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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pocket Pide

(Cep Pide)

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Pocket Pide
Pizza dough, divided in egg size balls
Sesame seeds
Olive oil

Cover the dough with the clean kitchen towel and leave at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Break the egg size ball from the dough. Do not knead the dough! Gently flat it with your hands, do not press or punch! Do not use roller! Flour your hands, start to larger it. I use back side of my hands and fingers to stretch the dough. Spread a little bit oil to keep the sesame seeds on top.

Preheat the oven to 500 F (260 C) at least 15 minutes before you start baking. Leave the tray in the oven to warm up.

Place the flatten dough on the parchment paper. Place them on the hot tray, start baking. The baking takes for about 10 minutes. You will see the dough will slowly puff.

Fill the inside of the pide what ever you like....I grilled Turkish Sujuk and Pastrami and filled the Pocket Pide's and Romain Salad together. I served this delicious sandwich with Cottage Cheese Salad by the side:)

You can also fill the pocket with various ingredients to form a sandwich, with Beef or Chicken Döner, Köfte, Grilled Köfte, Chicken Köfte or Fish, Chicken Salad with Mayo, Zucchini Fritter.....:)


Monday, January 28, 2013

Pilaf with Chicken and Carrot

(Tavuklu Havuclu Pilav)

Pilaf with Chicken and Carrot
3/4 cup long-grain rice
1 chicken breast, 1 chicken leg, bone in, with skin; boiled and removed the skin and bones, pulled apart---use the chicken broth to make pilaf
2 tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
4-5 small size mushrooms, cleaned, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, cut in small pieces
1 cup hot chicken broth

Saute the onion for 3-4 for minutes in medium size pot. Add the rice, garlic, mushrooms, carrot, salt and pepper continue to saute for about 3-4 more minutes. Add the pulled chicken and chicken broth into the pot. Cover, turn the heat down to the low. Cook until all the water evaporated.

Let the Pilaf with Chicken and Carrot stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

2 servings.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Shrimp Gratin with Mushrooms

(Mantarli Karides Guvec)

Shrimp Gratin with Mushrooms
12 medium-sized shrimp, de-veined and peeled
10-12 brown mushrooms, wiped of dirt and julienned
2 large tomato, peeled, cut in small cubes
1 cubanelle pepper, cut in small pieces
2 fresh green onions, chopped, white parts only
1-2 garlic clove, sliced
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice

Topping: 1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup Kashar or Mozzarella cheese, grated

Place all the ingredients in a medium sized pot. Cook at low-medium heat until most of the water evaporates. Divide into 2 individual gratin dishes or casserole dish.

In a separate bowl, combine the eggs and cheese. Place it over the gratin and sprinkle some paprika.

Place the bowls on the oven tray. Preheat to 400 F (200 C). Cook until the cheese is golden brown. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Long Squash with Bulgur

(Kabak Kabugu Kavurmasi - Turhal - Black Sea Region)

Long Squash with Bulgur
Skins of one medium size long squash*, washed, peel them a little bit thicker than usual, cut in julienne
1/4 cup small grain Turkish bulgur, rinsed
1 small onion, sliced
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3-4 tbsp crushed tomato, canned
1 tsp red pepper paste
1/2 tsp hot red pepper paste or more:)
1/2 cup hot water
1 tsp cumin

Parsley, chopped

Saute the onion with butter and olive oil. Add the skins of squash and saute for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the the rest of the ingredients, stir. Cover and cook for about 4-5 minutes at low-medium heat. Turn the heat off. Let it rest for about 4-5 minutes.

Sprinkle some parsley and serve with Ayran with Fresh Mint Leaves or Turkish yogurt.

2 servings.

*Look "Long Squash-Beef in Yogurt"

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Long Squash-Beef in Yogurt

(Kabak Borani -Antakya - Mediterranean Region)

Long Squash-Beef in Yogurt
1 medium size (400-450 gr) long squash (marrow squash), peel a little bit thicker than usual*, cut in bite size the inside of the squash
250 gr beef, cut in cubes
1 + 1/2 cup warm water
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 cup chickpeas, in can, rinsed
1/4 cup Bell pepper, cut in bite size
1 tbsp crushed tomato
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup Creamy Turkish yogurt

Mint, dry

Cook the beef cubes with their own juice. Then add the onion and 1 cup hot water and cook over low heat until the beef pieces are tender. Add the rest of the ingredients except creamy yogurt into the pot. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender on low heat.

