trahana balls all year round too!
- If you prefer your soup thicker, use less water to begin with