Recipes    

Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
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I teach Turkish cooking classes in England,Turkey & USA, hope you can join us!,
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Regional Signature Dishes; Mains, Sides and Desserts

Gavurdagi Salad Variation with watercress, pomegranates, walnuts

Gavurdagi Salad Variation with pomegranates, watercress and walnuts – image credit; jennychef.com

There is one tomato salad that you often come across wherever you are in Turkey; Gavurdagi Salad. Named after the Gavur mountain, part of Tarsus mountains in Southeast part of Turkey, this delicious salad is from the Gaziantep region, where many wonderfully delicious and spicy Turkish dishes come from. Gavurdagi Salad won’t typically have walnuts in it but I love the marriage of sweet and juicy tomatoes with the crunchy walnuts in my version here. The sweet and sour pomegranate molasses dressing, Nar Eksisi really complements this salad too. Here’s my recipe to if you like to make pomegranate molasses, Nar Eksisi, at home.

We made this wonderful salad at my Turkish cookery class on Dec. 14th with more variation; I added watercress and pomegranate seeds to my salad for extra freshness and texture. It really worked well and everyone greatly enjoyed it! My sincere thanks to dear Jenny for the salad image here from our Turkish cookery class. Jenny also happens to be a passionate cook and cookery teacher, please check her blog JennyChef !

Gavurdagi salad is an important part of the meze spread at kebab houses in Turkey, served with the delicious Turkish pide bread, butter and the crumbly Turkish white cheese.  You can also enjoy this delicious and easy salad as a starter or accompaniment to grills, kebabs like my home made Iskender Kebab and casseroles.

My very best wishes to you all for the Festive Season and New Year, in good health and happiness. Saglikli, Mutlu bir Yeni Yil Dilegiyle,

Ozlem

5.0 from 3 reviews
Gavurdagi Salad Variation with watercress, pomegranates, walnuts
 
Named after the Gavur mountain, part of Tarsus mountains in Southeast part of Turkey, this delicious salad originates from the Gaziantep region, where many wonderfully delicious and spicy Turkish dishes come from. This time, I made a variation of this wonderful salad and I added watercress walnuts and pomegranate seeds for extra freshness and texture, worked really well. You can enjoy this delicious and easy salad as a starter or accompaniment to grills, kebabs like my home made Iskender Kebab and casseroles.
Author:
Recipe type: Healthy Salads
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 200 gr watercress
  • ¼ onion, finely chopped
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 50gr/2oz/1/3 cup walnuts, crushed – about pea size each –
  • 15ml/1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 30ml/2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 5ml/1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 5ml/1 tsp sumac – optional-
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • ⅓ pomegranate seeds to serve
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, rub the chopped onions with the spices and seasoning; salt, sumac, red pepper flakes and ground black pepper – that will soften the onion and enable the spices to blend in well.
  2. Add the tomatoes, parsley and walnuts to the onions.
  3. Then stir in the pomegranate molasses and the extra virgin olive oil and give them a good (but gentle) mix.
  4. Stir in the watercress and combine well.
  5. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over the salad and serve.
  6. Afiyet olsun.

29th January 2017 Turkish Cookery Class -a wonderful foodie gift

Lahmacun, popular Turkish thin pizza with ground meat and vegetables topping, will be at our Jan. 29th class

Lahmacun, popular Turkish thin pizza with ground meat and vegetables topping, will be at our Jan. 29th class

Leeks, carrots, onions and rice cooked in olive oil; Zeytinyagli Pirasa

Leeks, carrots, onions and rice cooked in olive oil; Zeytinyagli Pirasa, is at our Jan. 29th class.

Get 2017 off to a healthy and wholesome start with my  selection of Turkish supper dishes from my homeland at our Turkish cookery class at Divertimenti Cookery School on Sunday, January 29th, 12 pm – 3.30 pm. Packed full of flavor and easily reproduced at home without having to spend hours at your cooker, you will be surprised at the simplicity of such stunning dishes. During the class you will also be joined by the Turkish coffee expert, Ozerlat Coffee, who will carefully demonstrate all the rituals behind Turkish coffee making whilst offering you plenty of opportunity for tastings. Menu will include ‘Mercimek Corbasi’ (Lentil soup with cumin and red pepper flakes), ‘Zeytinyagli Pirasa’ (Leeks and carrots with olive oil, rice and lemon), ‘Lahmacun’ (Turkish thin pizza with minced meat and vegetables), ‘Cezerye’ (Caramelised carrot delight with walnutsTurkish Coffee and Turkish Delight.

