Easy Way To Make Lahmacun

Easy Way To Make Lahmacun

Prepare the meat mixture. In the large bowl add red peppers, shallot, garlic, and parsley. Using a food processor chop a few times. To the mixture, add ground lamb (or beef). Season with spices and salt. Add tomato paste and extra virgin olive oil. Whizz a few times until well mixed.
Sergen Erkarslan
Read more
Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes; Yemista

Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes; Yemista

Yemista is a beautiful Greek recipe similar to the Turkish dish Dolma. Can be enjoyed hot or cold and can feed the whole family with Mediterranean goodness! This is our recipe but every village/city/family have their own secret ingredients and ways of cooking this delicious meal.
Sergen Erkarslan
Read more
Pumpkin Soup with Cumin, Chili Flakes, Yoghurt; Balkabagi Corbasi

Pumpkin Soup with Cumin, Chili Flakes, Yoghurt; Balkabagi Corbasi

By Ozlem Warren - http://ozlemsturkishtable.com/

Ozlem: 'This easy, delicious pumpkin soup flavored with spices and yoghurt, is a real winter warmer. I mildly flavored our pumpkin soup, Balkabagi Corbasi, with ground cumin and red pepper flakes. Adding plain yoghurt at the end gives a lovely creamy texture and a bit of tartness, really delicious and wholesome. Hope you enjoy it, Afiyet Olsun.'

Serves: 4

  • 800 gr / 1.75 lb. deseeded pumpkin flesh, cut in small chunks
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, cut in small cubes
  • 15 ml/ 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes or chili flakes (you can use more or less depending on your taste)
  • 1 lt / 1 ¾ pints/ 4 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock if preferred)
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 60 ml / 4 tbsp. plain natural yoghurt to serve
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds to serve (optional)
  • Extra virgin olive oil to serve (optional)

Clean, peel and deseed the pumpkin and cut in small chunks.


Put the pumpkin chunks, onions and cubed carrots into a heavy pan. Pour in the stock and olive oil. Then bring the pan to the boil.

Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until all the vegetables are cooked.

Puree the soup in a blender and return to the pan.

Over a low heat, season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, ground cumin and red pepper flakes or chili flakes. Combine well and turn the heat off.

Pour the soup into serving bowls. Swirl a tablespoonful of plain yoghurt over. Sprinkle a few sunflower seeds or roasted pumpkin seeds, as well as little red pepper flakes and ground cumin, if you like. I also like to drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the soup before serving.

Sergen Erkarslan
Read more
Turkish Flat breads with Cheese, Tomato and Egg; Yumurtali Pide

Turkish Flat breads with Cheese, Tomato and Egg; Yumurtali Pide

By Ozlem Warren - http://ozlemsturkishtable.com/

Ozlem: 'This pide hails from the Kayseri region in Middle Anatolia, where locals would also use region’s wonderful delicacy, Pastirma – dried cured and thinly sliced beef over the topping. An egg is cracked in the middle of each pide at the last 4-5 minutes of baking and then baked further until the egg is just set, delicious. I hope you enjoy this delicious, easy to make Yumurtali Pide; you can alter the topping and add on your choice of cheese or slices of dried cured beef or pastrami too. This wonderful Pide would also go down very well for Turkish style breakfast or brunch.'

Serves: 8

For the dough:
300 gr/ 10oz/2 ½ cups all-purpose plain flour
7gr dried yeast
5 ml/ 1 tsp. sugar
5 ml / 1 tsp. salt
4 fl. oz./112 ml/1/2 cup warm water
2 ½ fl oz. / 70 ml / ⅓ cup warm milk
45ml/3 tbsp. olive oil
1 egg + 5 ml/ 1 tsp. olive oil to brush the pide
For the topping:
60 gr / 2 oz. medium cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
110 gr/ 4 oz. grated mozzarella
½ medium tomato, deseeded and thinly sliced
¼ green bell pepper, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 eggs (one egg for each pide) to crack over pide topping
Red pepper flakes / Turkish pul biber to sprinkle over the egg

Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F

Stir in the dried yeast and sugar in a small bowl and pour in ½ cup warm water. Dissolve and mix the yeast in water. Set aside for the yeast mixture to get frothy for 5 minutes.

