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

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Turkish Style Tomato Dip

(Acili Ezme)

Turkish Style Tomato Dip
3 tomatoes, discard the seeds, finely chopped
1/2 red or white onion, finely chopped
1 cup parsley, very finely chopped
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp pomegranate paste or Grenadine syrup
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cayenne pepper, crushed
1 tsp sumac

Crush the onion with sumac and salt with your hand. Then mix all the ingredients in a serving platter. Put aside for at least an hour (tastes better this way), then serve with any kind of Kebab.

*Sumac comes from the berries of a wild bush which grows in the Mediterranean. The berries are dried and crushed to form purple-red powder. The flavor is sour and fruity. It's mostly used with Kebabs, preferred to lemon for sourness.


Monday, March 27, 2006 is 1 year old! has been up for a year now with 100 Turkish and 20 International Recipes. Thanks to everyone who emailed and left comments. To mark the anniversary and since we now have plenty of recipes, we made a new section: Meal Ideas. We hope you find it useful :)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Okra with Chicken

(Tavuklu Bamya)

Okra with Chicken
1 chicken breast, cooked in water and cut in chunks
375 g (drained weight) canned okra, rinsed
2 tbsp canned chickpeas, rinsed
8-10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
50 ml extra virgin olive oil (half for cooking, half for after cooking)
1/2 cup hot water
1 tsp salt

Juice of one lemon
1 garlic clove, mashed with salt
1 tsp dry mint

Place all the ingredients in a medium-size pot. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes at medium-low heat. Turn the heat off, pour the rest of the olive oil along with the mixed sauce ingredients. Mix them carefully so that the okra doesn't get mashed. Serve it hot or warm.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Dried Figs with Walnuts

(Incir Tatlisi)

Dried Figs with Walnuts
250 gr dried Turkish figs, cut off the stems
1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup walnuts, crumbled

Put the figs in a pot and cover them with water. Boil for about 20 minutes until they are softened over medium heat.

Drain and cut off the stalks. Place them in a medium pot and put the sugar on top. Add 2/3 cup water and cook about 25 minutes on medium-low heat. If necessary add more water. Leave some syrup in it at about the same height as the top of the figs.

Place on a service plate. Let cool, then garnish with walnut crumbs.

I suggest you use figs from Turkey as they taste better :)

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Imam Fainted (Eggplant with Veggie Filling)

(Imam Bayildi)

The Imam Fainted (Eggplant with Veggie Filling)
4 small eggplants
3/4 cup sunflower oil or olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium tomato, diced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

For each eggplant, peel alternating strips of skin lengthwise as seen in the picture. Sprinkle salt on top and put aside for about 20 minutes. Squeeze, wash and dry them with a paper towel. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and fry every side until nicely colored. Cut a slit in each eggplant and scoop out most of the seeds, making sure they don't fall apart. Place them in a clean pan.

Meanwhile cook all the filling ingredients in a small pot on medium heat for about 12-13 minutes. All the water should evaporate. Stir constantly towards the end.

Fill the eggplants equally with the filling using a teaspoon. Pour in 1/2 cup of water in the pan from the side. Cover and cook on medium heat until almost all the water evaporates. Let cool first, then place The Imam Fainted on a serving dish. Garnish with parsley.
This dish is one of the most well-known olive oil dishes in Turkish Cuisine and it's very tasty. You can serve it as an entree or after your main course.

Ottoman Kitchen

* This is a vegetarian dish.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006


1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 cup water
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 tsp salt

4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp crushed tomato, canned or 2 tbsp tomato paste mixed with water
Crumbled feta cheese
Pinch of crushed red pepper, optional

Boil the water, sunflower oil and salt in a pot. Slowly pour in the cornmeal. Stir, making sure there are no lumps. Cook for about 10-12 minutes on medium-low heat. The mixture should become doughy and leave the sides of the pot in the end.

Meanwhile, cook the butter and crushed tomato for a few minutes on low heat.

Place Kacamak on a serving dish. Pour the tomato sauce all over. Sprinkle some crumbled feta cheese and serve while hot. It's a very delicious dish for breakfast. You can also serve Kacamak just with the Feta cheese.

You can also have Kacamak with Grape Molasses as a sweet dish. Heat up some butter, pour it on top and then add grape molasses.

Makes 2 servings.


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ali Nazik

(Ali Nazik - Gaziantep)

Ali Nazik
2 medium eggplants or roasted eggplant in a jar
1 large cubanelle pepper or regular green pepper
150 gr medium or regular ground lamb or beef, cooked with salt and pepper
1/2 cup plain Turkish yogurt with salt and mashed with garlic, at room temperate

1 tbsp butter
1 tsp red pepper, powdered
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper, powdered

Set the oven to broil (grill), and heat it up. Make holes in the eggplants with a fork so that it will roast better. Place the eggplants and green pepper on an oven tray and place in the oven. Roast the green pepper for about 15 minutes and the eggplant for about 25 minutes. Turn them over occasionally during roasting.

Peel off the skins from both the eggplant and green pepper (discard seeds), and cut in small pieces. Put them in a Pyrex dish (I used 10 inch / 25 cm round Pyrex). Put back in the warm oven. Note that at this point the oven's turned off, and you just want to keep the food warm.

Also if you used roasted eggplant in a jar, you should just roast the green pepper.

When the rest of the ingredients are prepared, take the Pyrex out of the oven and pour the yogurt on top. Then put the cooked ground beef on top of the yogurt.

Lastly, melt the butter in a small pan and add the peppers. When it starts bubbling, pour over the ground beef.

Serve Ali Nazik immediately while still warm.

Ali Nazik originates from the Gaziantep Region of Turkey.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Kidney Beans in Olive Oil

(Kurufasulye Pilaki)

Kidney Beans in Olive Oil
1 can of kidney beans, drained, washed
1 cubanelle pepper, cut in bite sizes
2-3 green onions, sliced
1 small carrot, sliced
1-2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 large tomato, diced
75 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Place all the ingredients in a pot except the kidney beans. Add 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes on medium heat. Then add the kidney beans and 1 cup of hot water. Cook for another 10-12 minutes on the same heat with the lid half covered.

Place on a serving dish and let cool. Sprinkle some lemon juice on top and serve cold after your main dish with fresh French or Italian style bread.

* This is a vegetarian dish.


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Potato Kofte

(Patates Köftesi)

Potato Pate
2 medium white potatoes, boiled, peeled and grated
1 or 2 slices insides of Turkish bread, crumbled
1 small onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 pinch red pepper
1 pinch Cheyenne pepper
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 egg white
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch black pepper

For frying:
1 egg yolk + 1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sunflower oil

First, caramelize the onion with a few drops of olive oil in a small pan. Then add the garlic and saute for a few minutes, but be careful not to burn the garlic.

Place these (onion, garlic) and the other ingredients in a large bowl. Mix them with your hands. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Pour the oil into a large frying pan and heat it up. Meanwhile, take a ball of the potato mixture, and give it a long, slightly flat shape as seen in the picture. First roll it in the flour, then soak in the egg mixture. Repeat for the remaining potato mixture and fry all the pates on both sides until golden brown. Place them on the paper towel to soak up the extra oil.

Serve Potato Pate with any chicken, beef or fish dish with Carrot Salad on the side.

* This is a vegetarian dish.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Carrot Salad

(Havuc Salatasi)

Carrot Salad
2 large carrots

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Black olives

Peel, wash and grate the carrots. Place in a servings dish. Pour in the dressing ingredients and mix. Garnish with black olives.