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

Monday, October 31, 2011

Butternut Squash in Olive Oil

(Zeytinyagli Balkabagi Basti)

Butternut Squash in Olive Oil
~200 gr butternut squash, peeled, cut in a little bit larger than bite-size
1 onion, sliced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp rice, rinsed
1/4 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice


1 tbsp dill, chopped

Saute the onion with olive oil. Add the rest of the ingredients. over and cook until the rice is tender over low heat. Let it cool down first. Then place on a serving dish. Sprinkle some dill over the top.

Serve the Butternut Squash in Olive Oil at room temperature or chilled.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Cherry Liquor

(Visne Likoru)

Cherry Liquor
3/4 cup sour cherry nectar*
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup vodka
3 or 4 cloves
1 stick of cinnamon

In a jar, place sugar and cherry nectar. Mix with the spoon until the sugar dissolves. Add the vodka, cloves and cinnamon into the jar. Cover and shake. Put it aside for 24 hours. Remove the cloves and cinnamon following day. Pour the Cherry Liquor into the carafe, cover.

My grandmother always had Cherry Liquor during the Bairam to serve her guests with Turkish Coffee and Turkish delight with rose:)

Since I couldn't find sour cherry in here I decided to use pure sour cherry nectar to make my own home-made liquor. The taste was like fresh Sour Cherries (Morallo Cherries) Another positive point was the time it took; only one day to have this delicious drink.

*I found Turkish brand name "Tamek cherry nectar" at nofrills.

1 1/2 cup (375 ml) Cherry Liquor.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Roasted Lamb with Cheese Pide

(Kavurmali Kasarli Pide)

Roasted Lamb with Cheese Pide
Tandoor Baked Naan

100-150 gr lamb cubes
1 tsp butter
Mozzarella*, grated, frozen

Saute the lamb cubes with the butter until the color of the meat turns to light brown over medium heat.

Place generously the grated cheese all over the naan. Leave some space around. Arrange the roasted lamb and sprinkle some oregano over the cheese. Place the pide on an oven tray.

Set the oven to broil (grill), and heat it up for about 2-3 minutes. Place the tray on the middle rack. Bake for about 10 minutes or the colour of the naan turns to light golden brown.

You can serve the Roasted Lamb with Cheese Pide with tomato or green pepper or onion slices.

This is the easiest and yummy pide recipe that you can do at home:) But, if you like to make this pide from the scratch here:)

*Always keep grated mozzarella that you made yourself in the freezer. Use frozen cheese in this recipe.

1 Roasted Lamb with Cheese Pide.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Celery Leaf Salad

(Kereviz Yapragi Salatasi - Thrace Region)

Celery Leaf Salad
Celery leaves, washed
1/4 cup tulum cheese* or feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp walnuts, crumbled


1/2 cup yogurt, plain
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp lemon or 1 tsp vinegar
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Place the celery leaves in a salad plate. Whisk the dressing ingredients, pour all over the leaves. Sprinkle cheese and walnuts over the top, serve.

*It is a Turkish cheese made from sheep's or mixed milk, harder and saltier than white cheese.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Green Lentil Soup with Yogurt

(Yogurtlu Yesil Mercimek Corbasi)

<br />Green Lentil Soup with Yogurt
1/4 cup green lentils, soak in water overnight (don't boil or it will lose vitamins)
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, mashed with salt
2 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup Turkish noodles (eriste) or 1/3 cup egg noodles
1/2 tsp cumin

Yogurt Sauce:
2/3 cup yogurt
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp flour

Mint Sauce:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or butter
1 tbsp dry mint

Saute the onion and garlic with olive oil for 4-5 minutes in a medium-sized pot. Add the green lentils, water, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes. Then add the Turkish noodles in it. Cook until the noodles are lightly softened.

Meanwhile, whisk the yogurt with egg yolk and flour in a small bowl. Take a few spoons of juice of the soup and blend well with the sauce. While stirring, slowly pour this mixture into the pot. Simmer for about 10 more minutes. Turn the heat off.

