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Kale Stew in Yoghurt, Chickpeas; My Online Turkish Cookery Course

Kale with chunks of meat, chickpeas in yoghurt sauce with dried mint and red pepper flakes – A borani inspiration from Antakya

Borenye or Borani is an Antakya region specialty, which is served often as part of the dinner spread for special occasions in Antakya. I love this hearty dish especially in winter times; combination of yoghurt with chickpeas, vegetables and meat is just wonderful. We like to add more flavors to this special dish with dried mint and red pepper flakes; a delicious, wholesome comforting dish.

Traditionally, Borani or Borenye is made using another Antakya region specialty, tuzlu yogurt (strained, salty yoghurt, you can find more information here). Tuzlu yogurt is made from goat’s milk in Antakya region; it is a salty, rich, tangy spreadable paste and added to Boranis. I love tuzlu yogurt however it is hard to find abroad, so I used thick, plain yoghurt in my recipe, like my mother does, still works well. Boranis are made using a variety of vegetables like spinach, fava beans, pumpkin, courgette/zucchini. I used kale for my version here; combined with chickpeas, dried mint and red pepper flakes, it worked beautifully.

This Borani has a delicious sauce and we like to dip in potato and bulgur rolls, patatesli, bulgurlu kofte to its juice. Baked Oruk, or Kibbeh or Icli Kofte with that delicious walnuts and ground meat filling would also be divine served with borani or borenye.

Antakya’s borani or boreniye – this time with kale; delicious

I hope you enjoy this delicious regional specialty from Antakya, Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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Kale Stew in Yoghurt, Chickpeas; My Online Turkish Cookery Course
 
Borenye or Borani is an Antakya region specialty, which is served often as part of the dinner spread for special occasions in Antakya. I love this hearty dish especially in winter times; combination of yoghurt with chickpeas, vegetables and meat is just wonderful. We like to add more flavors to this special dish with dried mint and red pepper flakes; a delicious, wholesome comforting dish.
Author:
Recipe type: Healthy Turkish stews with chickpeas, kale and spices
Cuisine: Turkish Regional Cuisine
Ingredients
  • 350 gr / 12 oz. kale; washed, trimmed and chopped
  • 400 gr/ 14 oz. beef or lamb, cut in small chunks
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 400 ml/ 14 fl oz./ 1⅔ cups thick, plain yoghurt (brand Fage works well)
  • 400 gr/ 14 oz. -1 can of cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. dried mint
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 600 ml/ 1 pint/ 2 ½ cups water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot and stir in the onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until it beings to soften and start to color.
  2. Stir in the chunks of meat and sauté with the onions for 3 -5 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Add the kale and the garlic to the pan and combine well. Stir and cook with the onions and the meat for 3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the water, mix well.
  5. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste, combine well. Cover and cook over medium to low heat for 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cooked & rinsed chickpeas to the mix, combine well.
  7. Beat the yoghurt until smooth and pour into the pot, while the heat is low. Stir and blend well.
  8. Immediately add the dried mint and red pepper flakes, combine well. Check the seasoning to your taste, add more salt if needed. Turn the heat off.
  9. Serve hot with crusty bread aside. Potato and bulgur rolls, patatesli, bulgurlu kofte would be delicious to serve aside and dip into this delicious Borenye sauce.

 

My Online Turkish Cookery Course Coming Up Soon!

Shooting my online Turkish cookery course – exciting times!

Camera, Action! Shooting my online Turkish cookery course

I have often been asked to do an online Turkish cookery course and I am delighted to share that we have just shot my online Turkish cookery course to be aired at the wonderful and holistic website Mer-ka-bah, by early January 2015.

