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

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Hasan Pasha Meatballs

(Hasan Paşa Köftesi)

Hasan Pasha Meatballs
Meatball ingredients:
500 g medium ground beef
1 small onion, grated
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 slices of Turkish, French or Italian bread, throw away the crusts, soak in water and squeeze the water out
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Mashed potatoes:
4 medium-size potatoes, boiled and peeled
100 ml milk
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten

2-3 tbsp mozzarella, grated

Tomato Sauce:
4-5 tbsp canned crushed tomatoes, mixed with 3/4 cup water

Mash the boiled potatoes in a pot, and add the milk, butter and salt. Stir on medium heat then add the egg into the mixture. Put aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Knead all the meatball ingredients. Make them into ball shapes. Make a hole in the middle of each meatball with your thumb. Fill it in with the mashed potatoes using a teaspoon. Place them on a large casserole dish. Cook for about 25 minutes in the oven.

Take the casserole dish out, put the mozzarella cheese on top of the meatballs. Pour 1 tbsp of sauce on each piece. Pour the rest of the sauce between the meatballs. Put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Serve with Pilaf with Almonds (or any other kind of pilaf) and Red Cabbage Salad.


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Red Cabbage Salad

(Mor Lahana Salatasi)

Red Cabbage Salad
1/2 head of red cabbage
1 tbsp salt

50 ml extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half lemon
1 tsp salt

Remove and throw away the white center of the cabbage. Cut it in thin slices (julienne cut) on a wooden board. Put into a large bowl. Sprinkle 1 tbsp salt all over and squeeze the cabbage pieces with your hand. Put aside for at least half an hour. This way the cabbage will soften and won't be bitter.

Rinse, drain and place in a serving dish. Pour the dressing on top and mix well. This salad will taste even better if you let it rest for another half hour.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Chocolate Pudding

(Krem Sokola)

Chocolate Pudding
4 cups 3.25% milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp corn starch
4 tbsp rice flour
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup cocoa powder
For each bowl: 2 Petit Beurre biskui, broken in half

Put 2 biscuits at the bottom of each bowl.

Melt the rice flour and corn starch with the water in a pot. Add sugar, cocoa and milk, and stir constantly on medium-high heat. When you see the bubbles on the surface cook for one more minute. Don't stop stirring. Pour in the bowls equally. This recipe makes 6 or 7 servings.

After letting them cool, place the bowls in the fridge. Serve cold and if you like, you can put vanilla ice cream on top. This one's popular with the kids :)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Chi (Çi) Börek

Chi(Çi) Börek
1 pkg egg roll wraps (large size 5 1/2 inch)

200 gr medium ground beef
1 small onion, grated
4 tbsp water

For frying:
1/2 cup sunflower oil

Mix the ground beef, salt, pepper, onion and water with a spoon. Take some filling and spread it over one half of the wrap diagonally (picture). Have a cup of water nearby, and use a finger to dampen the sides around the filling so the dough will stick (picture). Fold the other half over and close them up tightly (picture). Cut off (2-3 mm thin) the sides of the triangle (picture).

Pour the oil in a large frying pan. When it heats up place two börek side by side. Fry both sides until they get a light golden colour. Grab a large pot and put a paper towel at the bottom to soak up the oil. Place the borek inside as you fry them and keep the lid closed so they stay warm.

Serve the Chi Börek while still warm with Ayran.

* In case you wish to make Chi Börek dough yourself, below is the recipe from my grandmother:)

1/2 Lt (500 gr or 2 cup) milk
750 gr (3 cup) flour, all purpose


My grandma, prior to frying Chi Böreks, used to cut the edges of the Chi Böreks (picture) and fry them first for her grandchildren so that we could eat them while waiting for the Chi Böreks to get done. We loved to eat fried crunchy edges of Chi Böreks with a big appetite:)

Similar to how Tarhana was invented as the first instant soup by Central Asian Turks, these crispy edges of Chi Börek are the first chips also made by the Turks:)


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Orange Jam

(Portakal Receli)

Orange Jam
4 oranges, with thick skin
5 cups granulated sugar
Juice of one lemon

Wash the oranges, and by using the fine side of the grater, carefully grate off the skin of the oranges and discard them (picture). Place the oranges in a large pot. Cover with water. Cook at medium-low heat for about 45 minutes until they are softened.

Drain the oranges and put them aside. Then cut off the top and bottom of the oranges. First slice them up, then cut into chunks. Place the sugar in a pot and dissolve it with a little bit of water. Place the oranges over the dissolved sugar. Cook for another 45 minutes at medium heat. Add in the lemon juice, stir. Let it cool down a little bit. Pour carefully into the jars and seal. Store in a dark and cool place.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Celery Root in Olive Oil

(Zeytinyagli Kereviz)

Celery Root in Olive Oil
3 small celery roots, or 1 large celery root
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 of lemon juice
50 ml extra virgin olive oil (half for cooking, half for after cooking)
Juice from half an orange
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

1 cup carrot, sweet peas and potato mix, canned or frozen

1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

Pour the water and lemon juice in a large bowl. Peel the celery roots. Slice them about 1.5 inches thick (see picture). Hollow out one side with a knife which will be filled with the vegetables. Wash them with water and soak into the water with lemon juice to prevent them from getting dark.