Heat up the olive oil or butter in a small pan and add the mint. Then, pour it over the soup and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

*Before serve always check the taste, soup may need salt and pepper:)


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pistachio Pilaf

(Fistikli Pilav)

Pistachio Pilaf
3/4 cup long-grain rice
2 tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup hot chicken stock
Pinch of turmeric, optional

2 tablespoonful almonds, blanched, slivered
2 tablespoonful pistachios, soaked in hot water minutes, drained and peeled
4 dried apricot, soak into the hot water, drain, sliced

Roast almonds and pistachios in a small pan for about 2-3 minutes. Put aside.

Wash the rice several times with warm water and drain. Then cover the rice with hot water and leave out for 15 minutes, drain. Saute the onion with butter for about 2-3 minutes in a cooking pot. Add the rice, continue to saute for about 2-3 more minutes while stirring. Add the turmeric and 1 cup of hot chicken stock. Season it with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to low and cover. After 5 minutes add the apricots, almonds and pistachios and gently stir. Cover and cook until the rice absorbs all the water.

Take the cooking pot away from the heat. Remove the lid, place a clean kitchen towel on the rim of the pot covering the top and put the lid back on. Let the Pistachio Pilaf stand for about 5 minutes (we call this the brewing time) before serving.

Makes 2 servings.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Shredded Borek

(Paçavra Böreği)

Shredded Borek
3 Turkish Yufka- I didn't get the same result with Phyllo Pastry, but you can try:)

300 gr. lean ground beef
1 tbsp butter
1 medium sized onion, sliced

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sunflower oil

Cake mold with a hole in the center, oiled

To cook the filling: Saute the onion with butter for about 2-3 minutes at medium heat in small pan. Add the ground beef, salt and pepper, continue to cook on medium-low heat until all the water evaporates while stirring.

Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

Place the first Turkish Yufka on the cake mold, leave the yufka hanging over the rim of the mold. Spoon some sauce all over it.

Roll the second yufka, then cut in to 1 cm wide strips. Place them on top of the first yufka. Pour some sauce with a spoon on top of it. Then spread the cooked filling over this layer .

Roll the third yufka, then cut in to 1 cm wide strips, too. Place them on top of the filling and pour some sauce again on top. Then fold over the sides of the bottom layer (first yufka). Pour the rest of the sauce on top. Leave in the fridge for about an hour.

Preheat the oven 375 F (190 C). Bake the Shredded Borek until the top takes a golden colour. Let it cool down first. Then take it out from the cake mold. Slice it up and serve:)


Friday, October 14, 2011

Bread Kebab

(Ekmek Kebabi - Gaziantep)

Bread Kebab
1 pide, lightly toasted in the oven, then cut in bite size (I used Indian Naan)

3-4 tbsp ground beef, lean
3-4 slice of onion

Garlic Yogurt Sauce:
4-5 tbsp yogurt, plain, at room temperature
1 garlic clove, mashed with salt

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp crushed tomatoes, canned
1/2 tsp red pepper paste, I used the hot one

Saute the onion, ground beef, salt and pepper at medium-low heat until all the water evaporates while stirring.

Meanwhile, place the lightly toasted pide on a serving platter. Spread the garlic yogurt sauce on top. Arrange the ground beef all over it.

Heat up the butter in a small pan and add the crushed tomatoes and red pepper paste. Then, pour it over the ground beef and serve.

Serve with Antep-Style Tomato Salad.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Eggs with Yogurt on Bread

(Yogurtlu Yumurta - Şanlıurfa - South Eastern Anatolia)

Eggs with Yogurt on Bread
2 eggs
3 + 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper paste, hot
Garlic Yogurt:
4-5 tbsp yogurt, plain, at room temperature
1 garlic clove, mashed with salt
1 slice of toasted Turkish bread, cut in bite size

Heat the olive oil in a small pan. Crack the eggs, start to cook without scrambling too much at low heat. Add the red pepper paste. Stir together with the eggs. Do not over cook the eggs!

Place the toasted bread bites on a serving platter. Mix well the yogurt with garlic and spread it over the bread bites. Place the eggs on top, drizzle it with olive oil, serve immediately.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Apple-Walnut Cake

(Elmali-Cevizli Kek)

Apple-Walnut Cake
1. group:
3 extra large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk, room temperature
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 zest of lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups flour, all purpose
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 red apple, peeled, cored, cut in small cubes, floured
1/2 cup walnuts, crumbled

You can use any kind of Cake mold, I used one with a hole in the center, oiled, floured

Beat the eggs with sugar until creamy using a mixer in a large bowl. It should be double or even more its size:) Add the rest of the ingredients, mix. Add the ingredients, mix. Add the apples and walnuts in it, mix. Then pour the batter into the mold.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Place the mold on the middle rack. Bake it until toothpick comes out clean. It takes app. 45 minutes. But do not forget! baking time may change from one oven to another:) Wait for 30 minutes, then place the cake on the wire rack to cool it down.