Talking about Turkish cuisine and seasonality during my online course

Demonstrating spinach and feta filo pastry, Ispanakli Borek

Demonstrating spinach and feta filo pastry, Ispanakli Borek

Love of food connects us no matter where we come from and it has a universal language. And Turkish food is a wonderful expression of the warm, generous Turkish culture. In this exciting, holistic course on Turkish cuisine and serving traditions, I will be exploring the wholesome Turkish cuisine, based on thousands years of culinary heritage (Importance of connecting with our roots in Turkish cuisine, Turkish culinary history, Serving Traditions, Seasonality, Flavoring through Spices, recipe demonstrations and many more amongst the course modules) and its ability to connect us, our strong emphasis on sharing and hospitality. I will also demonstrate some classic and delicious Turkish recipes here; from Spinach & feta filo pastry, Ispanakli Borek to ever popular Stuffed Eggplants/Aubergines with ground meat and vegetables, Karniyarik, from Potato and Bulgur patties to Turkish Coffee.

Our delicious Turkish table at my online Turkish cookery course

Our delicious Turkish table at my online Turkish cookery course

I truly hope this course on Turkish cookery may inspire folks all around the world to discover wholesome Turkish cuisine and have a go at my recipes and enjoy good food with family and friends. Above all, I hope Turkish cuisine’s emphasis on sharing, generosity, hospitality, a reflection of the warm Turkish culture to be felt all throughout the course and inspires.

Stay tuned!:)

Ozlem

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Baked Zucchini (courgette) halves with vegetables and chickpeas (garbanzo beans) -Nohutlu Kabak Dolmasi

I previously made the delicious stuffed zucchini halves with ground meat, vegetables and chickpeas or garbanzo beans, inspired by my home town, Antioch’s (Antakya) cuisine. I was asked for a vegetarian version of this dish during my Turkish cookery class past Saturday and there came this delicious dish. The meaty mushrooms, onions, peppers made a scrumptious filling and worked so well with chickpeas. With a touch of heat by the Turkish hot pepper paste, biber salcasi & Turkish red pepper flakes and the refreshing dried mint, we had an at least equally delicious vegetarian stuffed zucchini that we all very much enjoyed.

Stuffed zucchini with onions, mushrooms, pepper and chickpeas, in tomato sauce

Stuffed zucchini with onions, mushrooms, pepper and chickpeas, in tomato sauce

I also used a little pomegranate molasses, nar eksisi, to add a delicious sweet & sour taste to the zucchini halves. Pomegranate molasses is used a lot especially in Southern Turkish cuisine in salad dressings like in this Gavurdagi Salad of tomatoes, onions and walnuts or in bulgur wheat salad, kisir; a little bit of it adds a great punch.

You can prepare this healthy dish ahead of time and the leftovers freeze beautifully. Please save the flesh of the zucchini or courgettes that you scooped out. They are delicious & wholesome cooked with onions, tomatoes & dried mint in this bulgur pilaf .

Serves 4-6

Preparation time: 20 minutes                                                Cooking time: 50-55 minutes

3 chunky zucchini/courgette

200gr/7oz chestnut mushrooms, wiped clean and finely chopped

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped

200gr/7oz (1/2 can of) chopped tomatoes

200gr/7oz (1/2 can of) cooked chickpeas, rinsed

15ml/1 tbsp. pomegranate molasses, nar eksisi (optional)

30ml/2tablespoons olive oil

240ml/8fl oz./ 1cup water

15ml/1 tbsp. tomato paste

5 ml / 1 tsp. Turkish red pepper paste – optional-

10ml/2 tsp. dried mint

5ml/1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

To serve:

120ml/8fl oz. plain yoghurt

1-2 garlic cloves, crushed with salt and finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4

carefully scoop out some of the flesh to create a cavity that is large enough to stuff

Carefully scoop out some of the flesh to create a cavity that is large enough to stuff

Cut the zucchini in half and then in lengthways. Using a dessert spoon, carefully scoop out some of the flesh to create a cavity that is large enough to stuff the filling (Please save the flesh of the zucchini that you scooped out. They are delicious cooked in bulgur pilaf). Mix 2 tbsp. water with the pomegranate molasses (if using) and wash the inside of the courgettes with this mixture; this adds a delicious sweet & sour taste to the zucchini.

