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Turkish cuisine cookbook?

  • Migas Jul 23, 2012 09:31 AM
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For a cuisine that's considered by many one of the most developed in the world, I've been having quite some difficulty finding a good book about it.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I'd like a book with a lot of recipes but also some non-recipe information about the cuisine. Maybe also things about the history of the dishes for example. A book with photos would be preferable as well!

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  1. Ayla Algar's "Classical Turkish Cooking: Traditional Turkish Food for the American Kitchen" and Ghillie Basan's "Classic Turkish Cooking" are both good books. Basan's has photos.

    5 Replies
    1. re: VitalForce

      Love Algar's book. I have Ozan's, and like that too, but I cook from Algar more.

      1. re: VitalForce

        Do those books use metric?

        1. re: Migas

          The Basan uses both and the Algar has a conversion chart. Most measuring devices I have employ both, making either easy to use.

          1. re: VitalForce

            The Algar doesn't have photos does it? Though otherwise it does seem like a very good book.

            1. re: Migas

              The Algar book doesn't have photos, but it has a 29-page introduction to the cuisine from its Central Asian origins to modern times. If you enjoy the food, it's a good buy, particularly if you buy it in as-new condition from a seller on AbeBooks.com. Some of the recipes may be slightly adjusted for American kitchens, however, as noted in the title, if absolute fidelity to local (and difficult to access) ingredients is an issue.

      2. I've enjoyed cooking from Ozcan Ozan's "The Sultan's Kitchen." The book has a nice selection of recipes, a reasonable amount of background and menu suggestions, a discussion of ingredients and nice photography.

        3 Replies
        1. re: cayjohan

          Really? I was afraid The Sultan's Kitchen would be a pretty straight forward collection of recipes when I saw it had only 160 pages.

          1. re: Migas

            It's not encyclopedic by any means, but the recipes presented seem to represent a decent cross section of the cuisine. Most that I have tried have been quite successful. I also end up pulling this book put for inspiration quite often. (Yep, also a sucker for pretty pictures!) Caveat: Ozan's book and the relevant volume in the TimeLife Foods of the World series represent the sum total of my Turkish cookery books, so I by no stretch of the imagination have a lot of depth of knowledge! Still, I've gained a lot of appreciation for the sets of favors used in Turkish foods by cooking from it. And a lot of happy meals. I'm definitely going to be checking out some of the recommendations here, and bulk up my Turkish collection.

            This thread has me making moony eyes at a photo of whole sardines grilled in grapes leaves; I think that's going to be on the short list for a dinner this week!

            ETA: unfortunately, the Ozan book does not use metric...

            1. re: cayjohan

              No metric? That's unfortunate :/

        2. My favourite is Malouf's "Turquoise". The photography is gorgeous but I would look through it first as there is also a lot of information on the country and culture. I personally love that kind of thing but others may not. It is a beautiful book!

          2 Replies
          1. re: chefathome

            I like that sort of thing also but my impression from reading about Turquoise was that the recipes were original creations by the authors ("inspired by turkish cuisine") rather than traditional dishes...

            1. re: Migas

              You have a point. The Malouf couple is extremely knowledgable, however, and the recipes (and book) are divine. I'll look through my others and post back if I find anything more traditional.

          2. Oh yes, I forgot to say ths before but I'm not American so the book needs to have metric measurements.

            1. The new "Turkey" by Leanne Kitchen is very good (and has great photos). I spent a few years working for a Turkish company so know a little about the cuisine, and the recipes seem quite authentic. Kitchen is Australian -- my edition is in Imperial measurements but perhaps there's a metric one?

              4 Replies
              1. re: buttertart

                The pictures in this site show metric measurements:
                http://www.booktopia.com.au/turkey-re...

                So I guess the non-american edition does have them.

                1. re: Migas

                  I haven't cooked from it yet but it's very enticing.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    I second BT's statement - enticing, beautiful pictures, intriguing recipes. I never cooked Turkish food and hardly eaten it but it is such a mixture of regional dishes such as Albanian liver that only those who've been to Albania know about. I just received the book today and cann't wait until evening when it will be peaceful again - with grandboys in bed:) - to continue reading it and marking recipes to make soon.

                2. re: buttertart

                  My UK publication of Kitchen's book is metric. And I'd assume so would be an Australian version

                3. Only Turkish cookbook I've read was "Classical Turkish cooking : traditional Turkish food for the American kitchen" by Ayla Algar. Piqued my interest. Our library also has "Turkish Cooking: Authentic culinary traditions from Turkey" by Bade Jackson, which I'm going to read before trying recipes from either.

                  1. there is a website that i absolutely love for turkish recipes. hopefully you will find something you like on it while you search for a more comprehensive book. http://www.turkishcookbook.com/

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: charles_sills

                      Thank you. :) I'm sure I'll use it soon.

                      1. re: charles_sills

                        I've used http://www.turkishcookbook.com/ and also http://www.pinarscuisine.com/

                      2. I have had The Art of Turkish Cooking by Nsret Eren for many years and find that the recipes work and seem to come out fairly similarly to the dishes as served in Turkish restaurants in NYC. Beyond that I can't speak to authenticity or compare with other books. I do like the book very much.

                        1. So, between "Turkey" by Leanne Kitchen and "Classic Turkish Cooking" by Gillie Basan, which would be best?

                          1. Check out http://www.turkishthymecooking.com.au... for reviews on a bunch of Turkish cookbooks. I suggest Greg Maloufs Turquoise if you want to know about the history, regions as well as how to make the food.
                            Cheers Reyhan

                            1. I made two dishes from "Turkey" this weekend:
                              1. Red Lentil Soup with Minted Eggplant - p.55
                              Soup was delicious but eggplant was plain and addnothing to the soup - we all agreed on that and had leftover soup next day without the eggplant. Funny, how red lentil turn yellow when cooked:)

                              2. Zucchini Fritters - p. 95
                              Delicious! Made these without dill since didn't have any and no feta because my daughter is dairy intolerant and they were great - would even better with feta and dill.