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

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Lamb Tandir

(Kuzu Tandir)

Lamb Tandir
3 pieces Lamb Shanks
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Place lamb shanks in a large steel pan. Pour water until they're all covered. Cook on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Remove the scum from the surface. Then reduce heat and simmer. Add the salt and pepper. Occasionally turn the shanks over to cook both sides. When about half the water evaporates, add more hot water to cover the shanks again. Cooking time is about 4 hours. When you enter to last hour, increase the heat to medium. Turn the shanks over a few times to make sure both sides are equally cooked. When all the water evaporates, turn the heat off and sprinkle some oregano on top.

Serve Kuzu Tandir with any kind of pilaf (plain rice, with almonds or with orzo). I also highly recommend to serve this with Olives with Garlic and Shepherd's Salad.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Olives with Garlic

(Sarimsakli Zeytin)

Olives with Garlic
1 cup black olives, seeds removed and cut in slices
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 lemon juice
1 tbsp dry oregano
1 tsp dry mint or chopped fresh mint

Mix all the ingredients with a spoon. Serve with any kind of lamb meal. Very tasty!

* This is a vegetarian dish.

Friday, October 28, 2005


Sekerpare - click to enlarge
250 ml unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup semolina
2 cup flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
20 blanched almond

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 tbsp lemon juice

Boil the syrup ingredients for 15 minutes and put aside. Let it cool down.

Combine the butter with powdered sugar, add the egg yolks and mix well with your hands. Now, pour in the semolina, then very slowly add the flour (otherwise the mixture will clump). You will end up with very soft and light coloured dough. Cover it with plastic wrap, put aside for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Make 16 small balls and place on a tray. Lightly press on their tops. Put an almond on the centre of each Sekerpare. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until they are light brown.

With a tablespoon, pour warm syrup over hot (freshly) baked Sekerpare. Repeat this a few times and let them soak with the syrup for about 10-15 minutes. Then with a spatula remove them from the syrup and place on a service plate. After cooling, cover them with plastic wrap and place in the fridget.

Sekerpare is best served cold and is a traditional Turkish dessert.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Black-eyed Peas


Black-eyed Peas
1 cup black-eyed peas
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup hot water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Boil the black-eyed peas in 3-4 cups of water until softened (about 20 minutes). Then wash and drain them. Put them in a medium-sized pot with the rest of the ingredients. Cook for about 20-25 minutes on medium heat. Give it a taste towards the end and add more sugar or hot water if necessary. Serve while hot with fresh bread.

* This is a vegetarian dish.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Lentil Pate

(Mercimek Koftesi)

Lentil Pate
1 cup bulgur, washed and drained
1 cup red lentils, washed and drained
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp cumin
1 lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup parsley, chopped

Cook the red lentils with 2 1/2 cups of water on low heat. When there's a small amount of water left, add the bulgur. Stir and and continue cooking until all the water evaporates. Cover the lid and put aside.

In another medium-sized pot, sautee the onion with sunflower oil. Then add all the remaining ingredients, except for parsley. Also add in the lentil and bulgur mixture. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes doughy and starts to leave the sides of the pot. This should take about 8-10 minutes. Cover the lid and put aside for about an hour.

Mix in the parsley and using your hand, give them the shape shown in the picture. Keep refrigerated and serve on green salad leaves.

* This is a vegetarian dish.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Chickpeas with Ground Beef

(Kiymali Nohut)

Chickpeas with Ground Beef
1 can of chickpeas
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp regular or medium ground beef
2 tbsp crushed tomato
1 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
Pepper for taste

Cook the onion and ground beef in a pot. Then add the rest of the ingredients and continue cooking on medium heat with the lid half-covered for another 10-15 minutes.

Chickpeas with Ground Beef is very easy to make, and it tastes great, especially when served with Pilaf with Orzo.

* This is a vegetarian dish (don't use the ground beef).

Sunday, October 09, 2005

TC Newsletter!

Just a quick announcement: We created a Google Group to send out notifications when new recipes are posted on the website. This is not a discussion group, but rather a newsletter. You'll get at most 2-3 emails a week. Click here to sign up.

Red Lentil Soup

(Kirmizi Mercimek Corbasi)

Red Lentil Soup - click to enlarge
1 cup red lentils, washed and drained
1 onion, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1 tbsp crushed tomato, in can
1 tsp red pepper paste
1 1/2 cubes beef bouillon
3 cups water

1 tbsp butter
Red pepper
Cayenne pepper

Place all the main ingredients in a medium-sized pot. Cook for about 20 minutes on medium-low heat. Then mix thoroughly using a blender. If necessary (too thick), add more hot water. Pour into soup bowls using a ladle.

Melt the butter in a small pan and add in the peppers. When it starts bubbling, pour over the soup. Serve Red Lentil Soup while still hot with fresh bread. Add a few drops of lemon juice to taste.

* This is a vegetarian dish (don't use the bouillon).

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Gullac - click to enlarge
1 pkg Gullac leaves, use 12
200 gr pistachios, crushed
7 1/2 cups homogenized milk
600 gr sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Boil the milk with the sugar and vanilla extract for a couple minutes. In a round tray the same size as a Gullac leaf, pour in half a cup of the milk. Place one leaf on in the tray and pour more milk on top, until the leaf is completely soaked. Continue this process until you finish the 6th leaf.

Spread 150 gr of the pistachios on top of the 6th leaf evenly. Place the 7th leaf on top and continue the same process above until you use all 12 leaves. Make sure all the Gullac leaves are soaked with the milk and that there are no dry spots.

Wait half an hour and use the remaining pistachios to decorate the top. You can also add cherries as seen in the picture above. Leave the fridge until cold and serve in slices. Gullac is a very popular dessert in Turkey, especially during Ramadan.

If you wish, you can use crushed walnuts for the filling instead of pistachios. However, because walnuts leave their colour in milk, you'll have to finish Gullac within a day or two in this case.

You can find Gullac leaves at Turkish grocery stores. I had no trouble finding some in Toronto, Canada.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Iskender Kebab

(Iskender Kebap)

Iskender Kebab - click to enlarge
2 pieces of beef tenderloin, each 200 gr
200 gr regular ground beef
4 pieces of Asian Nan Pita bread or plain pita bread (pide)

1 cup tomato paste, heated up with a few tbs of water
(or use canned crushed tomatoes)
2 tbsp butter

Add the salt and pepper to the ground beef. Knead and give it a round shape, then place in the middle of the two pieces of tenderloin.

Cover in plastic wrap and leave in the freezer overnight. The next day remove from the fridge 45 minutes before cutting. Use a knife, electric knife or meat cutter to shred it (picture). Then fry in a large pan (be careful not to over-fry).

Cut the pitas in bite size diagonal shapes and place on the plates (picture). Spread the beef over the pita bread pieces. Pour the tomato sauce on top and place a few spoons of yogurt on the side. Lastly, melt the butter in a small pan. When it starts bubbling, pour over the tomato sauce (picture).

Serve Iskender Kebab while still hot. This recipe makes 4 servings.