Turkish Atom


There is yogurt, there is mezze, and then there is the glorious creation that is atom.

Atom is creamy, spicy, and omg good. I ate it EVERY day in Turkey, on all 4 trips so far, and that is not an exaggeration. I eat yogurt every day regardless of where I am, but that’s an easier feat when you’re not in the States. Yogurt in America is always so gimmicky. There’s better gut health, zero fat, extra fruit, honey, jam, and whatever else some influencer dickhead came up with. Finding good quality whole milk plain yogurt isn’t as easy as it should be.

However, once you’ve traversed the 200 different garbage options and find the one whole milk plain Greek yogurt, buy it because you need to make atom! Selling me on a yogurt dish is easy to do but atom is so delicious that I even managed to sell The Nash on it, who’s immediate stance was, “How is yogurt a stand alone appetizer/snack?” The answer is simple, it is. Strained yogurt has a much denser consistency than traditional yogurt. It’s almost like a thick sour cream or crème fraîche in texture, which makes it more of a spread or thick dip. Then you couple that with fresh garlic, chili infused olive oil, and the slight fattiness of butter, you’ve got yourself a beautiful dish that you just can’t get enough of.

This dish is incredibly easy to make, will last in the fridge a couple days if stored in an air tight container, and pairs perfectly with a nice fresh baguette that is sliced and toasted.

Random story #30: Last time we were in Turkey was over the winter. The temperature was a perfect 50-ish degrees, though based on the attire of the locals, you’d have thought we were in the depths of Siberia. Regardless of that, we were traveling through Izmir and don’t ask me why but the Marriott there turns off their AC over the winter, which ok…fine. The rub is that they keep the heat on…at 78 DEGREES!! That’s just insanity! What sort of person keeps a place that hot. So we opened all the windows, took cold showers before bed, but it was awful. The madness was taking over and at about 2 am I gave in and demanded a fan. So, a small jet engine was brought up, it was absolutely glorious. But in the morning, as the madness hadn’t quite worn off, I demanded a plate of atom be brought to me. Very long story short, the poor chef was hand squeezing the yogurt to dry it faster. The lovely lady explained that atom is a lunch or dinner dish but that he was doing his best. In my mind’s eye it was some poor young man sweating bullets screaming, “Oh my god! I CAN’T squeeze faster!!”. With the manager yelling back, “SQUEEZE DAMN IT! THEY HAVE STATUS!”

Wondering what would be great with atom? Try these:


Course: Side Dishes, AppetizersCuisine: TurkishDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time


Cook Mode

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  • 10 whole dried sivri peppers (or dried arbol peppers)

  • 2 cups süzme yogurt or Greek yogurt

  • 6 cloves garlic, pureed

  • Salt, to taste

  • 4 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

Equipment/Specialty Items


  • Place a large sieve, or cheese cloth lined colander, in the sink.
  • Add yogurt to it and set aside to drain. Approximately 30 minutes. (You want the yogurt to be about the texture of crème fraîche)
  • After removing the heads, chop the dried peppers into 2 – 3 pieces, and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the dried peppers and sauté them for few minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add butter and red pepper flakes. Carry on stirring until the butter is melted and the dried peppers are slightly crispy. Turn off heat and set aside.
  • Put the yogurt in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Add garlic and salt, and mix well.
  • Warm up the oil mixture.
  • Pour the pepper butter mix over the yogurt and serve it with toasted bread.


  • Store in air tight container and refrigerate

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Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container


  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 25.4g 39%
    • Saturated Fat 8.7g 40%
  • Cholesterol 35mg 12%
  • Sodium 141mg 6%
  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Potassium 391mg 12%
  • Total Carbohydrate 16.7g 6%
    • Dietary Fiber 1.9g 4%
    • Sugars 9.1g
  • Protein 12g 24%
  • Calcium 12%
  • Iron 7%
  • Vitamin D 20%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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