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

Friday, September 29, 2006

Chicken Soup with Rice

(Terbiyeli Pirincli Tavuk Corbasi)

Chicken Soup with Rice
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup rice, washed, drained
1 chicken breast, diced

2 egg yolks
2 tbsp lemon juice

Bring the chicken stock to boil. Add the rice, chicken pieces, salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with lemon juice. Take a ladle of soup and blend well with the sauce. Slowly pour this mixture into the pan while stirring. Cover and simmer for about 3-4 minutes. Garnish with the chopped fresh parsley, then serve.

* Don't boil the soup after adding the sauce, it may curdle.

Meal Ideas:
- Green Pepper & Potato Dish, Cigarette Borek and Flour Helva.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fried Cauliflowers and Carrots

(Karnabahar ve Havuc Kizartmasi)

Fried Cauliflowers and Carrots
Small cauliflower, peel off stem leaves, separate the florets
1 large carrot, peeled, sliced diagonally
1/2 cup sunflower oil

Sauce to fry:
2 eggs
2 tablespoonful flour
1 tbsp rice flour
1/4 cup water or beer

Sauce #1:
1 cup yogurt
1-2 cloves garlic, smashed with salt

Sauce #2:
1 lemon juice
1 tsp crushed pepper
1-2 garlic cloves, smashed with salt
Half bunch of mint, or 1 tbsp dry mint

First bring to boil some water with salt. Boil the florets and carrots for 2-3 minutes and drain.

Mix the frying ingredients in a small bowl. Dip the florets and carrots individually and fry them equally in sunflower oil. Place them on a paper towel to soak up extra oil.

Place them on a service plate. Prepare the two different topping sauces and place them in two separate small bowls. Serve the fried cauliflower and carrots on the side with the sauces.

Meal Ideas:
- Tarhana Soup, Lamb with Grape Leaves and Gullac.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Garden Kebap

(Bostan Kebabi)

Garden Kebap
2 medium eggplants
1/2 cup sunflower oil

200 g lamb cubes
1 + 1/4 cups hot water
1 small onion, sliced
4 tbsp tomato, diced, canned
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste mixed with 1/2 cup hot water

2 slices tomato
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp crushed pepper

Peel alternating strips of skin lengthwise as seen in the picture for each eggplant. Sprinkle salt all over and put aside for about 20 minutes. Squeeze, wash and then dry them with a paper towel. Heat the oil in a skillet at medium-high and fry each 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 casserole dish.

Meanwhile, cook the lamb cubes with their juice without oil. After all the water evaporates, add 1 cup of hot water and heat at medium-low until the lamb softens. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cover the lid half way and cook at medium heat for about 15 minutes.

Fill the eggplants equally with the filling using a tablespoon. Sprinkle oregano and crushed pepper on top. Place the sliced tomatoes on each eggplant. Pour 1/4 cup of hot water into the casserole dish from the side.

Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Place the dish on the middle rack and bake for about 30-35 minutes. Serve with any kind of Pilaf.

Meal Ideas:
- Pilaf with Almonds, Cacık and Semolina Dessert.


Friday, September 22, 2006

Tomato Soup with Flat Green Beans

(Yesil Fasulyeli Domates Corbasi)

Tomato Soup with Flat Green Beans
500 gr tomatoes, peeled, cut in cubes
7-8 flat green beans, washed, cut off the tips, cut in 2 cm long chunks
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed with salt
1 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
Pepper for taste

Saute the onion with olive oil for 3-4 minutes in a pan. Add all the ingredients except the chicken stock. Stir, cover the lid and cook for about 20 minutes over low heat.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then turn up the heat to medium-low. Cook another 20 minutes until the flat green beans fork tender.

Sprinkle some chopped parsley on top and serve with Bread Slices with Garlic, and Kashar cheese or Mozzarella cheese.

Bread Slices with Garlic and Kashar Cheese

Slice a baton bread. Spread butter with garlic on top. Arrange Kashar or Mozzarella cheese slices on top and sprinkle some Cayenne pepper. Place the bread slices on the oven tray and set the oven to grill. Place the tray on the second rack from the top. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the cheese melts and takes a light golden colour.

Here is some information about Turkish Cheese, including Kashar: mymerhaba.

Meal Ideas:
- Lamb Kavurma, Shepherd's Salad and Revani.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Turkish Ramadan Pide

(Ramazan Pidesi)

Turkish Ramadan Pide
7g instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 3/4 cup warm milk
~4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil

1 egg yolk
2 tbsp milk

In a small bowl, mix the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm milk. Stir well so the yeast dissolves (picture). Cover it with a towel, let it rest 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, sift flour and salt (picture). Add the bubbly yeast mixture and 1 1/2 cup warm milk (picture). Mix and put the dough on the lightly floured counter and knead well for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth (no more crumbles). Then spread 1 tsp of olive oil inside a clean bowl. Place the dough in it and spread another tsp of olive oil with your hands all over the dough (picture). Then cover it with a clean, damp towel. Put aside for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours at room temperature until the dough rises to double its size.

