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

Friday, November 24, 2006


1 cup bulgur, washed several times
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

7 gr instant yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 tbsp sugar

Roasted chickpeas (leblebi in Turkish)

Soak the bulgur in water overnight in a large cooking pot. The following morning add more water and cook until the grains are softened over low heat. It takes about 3 hours and add some water little by little time to time. Place a strainer on a large porcelain or a glass bowl. Pour in the cooked bulgur spoon by spoon, and using the back of a tablespoon strain it (picture). Discard the deposit over the strainer every couple of times.

In a small bowl, melt the yeast with water and sugar. Let it rest for 10 minutes so it will be bubbly. Pour it into the strained bulgur and mix well. Cover the bowl with a piece of cloth to ferment (picture). During fermentation, mix it from time to time. It takes about 3 days to get the right smell and sourness.

After the three days, add the vanilla extract and sugar. While mixing, add water little by little to get the right thickness. Consistency should be like soup or 35% cream (whipped). Keep it in the fridge for a night before serving. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top and serve with roasted chickpeas. Store Boza in the fridge.

Makes 6 servings.

* If you want to make more Boza later, keep 1/2 cup of leftover Boza in a glass in the fridge. Next time use this instead of the yeast.
* You can also make Boza without using yeast. But it takes more time to get the bulgur to ferment.

History of Boza (from Wikipedia)

Its origin dates back form the ancient populations that lived in pre-Ottoman Turkey. The formula was taken by the Ottomans and spread over the countries they conquered. It is a drink of great antiquity, first originating in Mesopotamia 8000-9000 years ago. Boza enjoyed its golden age under the Ottomans, and boza making became one of the principal trades in towns and cities from the early Ottoman period.

Production and storage

Boza is produced in most Turkic regions, but not always using millet. The flavour varies according to the cereal which is used. Vefa boza, as it is known, is made only from hulled millet, which is boiled in water and then poured into broad shallow pans. When cool the mixture is sieved, and water and sugar added. Boza was found to be extremely healthy and nourishing. One litre of boza contains a thousand calories, four types of vitamins A and B, and vitamin E. During fermentation lactic acid, which is contained by few foods, is formed, and this facilitates digestion.[citation needed] As boza spoils if not kept in a cool place, boza ferments (traditionally) don't sell boza in summer months and sell alternative beverages such as grape juice or lemonade. However, it is now available in summer time due to demand and availability of refrigeration.


At 6:16 AM, Anonymous saeedeh said...

is boza halal ?

At 11:12 PM, Blogger SEVINC said...

First I'd like to tell you that you are doing so well to show all word how Turkish food and custody. I am glad to keep looking at your web site three times a week.
Turks have very deep and large culture which became others culture origin.
Thanks for all the delicious Turkish food recipies.
Warm regards

At 8:49 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Saadeh,
During the fermentation period, it does contain low levels of alcohol....

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Sevinc,
Thank you for the nice comment:) Introducing one little part of our
culture to others really makes me happy:)

At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this food looks really good.we had to take food in for school for Middle Eastern Food Day....everyone loved Creamy Yogurt Dip (Haydari).Turkey has some really cool food recipes.

At 3:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Binnur,
Elinize saglik, and thank you for this site. I will try the kestane cake soon, as well as the Boza. Do you know if the Vefa boza is made by the same process as your boza, only using hulled millet instead of bulgur?
Thank you very much,

At 8:53 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Lynette,
Tesekkur ederim:) I have a limited knowledge about Vefa Boza, but I
found some information about it from Wikipedia for you.
Haci Salih Bey established a boza shop in the Istanbul district of
Vefa, close to the then center of entertainment, Direklerarası. This
boza, with its thick consistency and tart flavor, became famous
throughout the city, and is the only boza shop dating from that period still in business today. The firm is now run by Haci Salih Bey's
great- great-grandchildren.
Vefa boza, as it is known, is made only from hulled millet, which is
boiled in water and then poured into broad shallow pans. When cool the mixture is sieved, and water and sugar added. As boza spoils if not kept in a cool place, boza fermenters (traditionally) ) don't sell boza in summer months and sell alternative beverages such as grape
juice or lemonade.

At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Binnur,

Thank you very much for the help. I will try your Boza recipe, but which kind of bulgur should I use? Small ones or large ones?

Thanks again,

At 11:05 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Lynette,
You're very welcome:) It really doesn't matter. I use whatever I have
(small grain or large grain) at that time:)

At 5:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Binnur,

I miss Boza, and wanted to make it in Sydney, Australia. In realtion to the Halal issue, an important one for many, does alcohol remain in the mixture after fermentation??


At 6:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Again, Boza is definitely NOT HALAL, as it seems all the mixtures have alcohol in its final serving preparation. No BOZA FOR ME. I was too young to know when it was offered to me.


At 3:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss boza, and I recently tried to make some to remind myself the cold winternights of Ankara in a warm soba heated apartment. However it smells very bad and tastes even worse, but looks and is in the consistency of boza. What am I doing wrong? Are there any ways of fixing it? Or is all hope lost? By the way you are amazing for creating such an amazing site!!!


At 10:50 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Cem,
Thank you:) It should be tasteless (which you might consider bad
taste?) during fermentation because there is no sugar in yet. At this
stage it should be stirred time to time otherwise it smells very bad.
Can it be fixed now? If it has been in room temperature for more than
3 days, then you can't drink it, sorry :(
Take care,

At 4:24 AM, Blogger recep said...

I do not understand how boza can not be helal. Any fruit has a little alcohol in it so we should not eat fruit???? We should know boza wa drunk by Ottomans and it is not an alcoholic drink. Bfore you determine a drink helal we should think of the effect of the drink on the human body. I do not think you can be addcitive of boza and boza can not make you drunk or alcoholic So I do not see any reason boza would not be halal.

At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Binnur! I have a question to you. I can not find bulgur in the country where I currently am. Can I take just wheat grain instead? Cracked one looks like that:ęczmienna_03.jpg

At 11:04 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Layla,
Yes, you can use wheat grain. Boza is made crushed wheat, wheat flour or coarsely ground rice meal in most Turkic regions.
Take care,

At 9:05 PM, Anonymous Qwek said...

i live in a very cold climate and my house is generally not warm except when i'm in the room. Do you think i'd have a problem with fermentation?

At 8:11 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Qwek,
For centuries, Boza has only been produced in the winter time due to its different fermentation process. So I think if you believe it is suitable in your home (depending on the temperatures) you should be fine but it is important to note that it is only made in the winter climate.

At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

halal and kosher and very healthy.

yoghurt and boza are recommended to MS patients. Healthy bacteria are good fotr the body to restore the immune system.

At 7:55 PM, Blogger Daniella said...

Hello Binnur, i live in Brazil and i would like to know if is possible to make boza in summer time. Now is very hot in here and i am missing so much to feel the taste of boza.
Tessekur ederim.

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Daniella,
During the fermentation it should not be kept in warm temperature. Otherwise it gets spoiled.


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