Place the creamy yogurt in a bowl. Take 2 spoons of juice of the dish and pour into the bowl. Whisk them well. Slowly pour this mixture over the dish, stir. Turn the heat off. Sprinkle some mint and serve.

2 servings.

*Don't throw the skins out though, put them aside to cook Long Squash with Bulgur.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Molasses Creamy Yoğurt

(Kadıbeyni - Şanlıurfa - South Eastern Anatolia)

Molasses Creamy Yoğurt
Creamy Turkish yogurt
Ground nuts, like walnuts, almond or hazelnuts...

Place the cold creamy yogurt in a bowl. Pour some molasses and sprinkle some gound nuts all over it.

If you like, you can start your day with the Molasses Creamy Yogurt with bread, or have it in the afternoon, or have it as a dessert after dinner to finish your day:)

Grape Molasses
Grape Molasses is a good source of energy and carbohydrates because of its high sugar content. It is ideal for daily doses of calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. Plus, it contains lots of minerals.

Grape Molasses (Pekmez) from Turkish or Middle Eastern Grocery Stores or online at

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Apple Cookie Rolls

(Elmali Kurabiye)

Apple Cookie Rolls
250ml unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp Turkish yogurt, plain
Zest of half lemon
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour, all purpose
1/2 tsp baking powder

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, grated
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup walnuts or hazelnuts, crumbled

To prepare the filling; cook the apple and sugar until all water evaporates. Turn the heat off. Then add the cinnamon and the nuts, stir well. Let it cool down.

To make the dough; knead all the ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure everything is well mixed and divide it into 10 or 12 pieces. Make chestnut sized balls with your hands. Then flat them in your palm. Place one tablespoon of filling on top of every piece of dough and close the opposing sides by folding. Arrange them on the oven tray covered with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C) and bake for about 25 minutes. Immediately sprinkle some powdered sugar on top using a small strainer after you take them out of the oven.

Makes 10-12 Apple Cookie Rolls.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Yufka Kebab

(Yufka Kebabi)

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Yufka Kebab
1 or 1 1/2 Turkish yufka*
500 g lamb, cut in cubes
2 tbsp butter
3 green onions, chopped
1 cubanelle pepper, discard the seeds, cut in bite size
1 small red bell pepper, cut in bite size
1 large tomato, peeled, diced

Mozzarella cheese, grated
Cayenne pepper

Place the yufka in an oven proof tray. Lightly toast in the oven until the colour turns to light golden. Break them in medium size pieces with your hands. Then place in a serving platters.

Meanwhile, fry the lamb cubes with butter until the color of the meat lightly turns in a pan. Add in the remaining ingredients. Saute for 7-8 more minutes until the vegetables are tender. Turn the heat off.

Spoon out all over the pastries. Pastry should soak the juice of the dish. Garnish with some cheese and cayenne pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Bake until the cheese is melted, serve immediately.

2 servings.

*Turkish yufka; fresh and hand rolled sheets of dough.
I used triangle yufka sold in package. You can find these packages (whole or triangular cut pastry leaves) in Turkish or Mediterranean stores if you have any in your area. Or, you can shop from which is online Turkish grocery store:)


Friday, January 11, 2013

Alaca Soup

(Alaca Corba - Gaziantep - South Eastern Anatolia)

Alaca Soup
1/4 cup green lentils, soak in water overnight, washed and drained
1/3 cup chickpeas, in can, rinsed
1/4 cup Turkish bulgur or wheat, rinsed
1 red bell pepper, diced
4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4-5 tbsp crushed tomato, canned
1 tbsp red pepper paste
2 cups chicken or beef broth
~2 cups hot water

1 medium onion, sliced
Olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp butter or 2 tbsp olive oil
Red pepper, crushed
1 tbsp tarragon

Place all the soup ingredients in a medium sized pot. Cover and cook until all the ingredients are softened for about 20-25 minutes at medium-low heat.