Friday, October 07, 2011

Pomegranate Jam

(Nar Receli)

Pomegranate Jam
1 bottle of pomegranate juice- POM Wonderful 473 ml + 25 ml water
1 red apple*, peeled, discard the seeds, thinly grated
2 cups sugar
1 handful pomegranate seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp lemon juice

Place the pomegranate juice in a medium-size pot. Pour for about 25 ml water into the bottle, shake and pour it into the pot along with the apple, sugar, pomegranate seeds and cinnamon stick.

Cook for about 10 minutes at medium-low heat. Then turn the heat a little bit more to low and cook for 20 minutes at medium-low heat.**

Add the lemon juice into the marmalade a few minutes before you turn off the heat and stir. Wait until it cools down a little bit, then place it into a clean jar and close the lid tightly. Store in a dark and cool place.

You can have Pomegranate Jam poured on top of the Turkish Yogurt or Goat Cheese with fresh Walnuts. You can also serve Pomegranate Jam as an ice cream topping with almond slices or crumbled walnuts:)

A pomegranate gives a mess to everything around you when you get the seeds out of it. That's why I used a bottle of Pomegranate juice and this way I avoided to stain my shirt:)

* Red apple gives the right consistency to Pomegranate Jam, otherwise it gets runny.
** Test the jam by dabbing a little on one of the cold plate. Wait for a few seconds, then push the jam with your fingertip. If it wrinkles, it is done:) If not, cook for 2-3 more minutes.


Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Royal Compote

(Saray Kompostosu)

Royal Compote
2 apples, peeled, seeds discarded and seed bed removed, cut in bite size
2 pears, peeled, seeds discarded and seed bed removed, cut in bite size
1 handful seedless green grape, rinsed
1 handful seedless red grape, rinsed
2 dried Turkish figs, boiled for 7-8 minutes, the stems cut, cut in bite size
3 dried apricot, boiled for 2 minutes, cut in bite size
1/2 stick of cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup water
1 handful fresh walnuts, coarsely chopped

Place the apple, pear, grapes, cinnamon stick, sugar and water in a medium-size pot. Cook until the apples are fork tender. Turn the heat off. Add the fig, apricot and walnuts. Let it cool down, discard the cinnamon stick and store in the fridge. Serve with any meal with Pilaf or after meals as a light dessert.

*You can make compote by using the left over softened fruits such as apples and pears. In this way, they would not be wasted and they would cook faster.


Monday, October 03, 2011

Hürrem Sultan

(Hurrem Sultan)

Hürrem Sultan
250 - 300 gr veal, cut in cubes
1 cup hot water
2 tbsp butter
1 medium sized onion, sliced
8-10 mushrooms, cleaned, cut in 4
1 cubannalle pepper, sliced
1 small tomato, peeled, diced
3 tbsp crushed tomato, canned

Cook the veal cubes with their own juice. Then add 1 cup hot water and cook over low heat until the veal pieces are tender. Add the rest of the ingredients into the pot. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender at low heat.

Place the mashed potatoes in a serving dish. Place the Hurrem Sultan on it. Serve immediately.

Mashed Potatoes (Patates Puresi)
2 medium sized yellow potatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp dill, chopped

Cover the potatoes with enough water to cook in a pot until softened. Drain, peel and mash.

Meanwhile saute the onion with butter add the rest of the ingredients, stir. When it comes into puree serve while still warm.

2 servings.

Haseki Hürrem Sultan (Ottoman Turkish:1506 - 17 April 1558 at Topkapı Palace). Suleiman the Magnificent was infatuated with Hürrem Sultan, a harem girl who become Suleiman's favorite. Breaking with two centuries of Ottoman tradition, a former concubine had thus become the legal wife of the Sultan, much to the astonishment of observers in the palace and the city. Sultan Suleiman also allowed Hürrem Sultan to remain with him at palace for the rest of her life, breaking another tradition.