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

Friday, March 30, 2012

Turkish Bagel with Spinach and...

(Ispanakli Simit ve Kasarli Simit)

Turkish Bage with Spinach and...
1 simit (Turkish Bagel), cut into lengthwise

Spinach filling:
1 bunch spinach (cut off the roots), washed and drained
1 small onion, sliced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
2-3 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled

2 tbsp Turkish kashar cheese or mozzarella cheese, grated
Red pepper, crushed

Saute the onion with olive oil in a pan. Then add the spinach and continue to cook over high heat until all the water evaporates. Put it aside and let it cool down. Then add the beaten egg, feta cheese, salt and pepper, mix. Place the mixture over the half of the simits.

Sprinkle some Mozzarella cheese and crushed red pepper. Place them on an oven tray.

Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C) and bake until the top is light golden or for about 20 minutes. Serve while still hot with Turkish Tea as a branch or light lunch.

Turkish Bagel with Cheese

Kasarli Simit
Cut the simit (Turkish bagel) in half, then cut and open into lengthwise, layer the Turkish Kashar Cheese or Asiago cheese. Place on Teflon pan and cover. Heat the simit until its crispy and cheese melted over low heat.

Place the Simit with Kashar cheese next to your favorite summer salad. Serve with Turkish Tea or Ayran as a breakfast or light lunch.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sour Cherry Pie

(Visneli Tart)

Sour Cherry Pie
Ready Crust (23 cm-9 inch)
1 tbsp butter, unsalted, at room temperature

Red Sour Cherry Sauce:
540 gr (350 gr drained) Red Sour Cherries, pitted, in light syrup
2 tbsp corn starch
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon or vanilla extract

Icing sugar
Grated chocolate
2-3 tbsp almond, blanched, crushed, lightly roasted

First butter the inside of the crust. Then line up the cherries on a crust.

Place the cherry compote juice, sugar, corn starch and vanilla extract in a small pot. Stir constantly to avoid lumps with small egg whisker at medium heat. When it gets thicker, cook for 1 more minute. Pour equally over the cherries in the crust. Let it cool down.

Keep it in the fridge. When you serve the Sour Cherry Pie sprinkle some icing sugar, grated chocolate and almonds over the top.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper with Garlic Yogurt

(Yogurtlu Kozlenmis Biber)

Roasted Red Pepper with Garlic Yogurt
1 red Bell pepper, roasted*
Extra virgin olive oil

Garlic Yogurt Sauce:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1-2 garlic cloves, mashed with salt

Cut the roasted red pepper in strips. Place on a service plate. Spread the Garlic Yogurt Sauce all over them and generously drizzle the extra virgin olive oil.

Serve as an appetizer or with classic Turkish breakfast:) This is a delicious appetizer that will add some colour to your table. It goes with any kind of food.

*Roasted Red Pepper:
Cut the pepper in half. Discard the seeds. Set the oven to broil (grill), and heat it up. Place the red pepper halves on an oven tray (inside facing down) and place in the oven. Roast them for about 15 minutes. Leave them in a paper or plastic bag for about 10 minutes to peel off the skin easily. Alternatively, you can barbecue it until softened. Just place the red peppers out side facing down on the barbecue.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Grilled Mackerel with Mustard Sauce

(Hardal Soslu Uskumru Izgara - Istanbul)

Grilled Mackerel with Mustard Sauce
Mackerel (or Sea-bass fillet), discard guts, wash with cold water and drain
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice

Mustard Sauce:
6 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp + 1 tsp Dijon mustard, at room temperature
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 tbsp wine vinegar with Raspberry juice, at room temperature
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 green onion, only the green parts, chopped, at room temperature
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp dry sage

Cut some parchment paper spread the olive oil at the middle part. Place the fishes in the middle of it. Drizzle the lemon juice. Fold the parchment paper over the top and the sides to prevent the juice from leaking out. Place the pocket on the oven tray.

Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Cook for about 20 minutes on the middle rack. Then remove the tray. Careful when you open the paper because of the steam comes out. Pour the juice of the fish into the small bowl. Carefully remove the skin and de boned the fishes using a knife. Dived the each fish in four fillet. Place the fillets in a service plate. Pour the fish juice all over them. Cover and keep it in the refrigerator at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare the mustard sauce; first cream the butter in a bowl. Add the mustard, egg yolks, vinegar, salt and pepper in it. Whisk until they are well blended. Add the green onions, oregano and sage. Cover it with plastic and keep it in the refrigerator. Melt the Mustard Sauce before serving.

Pour the melted Mustard Sauce all over the Grilled Mackerel...enjoy it:)


Friday, March 23, 2012

Eggs with Roasted Eggplant

(Baba Kannuç - Diyarbakır)

Eggs with Roasted Eggplant
1 large eggplant, roasted*
2-3 tbsp olive oil

Garlic Butter Sauce:
1-2 garlic cloves, mashed with salt
1 tbsp butter

Mash the roasted eggplant and saute with olive oil in a small skillet for about 3-4 minutes at low heat. Make room for the eggs in the middle. Crack the eggs and cover. When the egg white is cooked, remove it from the heat. Do not overcook the egg yolk.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt the butter to prepare the garlic sauce. Add in the mashed garlic. When it starts bubbling, pour it over, sprinkle red pepper flakes.

Serve it with Tandoori Bread, Isot pepper* and Ayran on the side:)

*Roasted Eggplant:
Before putting in the oven, make holes on the eggplant with a fork so that it will soften and cook better. Then place the eggplant in an oven tray and roast for about 20-25 minutes on broil. Alternatively, you can barbecue it until softened. Then peel it. After draining, cut into small pieces with a knife.

*Isot pepper, also known as Urfa biber is a red Turkish pepper cultivated in the Urfa region of Turkey. It has a smoky, raisin-like taste. Urfa biber is less spicy than many other chile peppers, but provides a more lasting build of heat.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fried Cauliflower with Tahini Tarator

(Tarator Soslu Karnabahar Kizartmasi - Antalya)

Fried Cauliflower with Tahini Tarator
Cauliflower, peel off stem leaves, separate the florets
3-4 tbsp olive oil
Sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Tahini Tarator:
2-3 garlic cloves, smashed with salt
3 tbsp lemon juice
4-5 tbsp tahini
1 slice of inside of 1 or 2 days old Turkish bread, crumbled (if you use fresh bread, use blender to mix all the dressing ingredients)

Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Dilute it with a little bit warm water.

Meanwhile, boil the florets for about 2-3 minutes in the water with salt in a
medium sized pot, drain. Then sprinkle a little bit salt all over the cauliflowers and lightly fry with olive oil. Throw them into the tahini tarator sauce, stir. Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds and paprika all over them.

Serve the Fried Cauliflower with Tahini Tarator on the side with pickled vegetables.

* Cauliflower shouldn't be coated with anything. This way it would absorb the sauce and the taste would be better:)


Monday, March 19, 2012

White Kebab

(Sakiz Kebabi)

White Kebab
Lamb and Vegetable Puree Ingredients:
~400 gr gr lamb, cut in cubes
1 + 1 cup warm water
1 small onion, peeled
1 small carrot, peeled, cut in small cubes
1/4 small celery root, peeled, cut in small cubes
1 Bay leaf
1/4 tsp clove


2 tbsp flour, all purpose
1/4 cup milk

2 tbsp creamy yogurt

Vegetable Ingredients:

2 small zucchini, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, then cut in half
1 medium tomato, peeled, discard the seeds, cut in small cubes
2 tbsp crushed tomato, canned
4-5 fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp butter

Cook the lamb cubes with their own juice. Then add 1 cup of hot water, cook over medium-low heat until most of the water evaporates. Add 1 cup hot water, onion, carrot, celery, Bay leaf, clove, salt and pepper, stir and close the lid. Cook until the vegetables are softened for about 30 minutes at medium-low heat.

Remove the lamb cubes from the pot, put aside. Discard the Bay leaf. Strain the cooked vegetables. Now, the vegetable puree is ready:) Put back the vegetable puree and the lamb cubes into the pot. To prepare the sauce; whisk the flour and milk in a bowl, pour into the pot, stir. Cook until it gets enough thickness at low heat, stir occasionally. Turn the heat off. Add the creamy yogurt in it, stir. Keep it warm.