Place the dough on the lightly floured counter. Press all over it with your hands to get rid of air bubbles (picture). Cut the dough in 2 pieces with a knife. Knead and give a ball shape to each, cover with a damp towel, and put aside for about 15 minutes. Place parchment paper on two oven trays. Dust the parchment paper with cornmeal, semolina or all-purpose flour to keep the dough from sticking then arrange the doughs on the trays. Then use your palm to flatten each ball into a flatter rounded shape.

Lightly beat the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Dip your finger tips in it and press all over the dough. Sprinkle some black or regular sesame seeds all over and cover with a clean damp towel. Leave for about 35-40 minutes to rise at a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 450 F and put some water in an oven-safe bowl. Place it on the bottom of the oven. Place one of the trays on the middle rack. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes until the colour becomes light golden. Place the pide on the clean towel to cool it down a bit. Then bake the second dough. Serve while still warm.

Makes 2 Turkish Ramadan Pide.

Happy Ramadan!

* After baking the Pide, let it cool down for about 5 minutes, then place in a clean plastic bag. It will be more soft this way:)

Ramadan pide (flat bread) is something else altogether, as evidenced by the long lines of people who wait in front of bakeries for hours to buy it:)


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Turkish Noodles with Arugula

(Rokali Eriste)

Turkish Noodles with Arugula - How to make Eriste
2 cups large egg noodles
1 bunch Arugula, washed, drained, torn up with your hands
2 tbsp butter or extra virgin olive oil

Walnuts, crumbled

Boil the egg noodles and drain. Melt some butter (or olive oil) in a cooking pot. Add the noodles, salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes on low heat. Toss arugula over it.

Arrange the noodles on a service plate, sprinkle walnuts all over. Serve with yogurt.

How to make Turkish Noodles (Eriste):

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten

In a large bowl, sift flour with salt (picture). Make a hole in the middle. Crack the eggs inside (picture). Slowly mix the flour into the eggs with your fingers. Put the dough on the lightly floured counter, knead well until smooth (no more crumbles). While you are kneading, wet your hands 2-3 times so the dough is smooth. Give the dough a round shape (picture) and cover it with a clean towel. Put aside for about 30 minutes. Put some flour on the counter and the roller. Cut the dough into 2 pieces. Roll them out into a rectangle shape until they become very thin sheets (picture). Leave the sheets for an hour on the floured counter or tray.

For each sheet, first roll it (picture), then cut the rolls into strips about 1 cm wide (picture). Open up the rolls immediately and place on parchment paper. Then cut the strips 2.5 cm in length (picture).

Boil water with salt in a cooking pot. Throw the noodles in and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Taste to see if it's cooked.

If you don't want to cook it right away, spread the noodles on parchment paper until they have all dried (picture). Store them in an airtight jar to cook later.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Turkish Rice Pudding


Turkish Rice Pudding
1/3 cup short grain rice, washed and drained
1 1/2 cup water
3 cups whole milk
1 cup half and half cream
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp corn starch, melted in 4 tbsp milk (use from 3 cups milk above)
Pinch of salt

Bring 1 1/2 cup of water to a boil, then add the rice and lower the heat. Simmer for about 25 minutes (until a little bit of water is left) with the lid covered in a medium sized pot. Add the cream, milk, vanilla extract, sugar and salt. Then slowly add the dissolved corn starch. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook over medium heat until you see bubbles on the surface. Turn the heat off after one minute.

Pour into 6 small glass bowls with a ladle. Place in the fridge to chill them. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top before serving.

4-5 servings.

Turkish Baked Rice Pudding
(Firinda Sutlac)

Turkish Baked Rice Pudding

After cooking the Turkish Rice Pudding, pour it into individual ovenproof bowls. Set the oven to broil. Arrange the bowls on the oven tray and place on the middle rack. Leave in the oven until the tops become brown.

Sprinkle some pistachio or cinnamon on top. Serve hot or chilled.

*Ottoman Kitchen


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Tarhana Soup

(Tarhana Çorbası)

Tarhana Soup
2-3 tablespoonful tarhana dough (see below)
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp crushed tomatoes
2-3 cup chicken stock
Crushed red pepper (red pepper flakes), optional
1 tsp butter

Crumbled feta cheese

Place the tarhana and 1/2 cup water in a pot. Leave it alone for 1-2 hours for tarhana to dissolve a bit. Then add in the rest of the ingredients. Cook and stir constantly over medium-low heat. Adjust consistency of the soup to your liking by adding more water if you prefer. Taste for salt.