Turkish coffee, enjoyed by everyone at our Turkish cookery course.

Turkish coffee, rituals and how to make it will be presented by Ozerlat Coffee at our Jan. 29th class

The classes may also make a wonderful gift for the festive season and New Year. You can view the class details and book through Divertimenti Cookery School at this link, hope you can join us!

 

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Cabbage with bulgur, ground meat,spices; Bulgurlu Lahana Kapuska

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Cabbage with bulgur, ground meat and spices -Bulgurlu Lahana Kapuska

One of the joys of making stuffed cabbage rolls, Lahana Sarma, is the prospect of enjoying the equally delicious Lahana Kapuska; Cabbage with bulgur, ground meat and spices. Lahana Kapuska, almost a sort of deconstructed cabbage rolls, is not only easy to make but also a great way to use up the left over cabbage parts when making stuffed cabbage rolls.

Kapuska is a popular hearty stew and has many versions in Turkey. The name Kapuska is actually derived from the Russian language for cabbage and has many versions throughout Russia and Eastern Europe (Kapusta for instance is a wonderful cabbage based dish enjoyed in Poland). In Turkey, there are many versions of Kapuska with ground meat, chunks of meat, rice or bulgur. In Southern Turkey, we like to make Kapuska with bulgur, ground meat, onions, flavored with red pepper paste, dried mint and red pepper flakes. It is such a comforting and wholesome meal served with plain yoghurt; very easy too. For a vegetarian version, simply omit the meat.

Kapuska with bulgur, cabbage, red pepper paste and ground meat, Southern Turkish Style

Kapuska with bulgur, cabbage, red pepper paste and ground meat, Southern Turkish Style

Turkish hot red pepper paste, Biber Salcasi, is a rich, delicious paste of juicy, spicy red peppers and we use it often in Southern Turkish cookery. You can make your own red pepper paste at home with my recipe if you’d like. If you prefer a milder taste, you can replace the red pepper paste with tomato paste in the recipe and sprinkle red pepper flakes to your taste.

I hope you enjoy my Kapuska recipe with bulgur. Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

4.8 from 4 reviews
Cabbage with bulgur, ground meat,spices; Bulgurlu Lahana Kapuska
 
Kapuska is a popular hearty stew and has many versions in Turkey. In Southern Turkey, we like to make Kapuska with bulgur, ground meat, onions, flavored with red pepper paste, dried mint and red pepper flakes. It is such a comforting and wholesome meal served with plain yoghurt; very easy too. For a vegetarian version, simply omit the meat.
Author:
Recipe type: Turkish style Cabbage Stew with bulgur
Cuisine: Southern Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ head of medium cabbage or left over cabbage leaves from cabbage rolls - 700 gr, washed and coarsely chopped (remove the hard stalk in the middle)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 225gr/ 8 oz. / 1 cup coarse bulgur
  • 225 gr / 8 oz. ground (minced) beef or lamb
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper paste (optional; you can use additional 1 tbsp. tomato paste if not using red pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp. double concentrated tomato paste
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp. dried mint
  • 5 ml / 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more, if you like spicier)
  • 16 fl. oz. / 2 cups hot water
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Plain yoghurt to serve
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and stir in the ground (minced) meat. Sauté for 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and coarsely chopped cabbage to the pan and sauté for another 4 -5 minutes (their volume will shrink as they cook).
  3. Stir in the bulgur, tomato paste, red pepper paste and water. Combine well.
  4. Add the lemon juice, red pepper flakes and dried mint and season with salt and ground black pepper.
  5. Bring to the boil then cover and cook over low heat for 15 - 20 minutes or until all cooked.
  6. Serve hot, with sprinkles of dried mint and red pepper flakes over top and a dollop of plain yoghurt by the side.
  7. Afiyet Olsun.
Notes
For the vegetarian version of Kapuska, simply omit the meat.

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Home Style Iskender Kebab in Tomato Sauce, Pita Bread and Yoghurt

Home Style Iskender Kebab in tomato sauce with pita bread and yoghurt

I have long wanted to recreate the delicious Iskender Kebab, Iskender Kebabi at home; thin slices of lamb or beef in tomato based sauce, served over pide bread with yoghurt and grilled vegetables by the side. It is one of the most delicious kebabs you can have in Turkey and it is a joy to be able to recreate at home.

