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

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Chestnut Cake

(Kestaneli Pasta)

Chestnut Cake
1 kg Chestnuts or 2 cans of whole chestnuts, each 439 gr (15.5 oz)
2 1/2 cup (250 gr) powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
60 ml unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tbsp cocoa powder
250 gr frosting
1 package tea biscuit
1/2 cup warm milk

1.5 liter round shape Pyrex bowl

Boil the chestnuts and peel them off. Blend with a food processor. Add the butter, powdered sugar and egg yolk, and knead. Divide the dough into two. Leave one half plain. Add the cocoa to the other half and mix.

Soak each tea biscuit in milk for a few seconds and line them inside the bowl along the sides and bottom. Place the plain puree all over the surface of the biscuits. Place the puree with the cocoa in the middle. Cover the top with the remaining biscuits, again soaked in milk. Cover the Pyrex bowl with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge overnight.

The following day, use a long knife to loosen the sides of the chestnut cake. Place on a service plate upside down. Cover the cake with frosting. If you like, you can also decorate with grated chocolate and cherries as shown in the picture.


Friday, November 25, 2005

Chestnut Kebab / Roasted Chestnuts

(Kestane Kebap)

Chestnut Kebab / Roasted Chestnuts
When buying chestnuts, choose the fat ones, as they will be more delicious when grilled. Soak the chestnuts in water for about 15-20 minutes to soften them. Using a small knife, cut the shells horizontally on the top (fat) side.

Set the oven on to broil. Place the chestnuts in an oven tray and put it on the middle rack. Turn them over after 15 minutes and roast for another 10 minutes. Take them out and let them cool for about 10 minutes. Eat while still warm after removing the shells.

Turks love roasted chestnuts, which are rich in potassium, magnesium and other vitamins. The tradition of roasting chestnuts dates back to the Ottomans. Today, roasted chestnuts are still sold by vendors in the winter time in Türkiye.


Sunday, November 20, 2005


1 pkg Pizza Dough (630 gr)
2 tbsp flour

250 gr medium ground beef
1 small onion, grated
3 tbsp water

1 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup plain Turkish yogurt
1/2 cup milk
50 ml extra virgin olive oil

8x8x2 (2L) Pyrex dish

Sprinkle some flour on the table. Give a long, tube-like shape to the dough. Cut in 24 equal pieces (picture). Put aside.

Knead all the filling ingredients in a bowl. Open up each dough piece sideways and put a tablespoon of the filling inside. Close it up tightly and place them in the Pyrex (grease first) with the closed parts facing the bottom.

Whisk all the sauce ingredients. Pour all over the dough in the Pyrex.

Preheat the oven to 175 C (350 F). Place the dish on the middle rack and bake for about 40 minutes until light golden brown. Serve Cantik (pronounced similar to "john took") while still hot with Ayran.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Green Lentil Soup

(Yeşil Mercimek Çorbası)

Green Lentil Soup
3/4 cup green lentils, soak in water overnight (don't boil or it will lose vitamins)
1 medium size onion, chopped
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2-3 cup hot water
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt

1-2 garlic cloves, mashed with salt
4-5 tbsp wine vinegar with raspberry juice, or another type of vinegar

Saute the onion with butter for 4-5 minutes in a medium-sized pot. Then add the flour, stir and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Pour in the hot water slowly, stirring constantly. Make sure the flour doesn't clump. Add in the washed and drained lentils, salt and cumin. Cook until the lentils are soft on medium heat. Stir occasionally. Taste it along the way and if necessary, add more salt or water. Pour the soup into your soup bowls with a ladle.

Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Pour 1 tbsp of the sauce in each soup bowl.

4-5 servings.

* This is a vegetarian dish.


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Flour Helva

(Un Helvasi)

Flour Helva
125 ml unsalted butter
1 cup flour
2 tbsp pine nuts

200 ml sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk

Cook all the syrup ingredients, put aside and let warm.

Put the butter, flour and pine nuts in a large pot. Stirring constantly, cook on medium-low heat until the colour turns to a light golden shade. Add in the warm syrup. But be very careful when you do this as it will spit. Stir until the mixture becomes doughy and leaves the edges of the pot. Turn the heat off.

Take one tablespoon of the Flour Helva and using a tablespoon (picture), give it an oval shape using the sides of the pot (picture). Arrange each piece on a serving dish. Serve immediately. Store the rest in the fridge. Flour Helva is also very tasty when cold.

This traditional Turkish dessert is very quick and easy to cook, and makes a great snack.


Friday, November 11, 2005

Turkish Coffee with Milk

(Sutlu Turk Kahvesi)

Turkish Coffee with Milk
Today, I wanted to share my grandmother's morning coffee with you. When I was little, I've always enjoyed drinking it with plenty of milk and less coffee. I loved to drink it together with her. I still enjoy it today.

For this coffee you'll need to boil 100 ml of 3.25% (whole) milk in a small pot to get a layer of skin (butterfat) on the surface. Grab it with a spoon, along with a few tablespoons of milk, and place in a small glass cup or mug. Then make plain (no sugar) Turkish Coffee for one person. Pour it in over the milk.

If you like to have some sugar with your morning coffee, the Turkish way to do it is this: Take 2 sugar cubes. The way to use the sugar is, before taking a sip, put one cube in your cheek and start drinking. The sugar will melt in your mouth. When it is gone, replace with the second cube. We call this style "sugar on the side" ("yandan şekerli" or "kırtlama").


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Meatballs in Sour Sauce

(Eksili Kofte)

Meatballs in Sour Sauce
500 gr medium ground beef
1/2 cup rice, washed and drained
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch cumin
1 pinch black pepper
6 cups hot water with 1 cube beef bouillon

2 tbsp flour
2 egg yolks
1 lemon juice
2 tbsp water

1 tsp butter
1 tsp red pepper, ground

Place the rice in a bowl and pour 2 cups hot water over it. Wait for 5 minutes and drain. Add in the ground beef, egg, salt, pepper and cumin. Knead with your hands. Make little balls (chest nut size) and put aside.

Put 6 cups hot water in a large pot with the bouillon. When it boils, put the Kofte (meatballs) into the water slowly. Remove the foam from the surface with a spoon. Cook for about 20-25 minutes on medium-low heat.

Whisk the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Take one ladle of juice from the pot with the Kofte. Mix it with the sauce, then pour it all back slowly into the pot. Cook for 5 more minutes. Pour in serving bowls.

Melt the butter in a small pan. When you see bubbles, turn the heat off. Then add in the red pepper. Mix with a spoon and pour all over the Eksili Kofte (by the way, Eksi means sour). This dish should be eaten with a spoon as the juice is very tasty. Serve with bread and any kind of salad. This recipe makes 3 servings.