Celebrating Eid with Turkish Cuisine

 

Given Turkey’s rich history many of their most beloved dishes are influenced by neighbouring cuisines. Certain delicacies, however, are prominent and named after significant Turkish cities.  Well known appetizers to the specific regions have been looked into for this feature. Beef/Lamb/chicken kebabs in local aromatic spices cause pleasant chaos to the senses.  They don’t fall back in desserts as well…. let’s explore and relish this eid.

                                                                                          Appetizers

Borek with spiced charcoal smoked beef and pistachios

icca turkish cuisine

Börek is a generic term for Turkish savoury pastry made from wrapping thin loaves known as yufka or filo pastry with a filling made with aromatic spices and then cooking it. It’s thought to hail from Anatolia in today’s central Turkey. It spread considerably during Ottoman times and today it’s a traditional food way beyond the central Anatolian region. It’s hard to know where to start with börek. Shapes, textures and fillings can all be varied according to taste. The varieties are nearly endless.

Recipe

Ingredients: Quantity
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Onion, finely chopped 1 no
Garlic, minced 3 cloves
Minced beef 500 gm
Pistachios, roughly chopped 50 gm
Dried Apricot, finely chopped 30 gm
Assorted bell peppers, finely chopped 50 gm
Turkish red pepper flakes 10 gm
Roasted & ground cumin 10 gm
Roasted & ground coriander 10 gm
All spice powder 10 gm
Smoked paprika 10 gm
Oregano, dried 10 gm
Ground ginger 10 gm
Ground cinnamon 10 gm
Fresh parsley, finely chopped A/R
Salt  & pepper A/R
For Borek
Egg 1 pc
Olive oil 100 ml
Yogurt 100 ml
Milk 100 ml
Filo pastry 200 gm
Sesame seeds for topping A/R

Method

  1.  Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a saucepan, heat Olive oil over medium heat until caramelized. Add in the minced meat and all the dry spices and mix and sauté.
  3. Mix in the pistachios, apricots, assorted bell peppers and parsley.
  4. For the Assembly of borek:In a bowl, whisk together the egg and olive oil. When combined, add in the yoghurt, and then the milk.
  5. Line a baking sheet with baking paper
  6. Take two sheets of pastry, making sure they are exactly on top of each other, Cut the sheets in half length-wise.
  7. Spread around 1 tbsp of the egg mixture on each, making sure the pastry is thoroughly moist on top.
  8. Add a tbsp of the filling at one end of the pastry.
  9. Roll it up until the filling is covered. Fold in the sides and continue to roll till the end.
  10. Place on the baking paper, seam side down. Brush the börek rolls with the egg mixture.
  11. Sprinkle over sesame seeds.
  12. Bake the börek until golden and cooked through.
  13. Leave the böreks to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Rose borek with spiced potato

ICCA Turkish cuisine

This Borek is called rose borek because of the rose shape the pastry is rolled into.

Recipe

Ingredients Quantity
Potatoes, boiled and mashed Olive oilOnion (chopped)Garlic (minced) 500 gm2 tbsp1 no.

3-4 cloves

MilkRoasted ground cuminRoasted ground coriander

Cayenne pepper

Red chilli flakes

Salt and pepper

Fresh parsley, finely chopped

For Borek

Milk

Olive Oil

Filo pastry

Egg Yolk

Sesame seeds

 

 

50 ml10 gm10 gm

10 gm

10 gm

A/R

A/R

 

200 ml

100 ml

200 gm

2 no

A/R

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic till softened.
  3. Add the mashed potatoes and the dry spices and mix.
  4. Add in the milk and mix. Add in the herbs and mix.
  5. For the Assembly of borek: Whisk the milk and olive oil together in a bowl.
  6. Using two sheets of Filo pastry, brush the whole of the top side of the pastry with the milk/oil mixture
  7. Add about 2 tbsp of the filling in a thin strip.
  8. Roll up from the end of the filling into a long sausage.
  9. Brush a little extra milk/oil mixture at the end to seal if needed. Swirl the börek sausage into a rose/swirl shape, making sure to keep the end with 3-4 cm clearance out.
  10. Flatten the end with the fingers and put underneath the börek rose to seal. Set aside on the baking parchment.
  11. Brush the rose böreks first with the milk/oil mixture until the top and sides are moist, then with the egg yolk. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  12. Bake the börek until golden and cooked through.
  13. Leave the böreks to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

