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

Monday, May 29, 2006

Zucchini with Olive Oil

(Zeytinyagli Kabak)

Zucchini with Olive Oil
2 medium zucchini
1 large onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 small yellow potato, cut in bite sizes
1 small carrot, cut in bite sizes
1/3 cup water
50 ml extra virgin olive oil, half for cooking, the other half for after
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

Sautee the onion with olive oil and salt for a few minutes. Add the garlic, potato and carrot, and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat.

Cut off both ends of the zucchini. Peel the outsides. Cut in four pieces lengthwise. Then cut horizontally in pieces 2 inches tall. Throw them in the pot, add sugar, lemon juice and water. Cover the lid and cook for about 15 minutes.

Place on a service plate. Pour the rest of olive oil on top and sprinkle chopped dill. Let it cool. Keep it in the fridge. Serve when cold.

* This is a vegetarian dish.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Eggplant Dish with Chickpeas

(Nohutlu Ic Patlican Yemegi)

Eggplant Dish with Chickpeas
Insides of the eggplants from Stuffed Eggplants with Beef (4 small eggplants)
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tbsp chickpeas, in can
2 tbsp red pepper paste
1 tbsp crushed tomato, in can
60 ml extra virgin olive oil
50 ml hot water

1/2 cup yogurt
1 clove garlic, smashed with salt

Sautee the onion with olive oil until softened in a small cooking pot. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Cover the lid, cook on low heat until the eggplants are done.

Serve it with the yogurt sauce at room temperature. This is a surprisingly delicious dish:)

* This is a vegetarian dish.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Stuffed Eggplants with Beef

(Nohutlu Etli Patlican Dolmasi)

Stuffed Eggplants with Beef
4 small eggplants

100 gr regular ground beef
2 tbsp chickpeas (in a can)
2 tbsp rice, washed and drained
1 tbsp dill, chopped
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 fresh onion, chopped
1 pinch powdered Cheyenne Pepper
1 tsp salt
Pepper for taste

1 small tomato
1 cup beef stock
1 tbsp butter

1/2 lemon juice
1 tsp dried mint
1 garlic, smashed with salt

Mix all the filling ingredients in a small bowl with a tablespoon.

Cut off the tops of the eggplants. Discard the insides of the eggplants using a small spoon. (Don't throw them out though, put them aside to cook Eggplant Dish with Chickpeas). Stuff the eggplants with the filling you prepared. Don't over fill them, leave some space at the top. Cut 4 small tomato pieces and put one over each eggplant. Place the eggplants in a cooking pot. Cut butter in small pieces and put over the eggplants. Pour beef stock in the pot from the edges. Sprinkle the rest of the tomatoes all over.

Cover the lid, cook over low heat until the eggplants are done which takes about 40 minutes. Turn heat the off, mix all the sauce ingredients then blend it with the juice in the pot.

Place the Stuffed Eggplants on a service plate, pour the juice all over and serve immediately. Try serving this dish with Yogurt with garlic.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Haydari with Carrots

(Havuclu Haydari)

Haydari with Carrots
3-4 large carrots, peeled, grated
3-4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 tsp mint
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Creamy (Strained) Yogurt

Walnuts halves
Crushed red pepper

Sautee the garlic with olive oil, until the smell comes out. Immediately add grated carrots. Sautee for 3-4 minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and mint all over it, stir and then let it cool down. Mix with creamy yogurt. Place in a service plate. Garnish with walnut halves and crushed red pepper. Serve with any kind of Kebab and Pide (Pita).

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


How to make Yogurt at home?

4 cups (1 Lt) homogenized milk
2 tablespoonfuls plain yogurt

I use homogenized milk to make my own yogurt. But if you think it is too fatty for you, you can use any kind. Making yogurt is very easy!

Boil the milk first, then put aside until lukewarm. The best and traditional way to measure the temperature of milk is to dip your pinkie in it. It should be warm but shouldn't burn.

Spread a thick towel out over your kitchen counter. Put the warm milk into a clean bowl with a lid and place it on the towel (picture). Put 2 tablespoonfuls of yogurt and mix well to ferment the new yogurt (picture). Make sure they're mixed very well. Cover with the lid (picture). Then cover the bowl with the towel (picture). If it is winter, the yogurt will be done within 8 hours, otherwise during the summer it'll take 6 hours. I generally ferment my yogurt after dinner or before going to bed. The following morning my yogurt is ready to be placed in the fridge. Keep it in the fridge for a day.

You will find many Turkish recipes with yogurt as the main ingredient or as a side dish to make soups, desserts, and our favourite drink Ayran. If you like, you can add honey or your favourite jam to give it some flavour. Or just toss some fresh fruit on it, it is perfectly healthy and delicious. When I was a kid my favourite was with honey or icing sugar. I also love yogurt with some chunks of bread (Turkish, French or Italian style), it's great for lunch :)

A little bit information about Yogurt:

About a thousand years ago, Central Asian Turks were the first to make Yogurt. As it was first spreading into Europe, this dairy product was used for therapeutic purposes. The word comes from the Turkish word "yoğurt", deriving from the verb "yoğurtmak", which means "to blend" - a reference to how yogurt is made. It is consumed plain or as a side dish or to make soups, desserts, sauce, to marinate meat and it is a big part of Turkish Cuisine. You can't find a Turkish house without yogurt.

You should eat yogurt every day, at least one cup :) Yogurt has beneficial bacteria, calcium and protein. We believe yogurt cleanses the body from toxins and poisons.

How to Make Creamy (Strained) Yogurt:

Strained Yogurt

Place a strainer with a paper towel on top over a bowl. Place some yogurt on it and fold the edges of the paper towel over the yogurt. Leave in the fridge overnight. You'll have creamy yogurt waiting in the morning.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Stuffed Eggplants with Ground Beef


Stuffed Eggplants with Ground Beef
4 small eggplants
1/2 cup sunflower oil
3/4 cup hot water with 1 tbsp crushed tomato

150 gr medium ground beef
1 small onion, sliced
1 medium tomato, put aside 4 thin slices, dice the rest
1 small cubanelle pepper, put aside 4 thin slices, chop the rest
1-2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp crushed tomato
3/4 cup hot water

Peel alternating strips of skin lengthwise as seen in the picture for each eggplant. Sprinkle salt on top and put aside for about 20 minutes. Squeeze, wash and dry them with a paper towel. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and fry every side until nicely colored. Cut a slit in each eggplant and scoop out most of the seeds, making sure they don't fall apart. Place them in a clean pan.

Meanwhile cook all the filling ingredients in a small pot on medium heat. All the water should evaporate. Stir constantly towards the end.

Fill the eggplants equally with the filling using a teaspoon. Place the sliced tomato and green pepper on each eggplant. Pour 3/4 cup of hot water with 1 tbsp crushed tomato into the pan from the side. Cover the lid. Cook on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.

Serve Karniyarik while still warm with Pilaf with Orzo and Cacik.