Meanwhile cook all the Vegetable Ingredients in a medium size pot with the lid until all the vegetables are tender.

Place the lamb in a deep serving dish. Arrange the vegetables on the top. Serve the White Kebab while still warm.

2 servings.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Raspberry Jam

(Ahududu Receli)

Raspberry Jam
500 g Raspberries
400 g sugar*
2 tbsp lemon juice

Layer the raspberries and sugar in a saucepan overnight. The following morning, mash the berries. First, bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to the low. Skim off foam occasionally with the wooden spoon.

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. Add the lemon juice, boil for about 2-3 more minutes.

Remove the sauce pan from the heat and cool for a few seconds. Pour carefully into the jars and seal. Store in a dark and cool place.

Place some Raspberry Jam on the thin crackers and sprinkle few sliced almonds over the tops:)

*I like the sourness of Raspberry Jam, but if you don't, you can cook it with 500 g sugar instead of 400 g of sugar.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Arugula Salad with Zucchini

(Kabakli Roka Salatasi)

Arugula Salad with Zucchini
One bunch of Arugula, washed and drained
Turkish Kashar cheese or Asiago cheese, thinly sliced or cut in small cubes
Extra virgin olive oil
Flaked red pepper

1 small zucchini, peeled in lengthwise strips, thinly sliced
2 or 3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

In a bowl, place the zucchini, lemon juice and salt, toss. Keep it in the refrigerator for about 5-6 hours.

Discard the Arugula stems, break off the leaves into smaller pieces with your hand. Place on a service plate. Season with salt. Arrange the zucchinis and cheese on the top. Drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle flaked red pepper all over the salad. Serve immediately.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Noddles with Smoked Salmon and Fennel

(Fume Somonlu Rezeneli Eriste)

Noddles with Smoked Salmon and Fennel
2 servings of medium sized egg noodles

1/2 small sized fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced vertically - rinsed the fronds
~1/4 cup red onion, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup plain yogurt+2-3 tbsp milk or 1/3 cup cream 35%
70 g smoked salmon, cut in bite size

Boil the noodles with salty water following the instructions on the package, drain.

Meanwhile, saute the fennel, onion, salt and pepper with olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Add the noodles and yogurt+milk mixture or cream, stir. Simmer for about a minute or two. Turn the heat off. Add the smoked salmon, stir.

Garnish with the fronds and serve.

2 servings.


Thursday, March 08, 2012

Grape Leaf Rolls with Bulgur in Olive Oil

(Zeytinyagli Bulgurlu Yaprak Sarmasi)

Grape Leaf Rolls with Bulgur in Olive Oil
~400 gr grape leaves, washed one by one
1 cup hot water

Filling Ingredients:
1/3 cup bulgur, large grain, washed and drained -I always use Turkish Bulgur:)
5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium size onion, cut in small size
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cubanalle pepper, chopped
1/2 of Bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp cumin, if you like

Saute the onion with olive oil until it is softened over medium heat. Add the tomato paste, cubanalle pepper, Bell pepper, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook the peppers are softened. Turn the heat off. Then add the bulgur, stir. Let it cool down.

Fill a pot half way with water and boil. Add all the leaves in it and boil for about 2-3 minutes. Drain and cut off the stems. The matte (not shiny) side of the leaf is the inside, that's where the filling will go. Grab a leaf and fold the top where the stem was. Use a teaspoon to put filling on it (picture). First fold over the top, then the two sides and roll to close it up. Line up all the rolls in the pot side by side tightly, without any holes in between.

Pour in 1 cup of hot water from the side of pot. Cook over low heat until most of the water evaporates. Leave a little bit of water at the bottom, it will go away as it's cooling down.

After it cools down, place on a service plate and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil to tops. Serve the Stuffed Grape Rolls with Bulgur at room temperature or chilled with lemon wedges.

The taste is better if it is eaten following day:)

"Dolma" is a Turkish word which means "stuffed" in English. You can make "dolma" with pepper, tomato, zucchini, eggplant, fish, apple, etc.

"Sarma" is also a Turkish word means "rolled up" in English. You can make sarma with grape or mulberry, cherry, cabbage, swiss chard, kale, bean's leaves, etc.