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in 2 tbsp. olive oil and the yeast mixture. Also stir in the warm milk to the flour mixture. Using your hands, draw in the flour from the sides and work the mixture into a dough. On a floured surface, knead for 3 -5 minutes, until you reach a soft, smooth dough. The dough may get sticky as you knead, so pour the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil and add a little more flour if needed to help shape into a soft dough.

Grease a large bowl with a little olive oil, place the dough and cover with a cling film. Leave the dough in a warm place for 1 hour to rise.

Once the dough is risen, place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for a minute then divide the dough into two pieces and roll into two balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough balls into 2 oval shapes of 20 cm x 40 cm (about 8”x16”), with ½ cm (0.2”) thickness.

Line a large baking tray with baking paper and place the 2 oval flat bread dough on the tray.

Spread the grated mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, sliced peppers and tomatoes evenly over the 2 flat breads, leaving 2 cm at the edges as a border with no filling (I’ve found it’s easier to spread the filling while the oval dough is in the tray). Fold in the sides to act as border to keep the filling intact. Squeeze the oval dough at each end to make it pointy.

Beat an egg in a small bowl and mix it with 1 tsp. olive oil. Brush the edges of dough with this mixture. Bake for 18 minutes, until the pides golden and crispy at the edges.

Take the pide tray out of the oven and carefully crack an egg in the middle of each pide. Return to the oven and bake for another 4-5 minutes; take care not to overcook the egg; it should be just set with the yolk still runny.

Sprinkle red pepper flakes, Turkish pul biber over the egg, cut in slices and serve while warm.

Sergen Erkarslan
Read more
Home Style Iskender Kebap in Tomato Sauce, Pita Bread and Yoghurt

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

By Ozlem Warren - http://ozlemsturkishtable.com/

Ozlem: '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!'

Serves: 6

  • 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

Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F


Prepare the meat marination a day ahead of time of cooking.
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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Afiyet Olsun.

Sergen Erkarslan
Read more
Poached Eggs with Garlic Yoghurt, Turkish Style - Cilbir

Poached Eggs with Garlic Yoghurt, Turkish Style - Cilbir

By Ozlem Warren - http://ozlemsturkishtable.com/

Ozlem: 'I hope you enjoy this delicious poached eggs in garlic yoghurt, Turkish Style, called Cilbir. I like to prepare a simple red pepper flakes infused olive oil sauce and pour this over the poached eggs with garlic yoghurt, just before serving. The delicious heat from the red pepper flakes complements the dish beautifully.'

Serves: 2

  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed and chopped finely
  • 1 cup / 8 fl. oz. plain thick yoghurt, brought to room temperature
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp. Turkish pul biber, red pepper flakes or chili flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Pide bread or crusty bread to serve

Prepare the garlic yoghurt first – about 10, 15 minutes before poaching the eggs – and bring to the room temperature.


In a small bowl, beat the yoghurt with garlic and seasoning. Spoon this into two serving plates, creating a round thick layer to provide a nest for the poached egg. Let the yoghurt mixture reach the room temperature.
Fill a small pan with hot water, add the vinegar (this will help sealing the egg whites) and bring to a boil. Stir the water to create a whirlpool and crack in the first egg.


As the egg spins and the white sets around the yolk, stir the water ready for the next one. Poach each egg for 2-3 minutes so that the yolk remains soft.
While the eggs are poaching, quickly pour in the olive oil in a small pan and stir in the Turkish pul biber, red pepper flakes or chili flakes, over medium to high heat. Stir and let the red pepper flakes infuse to olive oil for a few minutes, turn the heat off.