Place the soup into a bowl, sprinkle some crumbled feta cheese on top and serve while still warm.

Tarhana Soup is great for cold winter mornings as breakfast:)

This recipe makes 2 servings.

Meal Ideas:
- Lady's Thighs Kofte, Egg Noodles with Tomato and Carrot Salad.

Tarhana Dough


2 red bell peppers or long red peppers, discard the seeds, cut in chunks
2 medium sized onions, peeled, cut in chunks
2 large tomatoes, peeled, diced
1 3/4 cup yogurt, plain
7 gr yeast, melt in a little bit of warm water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dry mint
1 tbsp dry oregano
1 tbsp dill, dry or fresh, chopped
1 tbsp salt
7-8 cups flour (the amount of flour can be changed depending on the size of vegetables, add little by little)

Use the food processor to finely chop onions, tomatoes and red peppers. In a large bowl place the melted yeast, onions, tomatoes, red peppers, yogurt, mint, oregano, dill, olive oil and salt. Add flour gradually and knead until it becomes thick. During kneading add a few spoons of water in it.

Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel. Leave it at room temperature to ferment, which takes 5-6 days. Knead the dough every day for about 4-5 minutes, then cover it with the towel every time. Your kitchen might smell a bit sour, which is normal. When the dough puffs up, the bowl might be too small for it, so divide the dough into two pieces and place in different bowls on the 2nd or 3rd day.

It's the end of fermentation when the dough no longer puffs up. Divide them up and place them in Ziploc bags. Store in the freezer.

If you like to keep it dry, divide the dough into small balls, place the pieces on a cloth and let them dry. Turn the balls often. Every day divide the balls into 2 or 3 pieces. It takes a few days. Best way to let it dry is outside under the sun. Then strained through a sieve - use your fingers to crumble. Or you can use the mixer as well. Store them in airtight containers in the fridge.

History of Tarhana

Tarhana is the first instant soup which was invented by Central Asian Turks. In the summer time they mixed fresh vegetables with yogurt to prepare their hearty winter soup. In Turkey, there are several varieties of tarhana. For example some regions use corn flour instead of white flour or they add chickpeas in it.

No exact information is available concerning the provenance of the name of ‘tarhana’, which was brought to Anatolia and the Middle East by the Seljuk Türks. One thing we do know is that tarhana entered Balkan cuisine as well during the Ottoman period. Legends are rife in Türkiye concerning the meaning of the word tarhana. One of the most popular is that it derives from ‘dar hane’ (literally, ‘narrow house’, in other words, ‘house of little means’). Legend has it that one day while on a military campaign the Sultan was a guest in the home of a poor peasant. Having little to offer, the resourceful peasant housewife quickly boiled up a soup. Embarrassed at having to make such a meager offering, she said, “‘Dar hane’ soup is all I have to offer you, my liege. May you eat it with appetite!” In time this ‘dar hane’ soup became known as ‘tarhana’.

Because it is so easy to make and store, tarhana soon came to head the list of staple nourishment's of both settled and nomadic peoples. A product of the summer sun and an abundant harvest, tarhana is served at every meal from breakfast to supper during the remainder of the year. Tarhana also was also a key component of the food rations supplied to the Seljuk and Ottoman imperial armies, and during the Gallipoli campaign in particular it provided the soldiers with the strength they needed. Source- Skylife


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Flat Green Beans with Lamb

(Kuzu Etli Taze Fasulye)

Flat Beans with Lamb
150 gr lamb cubes
1 onion, chopped
500 gr flat beans, washed, cut off the ends, and cut in bite sizes
50 ml olive oil
1 tbsp butter
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tbsp crushed tomato, in can
1 cup + 2 cups hot water

Cook the lamb cubes with its own juice. After all the water evaporates, add the onion and olive oil, saute for a few minutes. Add 1 cup of hot water, cook over medium-low heat until all the water evaporates and the lamb pieces soften. Then add rest of the ingredients with 2 cups of hot water. Cover the lid halfway and cook for 35 minutes until the beans become soft (but not too much) over medium heat. If necessary add more hot water.

* While you're cooking this, put away 7-8 flat green beans to make Tomato Soup with Flat Green Beans :)

* If you like to store some fresh Flat Green Beans in the freezer to cook later, first wash them and cut off the ends. Bring to a boil water with salt in the pot. Throw the beans in and boil for 2 minutes and drain. Divide them up and place them in Ziploc bags. Keep in the freezer. When you want to cook them, you don't need to defrost.

Meal Ideas:
- Puff Borek with Cheese and Ayran.