So, sarma shouldn't be called dolma, they are different:)


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Potato with Yogurt Sauce

(Patates Yogurtlusu, From the Thrace Region)

Potato with Yogurt Sauce
2 medium sized yellow potatoes, boiled, peeled, diced

Garlic Yogurt Sauce:

1/2 cup plain Turkish yogurt, at room temperature
1-2 garlic cloves, mashed with salt

Red Pepper Sauce:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp sumac
1 tsp mint

Place the warm potatoes in a serving dish. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the yogurt sauce all over the potatoes.

Heat up the olive oil in a small skillet and add the red peppers. Pour over the dish when you see it starts bubbling. Sprinkle some sumac and mint all over the top, then serve.

2 servings.


Monday, March 05, 2012

Leek Stew with Chickpeas

(Etli Nohutlu Pirasa)

Leek Stew with Chickpeas
1 bunch of leek (3 leeks) washed, cut in thin slices
250 gr beef, cut in cubes
1 + 1 cup hot water
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed
1 medium carrot, cleaned, sliced
3 tbsp crushed tomato, canned
1 tbsp red pepper paste
50 ml extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tbsp pomegranate paste

Cook the beef cubes with their own juice. Then add 1 cup hot water and onion. Cook over medium-low heat until the beef pieces are tender. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the leeks are softened. If needed, you can add more hot water. Add the pomegranate paste, stir. Cover and turn the heat off. Let the dish stand for about 1-2 minutes. Then serve.

2 servings.


Friday, March 02, 2012

Tahini Pastry

(Tahinli Yufka)

Tahini Pastry
2 sheets Phyllo Pastry

1/2 cup tahini (sesame oil)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup walnuts, ground, or more:)

Egg yolk
Sesame seeds

Place two sheets on top of each other on the counter and position them vertically. Mix and spread the filling ingredients all over the surface (picture). Then roll up. Keep it in the refrigerator for about an hour. Place parchment paper on an oven tray and arrange the pastry. Brush the top with egg yolk and sprinkle some sesame seeds all over it.

Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Bake until the tops take a golden colour. Slice them up to 14 pieces. Serve as a dessert with Turkish Coffee.

If you like to use Turkish Yufka, here is the recipe:

1 Turkish yufka

3/4 cup tahini
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup walnuts, ground

Spread all the filling ingredients all over the yufka. Cut in half with knife. Then roll it up starting the round edge. Keep it in the refrigerator for about an hour. Place parchment paper on an oven tray and arrange the pastry. Brush the top with egg yolk and sprinkle some sesame seeds all over it.


Thursday, March 01, 2012

Bazlama - Stuffed Bazlama

(Bazlama - Icli Bazlama)

Bazlama - Stuffed Bazlama
7 gr active yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup warm water

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup warm water

Filling Ingredients;
Onion, sliced, lightly caramelized
Potato, cooked, mashed
Feta cheese, crumbled
Parsley or dill, chopped

In a small bowl, mix the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water. Stir well so the yeast dissolves. Let it rest 7-8 minutes.

In a large bowl, sift flour and salt. Add the bubbly yeast mixture and 3/4 cup warm water. Mix and put the dough on the lightly floured counter and knead well for about 5-6 minutes until it becomes smooth (no more crumbles). If the dough is too sticky, you should add a little bit more flour. Place the dough in a large bowl and spread olive oil with your hands all over the dough. Then cover it with a clean, damp towel. Put aside for about 40 minutes 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. Cut the dough in 6 pieces with a knife. With your hands to flatten and then use a roller give a round shape each one. The circular diameter of Bazlama should be 20-25 cm and 1 cm thick. The thickness of baked Bazlama is 1,5 - 2 cm.

Heat up the medium sized Teflon pan just under medium heat. Cook one side of Bazlama until there are some light brown colours on it. Then turn it over and cook the other side. Spread some butter over them. Place in the folded towel to keep warm.

To make Stuffed Bazlama:
Mix all the stuffing ingredients. Place the stuffing half of Bazlama dough (picture), fold. Press the edges to close it up. Cook the same way as Bazlama. Spread some butter while still warm over the surface.

6 Bazlama.