Qatyq or qatiq is a type of fermented milk food specific to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and other Turkic countries. It is also prepared in Bulgaria, but, compared to the qatiq prepared in the previously mentioned countries, where it has a thick liquid form and is considered to be a beverage, in Bulgaria qatiq is much thicker, pretty much like mayonnaise, and it is utilized as a spread for bread. Because of its light nature and slightly sour taste, qatiq is highly appreciated during summertime, as a refreshing beverage. The most important thing to consider when making qatiq is not to allow it to sit too much in a heated area when fermenting. This will make the qatiq go a bit too sour, but, even so, it is not thrown away. In Uzbek cuisine, for example, qatiq that sat for too long and got sour is used in the making of soups, especially the fatty ones.
Preparing qatiq is very simple and requires just a bit of attention. You can use any kind of milk you like, whole milk or low-fat milk, and plain Greek yogurt as a starter. If you are using fresh whole milk, like the one you find in a farm, you will have to bring it to a boil and allow it to simmer, by turning down the heat, for approximately 15 minutes. After this, you will have to cool down the milk until it reaches 50 degrees Fahrenheit. In case you are using milk from the store, which was already pasteurized, you don’t need to boil it, but bring its temperature up to reaches 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so that it is warm enough. You will now need to add the Greek yogurt to the milk, using 3 tablespoons of yogurt for 1 liter of milk. Stir gently for a short while, to allow the yogurt to dissolve in the warm milk. Then pour the milk into glass containers and secure them with a lid. Use several thick towels or thick blankets for wrapping the glass containers, so that the heat of the milk will not escape for several hours. If you can put the containers in a warm place, it’s even better. Allow the milk to ferment for 8 hours, then store it in the fridge. Again, don’t allow it to ferment more because the more the qatiq will ferment, the sourer it will get.