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) combined with vegetables make a delicious filling

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) combined with vegetables make a delicious filling

Heat the oil in a heavy pan. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook until light golden. Add the mushrooms, bell pepper and hot pepper paste (if using). Season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and the cooked chickpeas, mix well. Add the red pepper flakes and the dried mint, combine well. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Turn the heat off; the filling is ready.

Take a spoonful of the filling and stuff the zucchini halves.

Take a spoonful of the filling and stuff the zucchini halves.

Grease a baking tray with 1 tbsp. olive oil and place the scooped zucchini. Take a spoonful of the filling and stuff the zucchini halves, taking care not to over fill them. Dilute the tomato paste with the water and pour on the tray. Cover and bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. After this, uncover and bake for a further 10 minutes for a lightly brown finish.

While the zucchini halves are baking, prepare your garlic yoghurt. In a bowl, mix the plain yoghurt with the chopped garlic. Serve the stuffed zucchini hot, with the garlic yoghurt by the side. You can make this wonderful bulgur pilaf using the flesh of the zucchini we scooped out; they complement each very nicely and you get a complete meal.

Baked zucchini halves with vegetables & chickpeas; great with garlic yoghurt aside

Baked zucchini halves with vegetables & chickpeas; great with garlic yoghurt aside

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Istanbul is Calling!

Turkish tea, Cay, Simit and Istanbul's Bosphorus; a heavenly combination

Turkish tea, Cay, Simit and Istanbul’s Bosphorus; a heavenly combination

Indeed Istanbul is calling and I can hardly wait! I will be in Istanbul next week, the city that makes my heart beats fast, a feast to all senses. Greatly looking forward to seeing family, friends and feeling the beat of this fascinating city.

The very atmospheric Spice Market, Misir Carsisi, Istanbul - feast to all senses

The very atmospheric Spice Market, Misir Carsisi, Istanbul – feast to all senses

I also very much look forward to sharing delicious Turkish cuisine with food lovers at my Turkish cookery class on Wednesday, 19th February at the Istanbul Culinary Institute. I will be in touch soon with delicious memories from home!

With my best wishes, Selamlar,

Ozlem

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A refreshingly delicious Baked Chicken with Summer Vegetables, Chickpeas, Lemon Pepper & touch of Zahtar

Tangy, refreshing lemon, packed with goodness.

Tangy, refreshing lemon, packed with goodness.

I am a huge lemon fan; love its refreshing, tangy flavor and lemon is a welcome addition to most of the dishes I enjoy. My dear friend Hande knows my soft spot for lemons and she made us a delicious chicken course using this lemon pepper blend while we stayed with them in Houston. It was my first time to try this blend and I greatly enjoyed it.

Lemon pepper spice blend; delicious on fish, poultry and vegetables.

Lemon pepper spice blend; delicious on fish, poultry and vegetables.

Lemon pepper blend consists of good sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, lemon peel, garlic and onion. It is wonderful on fish and equally as good on chicken, turkey and vegetables. The spice store Penzeys  have it; alternatively, you can also make your own.

Baked chicken with summer vegetables and lemon pepper; a delicious main course you can prepare ahead of time.

Baked chicken with summer vegetables and lemon pepper; a delicious main course you can prepare ahead of time.