                                                                                        Main Course

Adana Kebab

ICCA Turkish cuisine

Kebabs of all kinds are common in Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisines. This particular version is named after the city of Adana in Turkey, where it is said to have originated and is traditionally made of minced lamb/beef mounted on a skewer and grilled over charcoal. Different cities and regions debate over how spicy the Adana Kebab should be.

Recipe

Ingredients: Quantity
Beef mince 500 gm
onion minced 1 no
garlic peeled and minced 3-4 cloves
Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
Roasted & ground cumin 2 tbsp
Roasted and ground coriander 2 tbsp
Ground sumac 1 tbsp
Smoked Paprika powder 1 tbsp
Salt and freshly ground black pepper A/R
Red chilli flakes A/R
clarified butter 2 tbsp
Freshly chopped parsley A/R

Method

  1. Marinate the ground beef with all the above ingredients
  2. Knead the mixture by hand until all combined.  Rest in the chiller overnight
  3. Grease hands with oil and take equal portions of the mince to form balls and thread them onto the skewer, then shape and release on to a baking sheet.
  4. Grill the kebabs, at 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 12 minutes, until well charred on both sides.
  5. Serve the kebabs on warm pita or naan bread with sliced red onions, parsley, tomatoes, and diced cucumbers.

Turkish Chicken Kebab

ICCA Turkish cuisine

Recipe

Ingredients: Quantity
Chicken Thighs, boneless, skinless 1 kg
Greek yogurt 500 gm
Tomato paste 300 gm
Olive Oil ½ cup
Garlic, minced 2 cloves
Ginger minced 1 inch piece
Ginger garlic paste 2 tbsp
Onion, finely chopped 1 no
Fresh Parsley, finely chopped 2 tbsp
Lemon juice 30 ml
Dried Oregano 1 tbsp
Roasted & ground cumin 1 tbsp
Roasted and ground coriander 1 tbsp
Ground cinnamon 1 tsp
All spice powder 1 tsp
Smoked paprika powder 1 tbsp
Cayenne pepper 1 tbsp
Red chilli flakes A/R
Salt and freshly crushed black pepper A/R
Clarified butter for basting A/R

Method

  1.  Marinate the chicken with all the above ingredients except the clarified butter, and chill overnight.
  2. Thread on skewer and grill in the oven at 220 degrees Celsius till cooked and charred.
  3. Baste with clarified butter and serve with sliced onions, Turkish pide and minted yogurt.

                                                                                         Dessert

Semolina helva with pine nuts also known as irmik helvasi

ICCA Turkish CuisineDessert  helva in Turkish cuisine is prepared by browning large amounts of semolina or flour in butter, then adding sweetened milk or water to create a soft, cooked paste. Helva plays an important role in Turkish culture. It’s a dessert that’s traditionally prepared at milestone events in a family’s life. Helva is made for all important life events, to commemorate births, deaths, marriages, circumcisions, leaving for and returning from army service, and even as a prayer for rain. Helva is also served on religious holy days and during holidays like Ramadan and Eid. During the Ottoman period, it was common practice for helva to be distributed to the poor on Fridays, Islam’s holy day of the week.

Recipe

Ingredients: Quantity
Semolina 1 cup
Butter, unsalted ½ cup
Sugar ½ cup
Milk 1 cup
Pinenuts 30 gm
Rose water 2 tbsp
Orange zest 1 tbsp

Method

  1.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Simultaneously, heat milk and sugar in another saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling turn off the flame, add in the rose water and orange zest, mix and set aside.
  3. Add in the pine nuts and semolina in the melted butter and roast to a golden colour while continuously stirring.
  4. Once roasted add in the milk mixture and mix and cook till all liquid evaporates.
  5. Serve warm with Turkish Icecream.

Watch the Turkish Cuisine recipe video here.

 

 

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