Meanwhile caramelize the onion with a little bit olive oil at low heat. Then add the caramelized onion and lemon juice into the soup.

Heat up the butter in a small pan. When it begins spitting, stir in the crushed red pepper and tarragon. Then pour all over the top of the soup. Turn the heat off. Serve while still hot with the any kind of pickled vegetables.

4 servings.


Monday, January 07, 2013

Lamb Stew with Chestnuts

(Kestaneli Kuzu Yahni)

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Lamb Stew with Chestnuts
250 gr lamb, cut in cubes
1 + 1 cup hot water
2 tbsp butter
1 small onion, sliced
1 tbsp flour
6-8 chestnuts, grilled, peeled
1 bunch seedless grape, small size or 3 tbsp Sultana or Golden raisins, stems cut off- soak into the hot water for 20 minutes, drain
1 tbsp honey
A few slices of orange peel
1/t tsp cinnamon

Cook the the lamb cubes with their own juice. Then add 1 cup hot water and onion. Cook at medium-low heat until the beef pieces are tender. Add the chestnuts, grapes or Sultana raisins, honey, orange peel, hot water, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes at low-medium heat. Turn the heat off. Sprinkle some cinnamon all over the dish, stir. Serve the dish with Bulgur Pilaf with Vermicelli.

2 servings.

Ottoman Kitchen.


Friday, January 04, 2013

Bread Borek with Mozzarella Cheese

(Kaşarli Ekmek Böreği)

Bread Borek with Mozzarella Cheese
8 1/2 slices from a fresh toasting loaf, cut the crusts off
1/2 cup Turkish fresh Kashar cheese or mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup Turkish old Kashar cheese or Asiago cheese, grated
1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 cup (= 62 ml = 4 tbsp) butter, melted
1 1/4 cup milk, room temperature
3 eggs
a pinch of nutmeg

Oiled 1 Lt Ovenproof dish

Cover of the bottom with the half of toast breads. Whisk all the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Pour the half of the sauce all over the breads with the spoon. Sprinkle the half of the cheese all over it. Arrange the rest of the breads all over it. Pour rest of the sauce over the breads. Then cover the breads with the rest of the cheese.

Preheat the oven to 375 F (180 C). Bake until the top takes a light brown colour. Serve immediately.


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Seville Orange (Bitter Orange) Jam

(Turunç Receli - Mediterranean Region)

Seville Orange (Bitter Orange) Jam
400-450 g (2 bitter oranges) Seville Oranges
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups water
Juice of one lemon

Wash the Seville oranges and by using the fine side of the grater, carefully grate off the skin of the oranges and discard them (picture). Cut in slices from top to the bottom and peel the oranges. You can discard the inside of Seville oranges (they are bitter) or you can squeeze out the juice and use it for the salads or Kisir:) There is a total of 22 slices. Lightly scrape the white parts of the shells with a small knife (picture). Wrap each slice in the form of rolls. Keep them in this form with the knotted string using a thick needle (I used steel yarn needle). When you finish the row, secure the knot at the end (picture).

Place the shells in a pot. Cover with water. Cook at medium heat for about 20 minutes until they are softened, drain. Soak them into the cold water. Change the cold water every 3-4 hrs within 24 hrs to wash out the bitterness.

Then, place the sugar and water in a pot. Dissolve the sugar at low-medium heat. When the bubbles start, add the shells into the pot. Cook for about 10 minutes at medium-low heat. Then turn the heat a little bit more to low and cook until the mixture reaches jam consistency*. It takes app. 20 minutes.

Add in the lemon juice, stir. Let it cool down a little bit. Remove the string from the shells. Place carefully into the jars and seal. Store in a dark and cool place.

Serve the Seville Orange (Bitter Orange) Jam with a dollop of Kaymak :)

*Take one spoon from jam on a cold plate, if it is not runny and stays, then it's done.

Seville oranges (Bitter Orange) are available here in the Toronto area in January for about three weeks. They were imported from Seville, Spain.