One of the most interesting aspect of Turkey it is surely the cooking. During those four years here, in this suggestive land, I could know and appreciate some unique and particular dish

I learnt  to cook some of them, such as the kısır or cacık, or the pilav and so on. But, before starting this virtual and culinary journey, I think it is important to  give some historical news.

The Turkish cooking mainly derives from Ottoman ones that, in turn, draws from the culinary traditions present on the whole territory, that extened from Mediterranean area to Middle East, from the Balkans to  Caucasus. So, a very different and rich cooking, with some common dish with other near areas, others typical and regional or completely different from a town to another.

As some other countries, also Turkey has got a different climate in all its regions and this characterized the cooking too. For example, in the Northen, in the ared of Black Sea (Kara Deniz), we can find many dishes made of anchovy and corn; in the North East  there is the kebab (for example  Adana Kebab) or sweets, among them the famous baklava.

In the Mediterranean area, from the Aegean Sea and the Marmara Sea, for example, the Mediterranead cooking prevails, made of fish and vegetables. In the Central Anatolian provinces we can find the known mantı (they reminds the Italian ravioli or tortellini). Anyway, a common and essential product of the Turkish cooking is the yogurt, used in many ways and dishes. It is also used as refreshing drink: the popular Ayran. And there are a lot of different types of cheese. Well, now let’s start our journey to the discovery of some Turkish dish through some  recipes that you can try to make. So, have a nice reading and… Afiyet Olsun (Enjoy your meal)!

One of the most interesting aspect of Turkey it is surely the cooking. During those four years here, in this suggestive land, I could know and appreciate some unique and particular dish. I learnt  to cook some of them, such as the kısır or cacık, or the pilav and so on. But, before starting this virtual and culinary journey, I think it is important to  give some historical news.

The Turkish cooking mainly derives from Ottoman ones that, in turn, draws from the culinary traditions present on the whole territory, that extened from Mediterranean area to Middle East, from the Balkans to  Caucasus. So, a very different and rich cooking, with some common dish with other near areas, others typical and regional or completely different from a town to another.

As some other countries, also Turkey has got a different climate in all its regions and this characterized the cooking too. For example, in the Northen, in the ared of Black Sea (Kara Deniz), we can find many dishes made of anchovy and corn; in the North East  there is the kebab (for example  Adana Kebab) or sweets, among them the famous baklava.

In the Mediterranean area, from the Aegean Sea and the Marmara Sea, for example, the Mediterranead cooking prevails, made of fish and vegetables. In the Central Anatolian provinces we can find the known mantı (they reminds the Italian ravioli or tortellini). Anyway, a common and essential product of the Turkish cooking is the yogurt, used in many ways and dishes. It is also used as refreshing drink: the popular Ayran. And there are a lot of different types of cheese. Well, now let’s start our journey to the discovery of some Turkish dish through some  recipes that you can try to make. So, have a nice reading and… Afiyet Olsun (Enjoy your meal)!

Kisir

Kısır it is like a salad came from the town of Mersin but common in the whole country. It is a fresh  dish and easy to make. Here the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 glasses of bulgur wheat
  • a bunch of  fresh onions
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 4 chili peppers
  • red pepper  concentrated sauce
  • salt and black pepper
  • parsley
  • balsamic pomegranate vinegar (very important for this recipe)

HOW TO MAKE IT

Put 2 full glass of bulgur in a container and cover with 2 full glass of hot water. Cover with a top and let the water is completely absorbed ̎cooking̎ the bulgur. İn the meantime, cut in little slices the onions, the cucumbers and peppers and mince the parsley. Once the bulgur is cooked, mix everything and add the olive oil and the red pepper concentrated sauce, the balsamic pomegranate vinegar, salt, black pepper and chili pepper if you want too. Put it in the fridge for a while.

One of my Turkish friends said that usually Turkish women add some tomatoes (cut in little slices), salad where to put the kısır…In conclusion they personalize the recipe. For example, I add some mint or basil leaves. İ like so much the kısır; it is a  summer rich and fresh dish!

Istanbul Pilavi

Istanbul Pilavi, piatto a base di riso / a dish made of rice

Istanbul Pilavi, piatto a base di riso / a dish made of rice

Pilav is a dish made of rice. As in Italy we have many recipes for risotto, Turkey too has got many different recipes to make the pilav. Here the recipe of Istanbul pilav.

 

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 big glass of rice  ( jasmin rice should be better)
  • half  portion of butter or margarine
  • 1 chicken breast  or turkey  (depends on your taste)
  • 1 glass of  peas
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger
  • 50 gr.of almonds (or hazelnuts if you prefer)
  • 50 gr of pistachio
  • salt

HOW TO MAKE IT

Put the rice in a container with lukewarm water and let to rest about for 30 minutes. Drain the rice and let browning with butter and almonds. Add the chicken breast (earlier boiled and cut in slices ),with peas, pistachio, saffron and ginger too. Let them brown very well. Then, add the salt and the 3 glass of warm water (use the same glass used for the rice) and cover the pot and let it cook about for 20 minutes over low heat. Later, let the pilav rests for other 15 minutes and then you can wait on.

Hummus

hummus e falafel, una purea di ceci fredda / a cold mashed chickpeas

hummus e falafel, una purea di ceci fredda / a cold mashed chickpeas

Hummus is a typical sauce of Middle East, made of chickpeas, sesame and tahini sauce (i.e. sesame butter), oil, lemon and some spices. It is eaten as a starter, together with the pita, the typical arabian bread, or with falafel (little chickpea or zucchini burgers) and mixed vegetables.

  • 500 gr/ of cooked and peeled chickpea
  • 1 glass hot water (but not very hot)
  • ½  little glass of oil or sesame (tahin)
  • 1 teaspoon of kimyon
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 3 garlic slices
  • Salt
  • Sumak spice
  • Parsley
  • cucumber or pickled vegetables if you like

HOW TO MAKE IT

Put in a bowl the chickpeas for one nigh. Then boil them (or you can use a pressure cooker). Peel the chickpeas and put them into the cooker again with other water, turn and mash them until they become a uniform mashed. İt is very important the mashed is solid. So put it in the fridge (or freezer) for some hours. Then put the mashed in the cooker, adding a spoon of water, always blending. So, add the lemon juice, sesame, mashed garlic, salt and kimyon. Put the mashed in a place and pour the olive oil, with some parsley leaves, sumak and cucumber ( or pickled vegetables)

Well, now you have just taste and, try to make one of these Turkish recipes, why not! And… Afiyet Olsun (Enjoy your mail)!