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

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Our aStore is now available!

I wanted to share with you the ingredients and tools I use in my kitchen in hopes that it will make your life easier while cooking as well. So we've created our very own aStore in partnership with

You can find products such as Tahini and Grape Molasses for Tahini & Grape Molasses, Tea Biscuits for Mosaic Cake, Pomegranate Paste for Turkish-style Tomato Dip, my favourite Turkish Coffee and more, among other Turkish products (kitchenware, Turkish Tea & Coffee sets, etc).

Friday, December 28, 2007

Beetroot Dip

(Pancar Ezme)

Beetroot Dip
6-7 pickled whole baby beets, in jar, drained, diced or by the fresh ones, boil until soft, drain, peel and slice
1 tbsp dill, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup Turkish plain yogurt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed pepper

Puree beets and garlic using a food processor. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with a spoon. Place in a serving bowl. Serve with toasted Turkish bread slices.

* If you want to use fresh beetroot; Trim and cook in water until tender. Drain, let cool first then peel.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dried Figs with Milk Pudding

(Muhallebili Incir Tatlisi)

Dried Figs with Milk Pudding
250 gr dried figs
1/2 cup sugar

Milk Pudding:
1 tbsp rice flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup milk
Few drops of vanilla extract

Walnut halves for each fig

Place all the pudding ingredients in a small sauce pan and start to cook. Stir constantly over medium heat. When you see the bubbles on the surface, boil one more minute while stirring. Take it off the stove. Pour into a small bowl, let it cool down with plastic cover on it.

Meanwhile 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 pot and place the sugar on top. Add 2/3 cup water and cook for 25 minutes on medium-low heat. If necessary add a little bit more water. Leave some juice in it at about the same height as the top of the figs.

Place on a service plate. Let them cool down. Before serving the figs, put one table spoon of Milk Pudding on top of each and garnish with walnut halves.

New Year's Menu:
- Mushroom Manti, Pilaf with Chicken Liver, Chicken Tandir, Fried Eggplant with Cheese and Potato Cigarette Borek.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Chicken Tandir

(Tavuk Tandir)

Chicken Tandir
4 chicken pieces, legs and breasts, bone in, with skin
1 whole onion, peeled
1 tsp lemon juice

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Fry both sides of each piece for about 4 minutes in a large shallow pan. First fry the skin side down. After frying, arrange them skin side down in the pan. Pour the hot water to cover the pieces and turn the heat down to low. Add in the lemon juice and a whole onion. Cover but don't cover completely. After 2 hours take the lid off, remove the onion and turn the heat to just under medium. Cook until all the water evaporates which takes about one more hour.

Sprinkle some dry oregano on top and serve with any kind of Pilaf and lemon wedges on the side.

4 servings.

New Year Menu:
- Shrimp Cocktail in a Basket, Pilaf with Chicken Liver, Zucchini with Walnut Dip, Amulet Borek and Chestnut Cake.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pilaf with Chicken Liver

(Ic Pilav)

Pilaf with Chicken Liver
3/4 cup rice, washed, drained
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
100 gr liver, chicken or lamb, cut in small pieces
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp currant
1 cup hot chicken or beef broth
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice

1 tbsp dill, chopped

Melt the butter in a cooking pot. Saute the onion with butter for 2-3 minutes while stirring. Add the liver, nuts, currant and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Then add rice, cinnamon, allspice, salt and pepper, stir. Pour hot beef broth or chicken stock in it. Cover the lid. Turn the heat down to low and cook until the rice absorbs all the water. Let the Pilaf stand for about 5 minutes. Garnish with dill, then serve.

Serve Ic Pilav as a side dish with any kind of chicken or turkey.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mushroom Manti

(Mantar Manti)

Mushroom Manti
150 g button mushrooms, brushed
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

Garlic Yogurt Sauce:
1/4 cup plain yogurt, at room temperature
1 garlic clove, mashed with salt
1 tsp butter
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Bring the water to boil with lemon juice and salt. Boil the mushrooms for 8-10 minutes.