Hande kindly gave me some extra lemon pepper seasoning and we recently made this delicious baked chicken with summer vegetables. Runner beans, or string beans or taze fasulye are in season until about October and they are delicious in this dish. Peppers, zucchini, tomato all worked well here with the tangy lemon pepper. I also added some cooked chickpeas here, as commonly used in Southern Turkish cooking, like in this stuffed zucchini/courgettes with ground meat, tomatoes, onions and chickpeas recipe. It turned out to be a wholesome, delicious meal, (late) summer on a plate. An easy, wonderful casserole you can prepare ahead of time and leftovers freeze very well.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4

Serves 2-4

Preparation time: 35 minutes                   Cooking time: 45 minutes

450 gr./1lb chicken breast, cut into small chunks

175gr/6oz. runner beans (or string beans)

2 small zucchini (courgette), cut in half and sliced

2 onions, chopped coarsely

4-6 garlic cloves, diced

3 small bell peppers (green, yellow and red), deseeded and cut into chunks

400gr/14oz. -1 can of chopped tomatoes

400gr/14oz; 1 can of cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed

30ml/2 tbsp. olive oil

240ml/8 fl. oz. /1 cup water

To marinate the chicken:

Juice of 1 lemon

15ml/1 tbsp. lemon pepper seasoning (*)

15ml/1 tbsp. olive oil

(*) To make your own lemon pepper seasoning:

Zest of 1 lemon

10ml/ 2 tsp. sea salt (you can have if you prefer)

5ml/1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

 To serve:

Turkish red pepper flakes/ Pul Biber

Plain rice

To make your own lemon pepper; combine the lemon zest with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, ready to season the chicken (I didn’t add garlic and onion to this blend, as I used plenty onions and garlic at the chicken bake).

In a bowl, combine the lemon pepper, lemon juice and olive oil and rub this mixture to the chicken pieces, mix well. Cover and keep in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or so that the flavors can blend.

Summer on a plate; runner beans, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini taste delicious in this chicken casserole.

Summer on a plate; runner beans, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini taste delicious in this chicken casserole.

While the chicken is marinating, prepare your vegetables. Top and tail the beans and pull away any strings and cut into 3-4 pieces. I also like to cut them in half into thin strips. Combine the rest of the vegetables in a baking dish, stir in the olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Place the marinated chicken in a heavy pan and sauté for 3-5 minutes to seal their juice. Turn the heat off.

Stir in the sautéed chicken to the vegetables mix and add the chopped tomatoes and water. Give them all a good mix. Bake in the pre-heated oven, uncovered for about 35 minutes.

About 35 minutes later, stir in the rinsed, cooked chickpeas to the mixture, combine well. Bake for another 10 minutes or so, until the chicken and vegetables starting to turn nicely golden brown on top.

Chicken casserole with summer vegetables, chickpeas and lemon pepper; a delicious and wholesome main course

Chicken casserole with summer vegetables, chickpeas and lemon pepper; a delicious and wholesome main course

If you like a little heat like we do, sprinkle some Turkish red pepper flakes, pul biber on the finished dish, just before you serve.

Here is my plate! This baked chicken with vegetables make a delicious, complete meal with plain rice and natural yoghurt by the side.

Here is my plate! This baked chicken with vegetables make a delicious, complete meal with plain rice and natural yoghurt by the side.

You can serve your baked chicken with summer vegetables with plain rice and natural plain yoghurt aside. Cacik, the cucumber yoghurt dip with mint  would also be a delicious accompaniment.

Aromatic Zahtar blend of sumac, wild oregano, sesame seeds and more;  it adds a lot of flavor to vegetables, meat and poultry.

Aromatic Zahtar blend of sumac, wild oregano, sesame seeds and more; it adds a lot of flavor to vegetables, meat and poultry.

Recently, we also enjoyed this chicken and vegetables bake with the aromatic zahtar sprinkled over too. Za’atar is an exotic blend of herbs, spices and nuts, widely used in Southern Turkish as well as Middle Eastern cooking. At my home town, Antakya, zahtar blend is a rich mixture of dried zahter, sesame seeds, crushed cooked chickpeas, cumin, nigella seeds, sea salt, sumac and many more. It has a lovely, pungent, nutty taste and flavors salads, meat, and vegetables beautifully. Here is more information on zahtar and how to make your zahtar blend at home.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

 

 

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