Trahana is a type of ancient wheat product or "pasta" that's eaten in Greece and the eastern Mediterranean. There are two types: sweet trahana and sour trahana. Both are made with either semolina, cracked wheat, or flour. The difference between the two is pretty simple:
- Sweet trahana is made with milk (usually sheeps' or goats' milk)
- Sour trahana is made with soured milk and/or yoghurt.
Traditionally, trahana was made as a way to preserve milk for the cold winter months. It was made by combining the dairy with the wheat and dried in the sun over several days. This would normally be done in August as that's the hottest summer month in Greece.
Once dried, it can be broken into tiny granules and could be stored for months.
You can find imported Greek trahana in Greek supermarkets and delicatessens however it is super easy to make yourself.
Today's trahanosoupa recipe is made with sour trahana.
Trahanosoupa is simple to make and can be from stove to table in a half hour or less. Serve with some crusty bread and you've got yourself a delicious, heart-warming meal.
Homemade Sour Trahana Recipe
Yield: about 1.5 kg trahana, about 18 servings
Time: 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours (includes 3 to 4 hours unsupervised baking)
Tip for advance preparation: Trahana keeps for a year in jars at room temperature (many Greeks store it in muslin bags).
3 cups / 18 ounces / 510 grams coarse bulgur wheat
1 cup plain Greek whole-milk yogurt
1 cup whole cow’s milk
1 cup whole goat’s milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Trahanosoupa (Trahana Soup with Feta) Recipe
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4 people
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups water
1 cup sour trahana
170g (6 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup milk
salt to taste
Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat until lightly browned, keeping a vigilant watch so it doesn't burn
Stir in water, trahana and a pinch of salt
Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until the trahana absorbs a lot of water and becomes soft.
If you feel the trahana sticking to the bottom, carefully scrape the bottom so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
Add the milk and crumbled feta and cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 5 minutes.
Add more salt to taste.
Serve with crusty bread and enjoy.