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

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Fish Soup

(Balik Corbasi)

Fish Soup
250 gr small size fish, I use Smelt (frozen, cleaned)
1/2 lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 cups hot water
3 tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 celery stick, cut in bite sizes
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium potato, cut in bite sizes

2 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

4-5 slices of French baton bread

Cut off the heads of the fish and de-bone. Place them on a plate and sprinkle lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper on top. Put aside.

In a medium-size pot, cook the onion, potato, celery and tomato with water at medium-low heat for about 15 minutes until the vegetables soften. Add the fish and cook for another 15 minutes. Turn the heat off when the fish are cooked, sprinkle parsley and oregano on top.

Place a slice of bread on each plate. Pour one ladle of soup over each. Serve while still hot.

But before you serve the soup, check if it needs more salt, pepper or lemon juice to your liking.

If you can't find small fish (smelt), you can also use canned fish. Sardines go very well with this soup. Keep in mind that if you use canned fish, add the fish after cook all the vegetables as it won't need extra cooking time.

One more tip is to keep the soup a little bit watery so that the bread will absorb the juice.


Monday, February 20, 2006

Sultan's Pilaf

(Sultan Pilavi)

Sultan Pilaf
1 medium eggplant, peeled, cut in bite sizes
1 large tomato, peeled, discard the seeds, cut in cubes
1/4 cup blanched almonds, slivered

Plain pilaf:
1 cup rice
2 cups hot water
2 tbsp butter

Mini meatballs:
150 gr ground beef
1 egg
1 tbsp breadcrumbs

For Frying:
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup sunflower oil

Some dry oregano

First cook the pilaf, cover and put aside.

Soak the eggplants in water with salt for 10 minutes to prevent bitterness and darkening of their colour. Squeeze the eggplants with your hands and dry them with a paper towel. Dip them in flour and fry in the sunflower oil until they are evenly colored, but not burned. Leave them on a paper towel to soak the extra oil. Put aside.

Put the almonds in a pot and toast them for a few minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes on medium-low heat. Put aside.

Knead the meatball ingredients: ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Make them into balls the size of hazelnuts. Roll them in flour and fry them in the sunflower oil. Take them out with a perforated spoon and place on a paper towel. Sprinkle some oregano on top and put aside.

Add the tomato sauce with almonds and fried eggplants into the pilaf. Toss and place on a serving dish with a space in the center. Place the fried meatballs in there and serve while still warm with Compote or Ayran by the side.


Friday, February 17, 2006

Almond Pudding


Almond Pudding
4 cups 3.25% milk
4 egg yolks
1 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp (30 gr) corn starch (melted with 3 tbsp water in a small cup)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup almonds, blanched and ground

Beat the egg yolks, then whisk them with the sugar, almond extract, corn starch and milk in a bowl. Pour in a medium sized pot. Stir constantly on medium heat. Throw in the almonds when you see the bubbles on the surface. Boil one more minute while stirring. Take it off the stove. Pour into small serving bowls. Let them cool for an hour. Sprinkle some ground pistachio and/or shredded coconut on top. Chill them in the fridge with the tops covered.

You can serve Keskul cold by itself or with ice cream on top.

Makes 6 servings.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Valentine's Day

Check out the 'International Recipes' section for a recipe for Chocolate-covered Strawberries.

Spinach with Rice

(Pirincli Ispanak)

Spinach with Rice
1 bunch spinach, washed and drained
2 tbsp rice, washed and drained
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium tomato, diced
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch red pepper

1/2 cup yogurt
1 garlic clove, mashed with salt

First cut the spinach in large pieces. Saute the onion with olive oil in a medium pot, then add the garlic. Cook for a few minutes until the smell comes out. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Then add the spinach, tomato, rice, red pepper, salt and black pepper in the pot. Cover the lid and cook for about 20 minutes (until the rice is cooked) on medium-low heat.

Serve Spinach with Rice with the yogurt sauce.

If you like, you can also add some ground beef.

* This is a vegetarian dish.


Saturday, February 11, 2006


Day-old bread, cut in chunks
Feta cheese, crumbled
Green onion, chopped
Parsley, chopped
Beef broth or stock, hot

Place the bread slices in a bowl. Sprinkle the green onion, parsley and feta cheese on top. Pour some hot beef broth and wait until the bread soaks it in, then pour the rest. The bread shouldn't be dry or juicy. If needed, add some salt and pepper.

Tirit is a Turkish dish made from old bread so it doesn't have to be thrown away. Other options you have for old bread is using it for Turkish Hamburger or or Bread with Eggs or making croutons for soup and salads.

To make croutons, cut the bread in cubes. Place on an oven tray and add some olive oil, salt and pepper on top, then toss. Preheat your oven to 175 C (350 F) and bake for about 10-15 minutes.

Bread is an essential element for the culture of the Turkish people and Turkish kitchen. We don't even throw away the stale (2-3 days old) bread. We have so many different ways to cook them:) We don't like to waste any food:) In my country, it's considered disrespectful if you don't finish all the food on your plate. We should always remember those people who are not able to put enough food on the table, let's not waste it:)


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Talash Börek

(Talaş Böreği)

Talash Börek
1 Pkt Puff Pastry (Tender flake 397 g)

200 gr beef or lamb cut in cubes (lamb tastes better)
1 tbsp butter
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen
2 tbsp crushed tomato in can
1 cup hot water

On top:
1 egg, lightly beaten

First saute the beef or lamb with butter, add the onion and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients along with 1 cup of hot water. Cook over low heat until most of the water evaporates.

For the Puff Pastry, follow the instructions on the box. Each block of pastry rolls out into a 12-inch (30 cm) square. Cut each dough in half to get rectangles. Equally divide and place the filling on one side of the rectangle. Fold, press the ends with your finger to close. Brush them with the egg on top. Put parchment paper on the oven tray, the place the Borek on it.

Preheat the oven to 175 C (350 F). Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve Talas Boregi while still hot with Ayran, cherries or watermelon.