Traditional doner maker in Istanbul, making chicken (tavuk) doner

Doner maker, donerci, in Istanbul, making chicken (tavuk) doner on a vertical rotisserie

Living abroad, Iskender Kebab is one of the special treats I dearly miss. This delicious kebab is a specialty of Bursa region in Turkey and I remember many foodie trips I made to Bursa to enjoy the genuine Iskender Kebap. Iskender Kebab is made with doner kebab, which requires a vertical rotisserie where layers of thinly sliced lamb, beef, veal – or chicken – stacked together. Traditionally, minced meat is used to stick the slices of the meat.

Home made Iskender Kebab; easier than you think and most delicious.

Home made Iskender Kebab; easier than you think and most delicious.

I don’t have a vertical rotisserie but managed to make a very close by Iskender Kebab at home, greatly enjoyed by family and friends. Thin slices of rib eye steak or lamb or beef tenderloin work very well here. Marinating the meat in onion juice, olive oil and spices is really worth the effort to tenderize the meat and add a lot of flavor. With pide bread, pide ekmek as a base, delicious tomato sauce poured over the meat, grilled tomatoes, peppers and yoghurt by the side, home style Iskender Kebab makes a very special meal to share with family and friends. My thanks goes to the brilliant book Anatolia; Adventures in Turkish Cooking, for the inspiration to have a go at making Iskender Kebab at home.

Home style Iskender Kebab; delicious over pita bread with yoghurt and grilled vegetables aside.

Home style Iskender Kebab; delicious over pita bread with yoghurt and grilled vegetables aside.

I hope you enjoy making Iskender Kebab at home with my recipe, it is easier than you think and most delicious. My best wishes to you all for the festive season and the New Year, in good health and happiness.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

4.8 from 10 reviews
Home Style Iskender Kebap in Tomato Sauce, Pita Bread and Yoghurt
 
Iskender Kebab is one of the most popular kebabs at home and a specialty of Bursa region. You can make this delicious Iskender Kebap at home; thin slices of lamb or beef in tomato based sauce, served over pide bread with yoghurt and grilled vegetables by the side. It is easier than you think and most delicious, afiyet olsun!
Author:
Recipe type: Turkish Style Kebabs to make at home
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • For the meat marinate:
  • 2 lbs. rib eye steak or lamb or beef tenderloin
  • 2 large onions, grated
  • 45 ml / 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the tomato sauce:
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. concentrated tomato paste
  • 15 ml/ 1 tbsp. red pepper paste (optional; you can use extra 1 tbsp. tomato paste and red pepper flakes to your taste instead too)
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 16 fl oz. / 2 cups water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 2 green pointy or bell peppers, deseeded and sliced
  • Thinly sliced pide ekmek or plain pita bread – 6 pieces, to serve
  • 500 gr / 2 cups plain yoghurt to serve
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F
  2. Prepare the meat marination a day ahead of time of cooking.
  3. Grate the onions or place them in a food processor and process until liquid. Squeeze all the onion juice into a non-metallic bowl and discard any remaining onion pulp.
  4. Slice the meat thinly (you can ask your butcher to this for you too) and then pound each slice with the back of a wooden spoon (or with a meat tenderizer). We aim to achieve the slices about 5 cm (2”) x 4 cm (1.5”) in size.
  5. Combine the onion juice, oregano, red pepper flakes, olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the meat slices and coat each piece with this marination. Cover the bowl with a cling film and marinate overnight in the fridge.
  6. To make the tomato sauce, pour in the olive oil in a sauce pan over the medium heat. Stir in the tomato paste, red pepper paste (if using) and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and combine well. Add the water then bring to the boil. Then gently simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Slice the pide or pita bread in 3 cm x 3 cm (about 1”) squares and place on a tray. Warm in the oven for 5 minutes.
  8. Drizzle a little olive oil on a skillet and cook the meat slices on high heat; for about 2 minutes each side (take care not to overcook). Also sauté the sliced tomatoes and peppers at the other side of the skillet, until they start to charcoal at edges.
  9. Once everything is cooked, plate your Iskender Kebap. Place the warm pide / pita bread slices on each plate. Spread the cooked slices of the meat over the pide bread and pour over the tomato sauce. Place the sautéed tomatoes and peppers at one side and a dollop of plain yoghurt at the other side. Serve immediately. This recipe serves 4 -6 generously.
  10. Afiyet Olsun.

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