Binnur's Turkish Cookbook - Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make Ottoman & Turkish recipes

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sultan's Pleasure

(Hunkar Begendi - Ottoman Kitchen)

Hunkar Begendi - click to enlarge
Lamb ingredients:
750 gr boneless lamb stew chunks
2 cups water
1 onion, sliced
1 cubanelle pepper, chopped
1 large tomato, seeds removed and diced
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 tbsp crushed tomato

Eggplant ingredients:
1 kg eggplant
3 cups water with juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
2 tbsp mozzarella, grated

First cook lamb with 2 cups of water. While cooking, remove the foam from surface as it forms. When there is little water left, add the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes on medium-low heat. Add the cubanelle pepper, tomato, crushed tomato, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 15 minutes on medium-low heat. Keep an eye on the water during this time, if there's none left, add a bit more.

Heat the oven on broil. Before putting in the oven, make holes on the eggplants with a fork so that it will soften and cook better. Then place on the tray and roast for about 35 minutes, or until the eggplants soften. Then, peel the eggplants with a knife (picture) and cut off the tops (picture). Remove any hard and large pulp inside the eggplants. Put the water with lemon juice and salt in a large bowl. Soak the eggplants in it, so that their colour won't be dark later. Drain and squeeze with your palms after a few minutes.

Melt the butter in a large pot, then add flour, salt and pepper (picture). Keep stirring with a wooden spoon until blended well. Put in the eggplants (picture) and mash with a fork (picture). Slowly pour in the milk and beat with a small egg beater (picture). Make sure there are no big eggplant pieces left. Pour in the mozzarella and beat again (picture).

Place the mashed eggplants on a serving dish with the center empty as shown here. Put the lamb in the center. Serve while still warm.

This recipe is one of the most popular and traditional dishes in Turkish cuisine. The name, "Hunkar Begendi", literally means "The Sultan liked it".


Sunday, June 19, 2005

Turkish Hamburger


Turkish Hamburger - click to enlarge
500 gr regular ground beef
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 onion, grated
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1-2 garlic cloves, minced

Mix all the ingredients using your hands. Make a ball and throw into the bowl 4-5 times. It is a very old technique to bring all the ingredients together:) Give a round, hamburger shape as shown in the picture. Grill or fry in the pan with some sunflower oil. Makes 8 medium-sized kofte. Try serving with french fries and/or Piyaz.


Friday, June 17, 2005

Kidney Bean Salad


Kidney Bean Salad - click to enlarge
1 can white kidney beans (540 ml)
2 fresh tomatoes, diced
1/4 red onion, sliced or 4 fresh onions, chopped
1 small cubanelle pepper, chopped
1/4 red onion, sliced

50 ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon

3 boiled eggs, cut in four pieces
Black olives

Wash and drain the kidney beans. Mix with all the main ingredients and place on a service plate.

Pour the dressing ingredients on top and then garnish with eggs and black olives.

You can try serving this salad with Kofte, fried chicken or beef.


Sunday, June 12, 2005

Fried Eggplant and Green Pepper with Tomato Sauce

(Patlican Biber Kizartmasi)

Fried Eggplant and Green Pepper
2 cups water with 1 tbsp salt
1 large eggplant
1 large cubanelle pepper
1/2 cup sunflower oil

Tomato Sauce:
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 heaping tbsp of diced tomato
2 heaping tbsp of crushed tomato

Peel the eggplant in lengthwise strips. Cut into large chunks. Soak in 2 cups of water with salt for about 20 minutes.

Place sunflower oil in a medium sized skillet. Squeeze the eggplants with your hand and dry them with paper towel. When the oil heats up, fry the eggplants on both sides until golden brown. Afterwards, place on a paper towel to soak up any extra oil.

Meanwhile, remove the seeds from the pepper. Cut into large chunks and fry on both sides until golden brown. While you're frying the pepper, cover it with a paper towel since the oil will spit. This won't happen with the eggplant. After the pepper pieces are fried, place on a paper towel and wait until they cool down. Then peel off the thin layer of skin with your hands.

Combine all the tomato sauce ingredients in a small pot. Cook at medium heat for 10 minutes. Make sure it doesn't dry out.

Put the eggplants and peppers on a serving dish. Pour the tomato sauce over it and refrigerate. This recipe is served cold as an appetizer. Try serving this dish with bread.

* This is a vegetarian dish.


Sunday, June 05, 2005

Cherry Jello Dessert

(Joleli Pasta)

Cherry Jello Dessert - click to enlarge
1 box (170 gr) of cherry jello
1 pouch (15 gr) of unflavoured gelatin
3 cups water
10 cherries, fresh or in a jar
5 tbsp yogurt
10 tea biscuits
Cake mold with a hole in the center

First, place the cherries in the mold, equally spaced apart.

Pour 3 cups of boiling water in a plastic bowl, and mix in the gelatin and jello. Take one cup of this mixture and slowly pour on top of the cherries in the mold. Be careful not to displace the cherries. Leave in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Take another cup of the mixture and add the yogurt in a separate bowl. Use a mixer to blend and then pour into the mold. Leave in the freezer for 15 minutes again.

Add the tea biscuits to the remaining one cup of the jello/gelatin mixture and blend again with the mixer. Pour into the mold and leave in the freezer for 15 more minutes.

To separate the dessert from the mold after you take it out of the freezer, place the mold in boiling water in your sink for 15 seconds. Then place upside down on a serving plate. If you like, you can put whipped cream in the center.

This recipe is an easy way to make plain jello a bit more exciting and is a dessert the kids will love, especially on hot summer days. You can also substitute cherries with strawberries or other types of fruit and matching jello flavors.


Friday, June 03, 2005

Pilaf with Tomato

(Domatesli Pilav)

Pilaf with Tomato
1 cup rice, washed and drained
1 large tomato
1 tbsp butter

Grate the tomato. Add enough water to it so that you have 2 cups of the mixture. Pour in a medium sized pot along with salt and butter. When it starts boiling, add the rice. Cook on low heat with the lid half covered. When you start seeing holes in the rice towards the end, make sure to stir occasionally. Continue cooking until the rice is done, ie. when all the liquid has evaporated.

This recipe goes very well with all kinds of beans as a side dish.

* This is a vegetarian dish.