Place the celery roots in a large pot with the hollow sides facing up. Add in the lemon water mixture, olive oil, salt, sugar and orange juice. Cover, when the water gets hot, cook for about 15 minutes at medium heat.

Add the mixed vegetable into the pot and cook for another 8-10 minutes at medium-low heat. Place them on a serving dish. Arrange the vegetables on each one equally using a spoon. Pour the rest of the olive oil, sprinkle some chopped parsley. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

* This is a vegetarian dish.


Saturday, January 14, 2006

Vegetable-Wheat Soup

(Buğdaylı Sebze Çorbası )

Vegetable Soup
3 cups water + Optional; 1 cube chicken bouillon, or 3 cups chicken broth
1 medium carrot, grated
1 medium potato, grated
1 small celery root, grated
2 tbsp red lentil, washed
2 tbsp wheat or pearl barley
2 tbsp lemon juice

Cook the water, wheat, lemon juice and salt at medium heat. In the meantime, prepare all the vegetables and lentils. Add them into the pot. Cook until all the ingredients softened. Serve while still hot. Adjust the water amount to your liking, I prefer to use less water.

* This is a vegetarian dish.


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Tulumba Dessert

(Tulumba Tatlisi)

Tulumba Dessert
1 2/3 cup (400 ml) water
45 g (3 tbsp) unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup flour
3 eggs

2 cups sunflower oil

6 1/4 cups sugar
4 cups water
1 tsp lemon juice

Boil all the syrup ingredients in a large pot for 10-15 minutes. Let it cool down, then divide into two different bowls.

Heat the water, butter and salt in a pot. When it starts boiling, lower the heat and add in the flour. Stir constantly until the mixture leaves the sides of the pot and becomes doughy. Remove from the heat put aside for a few minute. Add in the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is well blended before adding the next.

Heat the oil in a large cooking pot on low heat. Fill in your Pastry Bag with the dough. Squeeze out pieces the size shown in the picture. Break them off with your finger. Turn the heat up to over medium. Fry each piece uniformly, mixing with a perforated spoon. Take out the fried Tulumba and place them on a paper towel to remove excess oil.

Throw in all the fried tulumba into the cold syrup in the two bowls. Leave them in for about 20-25 minutes and stir occasionally. Make sure they all soak in the syrup.

Use a perforated spoon to remove them from the syrup. Place on a large service plate and serve while they are still crispy.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Lamb Kavurma

(Kuzu Kavurma)

Lamb Kavurma
1 kg Boneless Lamb Stew Chunks
4 cups warm water
1 medium-size onion, sliced

1 tsp oregano

In a large pot place lamb and warm water. Cook on medium high to get water the water boiling. After 10 minutes, remove the scum from the surface with a wooden spoon.

Then add the onion, salt and pepper. After 15 minutes lower the heat. Simmer until most of the water evaporates. This will take approximately 5 to 6 hours. When the water level is at the top of the meat level, turn the heat up to medium. When the water evaporates, stir constantly for 4-5 minutes to prevent the lamb from sticking. Be careful not to over-cook.

Sprinkle some dry oregano on top and serve immediately with Shepherd's Salad and with Pilaf with Sweet Peas.


Pilaf with Sweet Peas

(Bezelyeli Pilav)

Pilaf with Sweet Peas
3/4 cup rice, washed and drained
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp dill, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 pinch pepper

Boil the water in a medium-size pot. Add the rice, peas, oil, salt and pepper in it, stir. Turn the heat down to simmer. Cover and cook until the rice absorbs all the water. Take the cooking pot away from the heat. Open the lid, place a clean kitchen towel across the top of the pot on the rim and cover. Let the Pilaf stand for about 5 minutes. We call this brewing time. Sprinkle the dill, toss it with a wooden or regular fork, then serve.

You can serve this dish warm or cold as a side dish with any kind of lamb, beef or chicken.

* This is a vegetarian dish.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Sultan's Jello


4 cups orange juice, no pulp
1/3 cup corn starch
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp sesame, roasted

Melt the corn starch in 1 cup of orange juice. Then add the sugar and 3 cups orange juice and put in a medium-sized pot. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly. When you see bubbles on the surface, cook for one more minute. Then pour into small cups. Let them cool. Sprinkle the roasted sesame on top. Put them in the fridge and serve when cold.

If the orange juice is sweet, you don't need as much sugar. If you use orange juice sold in stores, don't add sugar.