Place the mushrooms on a serving platter with 2-3 tablespoons of the boiled water. Pour yogurt sauce all over. Melt the butter in a small pan and add the pepper in. When it starts bubbling, pour over the yogurt. Serve this tasty dish immediately as an appetizer.

1 serving.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sham Dessert

(Şam Tatlisi - Bayram Dessert)

Sham Dessert
1 1/2 cup yogurt, plain
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cup semolina
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder

4 cups water
4 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 lemon juice, ~2 tbsp

16 almonds, peeled or pine nuts

3 Lt Pyrex dish or cake mold or casserole dish, oiled

Boil the syrup ingredients for 15 minutes, put aside, let it cool down.

Mix the yogurt, sugar, egg and vanilla extract with a spoon until the sugar melts. Then add the semolina, flour and baking powder. Mix them using the spoon. Pour the batter into the oiled Pyrex dish. Assume it will be cut in 16 rectangle pieces, so arrange 16 almonds or pine nuts on top.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until it takes a golden colour. Cut Şam Dessert into 16 equal rectangle pieces. Pour the cold syrup slowly all over. The syrup won't be soaked completely, approximately 1 cup will be left (picture).

Şam Dessert should be put aside for at least 4 hours before serving.

Meal Ideas:
- Cauliflower Soup, Spinach Tenderloin, Grape Leaf Rolls with Olive Oil and Turkish-style Zucchini Gratin.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Spinach Tenderloin

(Ispanakli Bonfile - Bayram Dish)

Spinach Tenderloin
1 piece of beef tenderloin
1 tbsp butter
10 petite mushrooms, brushed, stems cut off

~150 gr baby spinach, washed, drained, cut in chunks
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch cayenne pepper
4 tbsp cream 18%

1 slice of Mozzarella cheese

Saute the onion with olive oil for 5-6 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Turn the heat off. Add nutmeg, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and cream, stir. Place in an earthenware pot.

Meanwhile fry both sides of the tenderloin with butter. Add in the mushrooms at the end and stir. Place the fried tenderloin on the spinach. Arrange the mushrooms over the spinach. Place mozzarella on top of the tenderloin.

Preheat the oven the 400 F (200 C) and cook until the colour of the cheese turns to light brown.

1 serving.

* You can use a large oven proof dish for 6-8 tenderloins with 1 kg (2 pounds) of spinach. Adjust the amounts of the other ingredients to make this delicious Turkish dish for your guests.

Bayram Menu:
- Vegetable Soup with Vermicelli, Stuffed Peppers in Olive Oil, Chicken- Walnuts Dip, Potato Pate and Turkish Baklava.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Binnur's Turkish Cookbook on Amazon!

Our book is now available with Free Super Saver Shipping from!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cauliflower Soup

(Karnabahar Corbasi, Bayram Soup)

Cauliflower Soup
1/2 small head of Cauliflower, stems, leaves peeled off, florets separated
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup milk, warm

1 garlic clove, smashed with salt
1 egg yolk
1 tsp lemon juice
Cayenne pepper

Put aside about 8-10 mini size florets. Cook the rest of the florets with chicken broth for about 10 minutes in a medium sized pot over medium heat. Pour it into the blender and blend until smooth.

Meanwhile melt the butter, add the flour, stir and slowly pour the warm milk in it while stirring constantly. The milk and flour should blend very well. You can use an egg beater. Pour the mixture from the blender into the pot. Also add in the remaining mini florets, salt and pepper, stir. Cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat with the lid halfway on.

Mix the garlic, egg yolk and lemon juice. Take a ladle from the soup and add in the sauce, whisk. Pour this mixture slowly back into the soup, stir. Turn the heat to low, don't boil the soup. Cook for 2 more minutes.

Sprinkle some cayenne pepper on top before serving.