Lift the eggs out of the water with a slotted spoon and place them over the garlic yoghurt spread.


Drizzle the red pepper flakes infused olive oil over the poached eggs. Serve immediately with pide bread or crusty bread by the side.


Coban Salata, Shepherd’s Salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, spring onions would also go well with this delicious poached eggs over garlic yoghurt, Cilbir; Afiyet Olsun.

Sergen Erkarslan
Read more
Bulgur Pilaf with Freekeh, Green Beans and Red Onions

Bulgur Pilaf with Freekeh, Green Beans and Red Onions

By Ozlem Warren - http://ozlemsturkishtable.com/

Ozlem: 'I hope you enjoy this delicious and wholesome bulgur with super grain freekeh or firik, combined with green beans, red onions and garlic. Runner beans, green beans or dwarf beans would all work well in this recipe; they are delicious combined with red onions, freekeh and bulgur. I like to serve this wholesome pilaf with Turkish red pepper flakes or chili flakes on top, accompanied by a dollop of yoghurt or with refreshing Cacik dip of yoghurt, cucumber and dried mint.'
Serves: 6
  • 350gr/12oz/2 cups coarse bulgur, rinsed and drained
  • 225gr/8oz/ generous 1 cup firik or freekeh, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 300 gr/ 11 oz./ 2 cups green, runner or dwarf beans, trimmed and cut into 3 cm / 1” long pieces
  • 400 gr/ 14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes or 3 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 60 ml / 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 pints/ 5 cups of hot water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes or chili flakes to serve
  • Dollop of plain yoghurt to serve
Trim the green beans and cut into 3 cm / 1” long pieces. If you are using runner beans, also slice them lengthways.

Heat 3 tbsp. olive oil in a heavy pot and stir in the red onions and green, runner or dwarf beans. Stir and sauté gently for 2-3 minutes over medium to high heat.
Pour in the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil and stir in the garlic, rinsed bulgur and freekeh, combine all well with green beans and red onions.
Stir in the chopped tomatoes and hot water, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste. Combine well.
Bring the pot to the boil. Then cover, reduce the heat and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.
Turn the heat off. Cover the pan with a clean kitchen paper towel and place the lid firmly on top (the paper towel will absorb any excess moisture). Rest the pilaf for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Serve the bulgur pilaf with frekeeh and green beans hot with Turkish red pepper flakes, pul biber sprinkled over, if you like. Refreshing Cacik Dip of diced cucumbers and dried mint with yoghurt or plain yoghurt complement this bulgur & freekeh pilaf very well.
    Notes
    Runner beans, green beans or dwarf beans would all work well in this recipe; they are delicious combined with red onions, freekeh and bulgur. Bulgur is widely available now in supermarkets and you can find freekeh in specialty, Turkish or Middle Eastern stores.
    Sergen Erkarslan
    Read more
    Piyaz Salad

    Piyaz Salad

    By Ozlem Warren - http://ozlemsturkishtable.com/

    This vibrant and healthy Piyaz Salad gets ready in no time and it is so delicious. Red onions and tomatoes work very well with the tangy sumac; Turks traditionally enjoy this salad with Lahmacun. It is also a lovely salad served with cheese, olives and hummus.

    Serves 4
    • 3 medium tomatoes, quartered and roughly chopped
    • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
    • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 15ml/1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 10 ml/2 teaspoon ground sumac
    • ½ teaspoon paprika flakes – optional –
    • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Rub and work sumac and the salt into the onion slices with your hands really well (this will soften the onions and help spices infuse in well).

    Stir in the chopped tomatoes, parsley and paprika flakes, combine well.
    Wisk together the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice and pour over the piyaz salad. Season with more salt (if needed) and freshly ground black pepper.

    Serve Piyaz Salad with feta cheese, olives and/or hummus for a delicious spread. Piyaz Salad is also the ultimate accompaniment of Lahmacun and Turkish meatballs, kofte.
    Sergen Erkarslan
    Read more