2-3 servings.

Bayram Menu:
- Shrimp Cocktail in a Basket, Lamb Kavurma, Turkish Rice Pilaf, Eggplant with Veggie Filling, Tomato Salad and Sekerpare.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Binnur's Turkish Cookbook published!

We are proud to announce that we published a book containing a collection of over 110 of our delicious recipes. It's currently available from subsidiary CreateSpace, and you can purchase it at:

We've taken our visitors' many requests to publish a book to heart, and so we're making this available at near cost, after's hefty royalties ;)

Note that the book will also be available on itself in less than two weeks where you'll get free shipping if you have Amazon Prime.

We've put a lot of effort into this and hope that you will enjoy it! We feel it's a great and unique Christmas gift :) As always, comments are welcome.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Artichoke Hearts Salad

(Enginar Kalbi Salatasi)

Artichoke Hearts Salad
Artichoke hearts, 340 ml canned, washed, drained
8-10 mini potatoes, cooked, peeled and cut in halves
1/4 cup red onion, sliced
1/4 cup kashar or mozzarella cheese, cut in cubes
1 tomato, cut in bite sizes

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp pomegranate paste or Granadine syrup or lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt

6-8 black olives

Mix the main ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Whisk all the salad dressing ingredients, pour all over and toss. Garnish with black olives.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Fried Eggplant with Cheese

(Peynirli Patlican Kizartmasi, Aegean Region)

Peynirli Patlican Kizartmasi
1 medium eggplant, peel alternating strips of skin lengthwise, cut in round slices

1 cup Halloumi Cheese or Mozzarella, grated
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp mint
1/4 cup dill, chopped
1 egg

Sunflower oil for frying

Soak the eggplants in 2 cups of water with salt for about 20 minutes. Squeeze and dry them with a paper towel.

Mix all the filling ingredients in a small bowl. Take a spoonful and place on one side of an eggplant slice. Do not press over the top, instead keep it in a half ball shape.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. First fry the filling side until nicely colored. Then turn over and fry the other side. Place on a plate with a paper towel to soak up extra oil.

Serve while still warm as an appetizer.

5 servings.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Asparagus with Mushrooms in Olive Oil

(Zeytinyagli Mantarli Kuskonmaz)

Asparagus with Mushrooms in Olive Oil
1 bunch of asparagus, break off the hard ends and discard, cut in 2 cm long chunks
1 cup mushrooms, brushed, cut in 4s
50 ml extra virgin olive oil (half for cooking, half for after cooking)
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tbsp water
1/2 lemon zest

Saute the mushroom with salt, pepper and olive oil for about 2-3 minutes on a little bit over medium heat in a medium size pot. Add in the garlic and saute until the smell of garlic comes out. Then add the asparagus and water. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over a little bit under medium heat. Turn the heat off.

Drizzle the rest of the olive oil. Garnish with lemon zest. Let it cool down and place on a serving platter. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

3-4 servings.

Zeytinyagli Mantarli Kuskonmaz


Sunday, December 02, 2007

New Year, Kurban Bayrami (Holiday of Sacrifice) & Book

As we did the last few years, we will be posting New Year's Appetizers about three times a week over the next month, as well as Kurban Bayram and New Year Menus. We hope you like them:) Afiyet olsun....

Also my book will be going on sale on this week so come back in a few days to get the details!

Shrimp Cocktail in a Basket

(Hamur Sepetinde Karides Kokteyl, Bosporus Style - Istanbul)

Shrimp Cocktail in a Basket
3/4 cup medium sized shrimp, frozen, cooked, peeled and de-veined
1 Romaine salad leaf, green part, cut in julienne
2 patty shells, follow baking instructions on the box

1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
2-3 tablespoonful mayonnaise
1 pinch crushed red pepper

Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Add the shrimp and green leaves, toss.

Fill the patty shells equally with the mixture. Arrange one Romain leaf on the plate. Place the basket on it and serve.