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Favorite Turkish recipe?

Angelina Apr 2, 2013 07:12 PM

ok...so I know extremely broad here...but I will take any recipe. Everytime I eat in a Turkish restaurant...I want to make everything I eat! Last week we had a fabulous dinner as always, here in NJ at


I once posted a broad message here and someone gave me such an amazing Armenian recipe...I still make it to this day!! (It was for Manti) I get so many compliments on it, so I adore my fellow chowhounders!!

Also, if you live in the NY/NJ area...I can take your restaurant tips too!!

Thanks again!! :)

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  1. prima RE: Angelina Apr 2, 2013 07:15 PM

    Imam Bayildi is my go-to. I like the versions that include some cinnamon and cumin. Sometimes I add fresh dill, mint, parsley and/or cilantro, and sometimes I add raisins and toasted pine nuts. Very flexible dish.


    Turkish Manti are pretty amazing, too!

    1 Reply
    1. re: prima
      Angelina RE: prima Apr 2, 2013 07:29 PM

      Oh Tank you, Prima!! Looks great! I love to re-stuff eggplants. I do a Greek dish similar with some feta...yummmm

    2. JungMann RE: Angelina Apr 3, 2013 07:48 AM

      There are quite a few Turkish bloggers who can give you great tips:
      Çılbır, börek, mücver, ayran and really any Turkish yogurt dish are things I'd be happy to consume any day of the week.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JungMann
        GretchenS RE: JungMann Apr 3, 2013 08:42 AM

        Agree with JM on Turkish yogurt dishes. Claudia Roden's book, Arabesque, has some excellent recipes, among them Yoğurtlu Köfte Kebabi (lamb kebabs with yogurt and tomato sauce), a version of the recipe here: http://countingsheep.typepad.com/amus...

        Also the whole category of vegetables braised in olive oil (zeytinyagli dishes) is another favorite. The links JM provided will steer you to some great versions of those.

      2. pinehurst RE: Angelina Apr 3, 2013 08:42 AM

        My Turkish neighbor Rose would bring a pot of this over a couple of times each winter...similar to Italian wedding soup in some ways, but tomato based, and very good.

        Turkish Tomato soup with Meatballs

        Broth mix:

        4 tbsp good olive oil
        3 Tbsp flour
        1 small onion, minced small
        1 can tomato paste
        3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
        2 quarts water
        1 tsp of seasoned salt (R. used Adobo All Purpose seasoning, Goya brand)
        1tsp white pepper

        Meatball mix:
        ~1 lb ground lamb (can sub beef)
        5 cloves crushed garlic, lightly sauteed & drained & cooled
        ¼ cup rice, washed
        ½ tsp paprika
        ¼ tsp black pepper
        ¼ tsp cumin
        ¼ tsp mint
        A pinch of crushed red pepper

        Make meatballs the size of golfballs using the meatball mix ingredients.

        In a large sauce pan, sauté over the onion in the olive oil. Add flour and keep sautéing for about 3 minutes until it changes color. Then, add tomato paste stirring continuously. Once the tomato paste is dissolved, add water and crushed tomato, adobo and pepper. Bring to a boil and add the meatballs. Reduce to simmer over low heat until the meatballs are cooked (at least a half hour).

        3 Replies
        1. re: pinehurst
          prima RE: pinehurst Apr 3, 2013 10:38 AM

          I've made Turkish-style meatballs with ground turkey, as well.

          1. re: prima
            c oliver RE: prima Apr 3, 2013 11:07 AM

            It's interesting what they called meatballs. It was formed ground/chopped meat, kinda cylindrical, cooked on a skewer. The man who owns the place where we had it gave me a generous bags worth of the seasoning to bring home.

          2. re: pinehurst
            pinehurst RE: pinehurst Apr 3, 2013 11:54 AM

            I need to try turkey in the meatballs. About the seasonings....mine is never as good as Rose's. I think she cooked with love or extra pinches of some magical spice that I've yet to duplicate.

          3. biondanonima RE: Angelina Apr 3, 2013 10:09 AM

            I am obsessed with Ali Nazik kebab, which I order frequently from a Turkish place in midtown Manhattan called ABA Turkish Restaurant. I haven't tried making it myself, but basically it's an eggplant and yogurt puree, topped with spicy ground lamb.

            I've seen a number of variations online - the photo at this link looks a little different than what I get but the ingredients all make sense. SO tasty.

            1 Reply
            1. re: biondanonima
              mcf RE: biondanonima Apr 6, 2013 08:35 AM

              Thanks, added to my pepperplate.com!

            2. c oliver RE: Angelina Apr 3, 2013 10:16 AM

              Interesting. A Turkish friend (born there, lives in the US now) highly recommended manti. I wasn't able to find it and by the end of the trip found out it's mostly a lunch dish.

              I bought a "cookery" book that I'll check when I get home. But had an amazing dish, TAVUK GÖGÜSÜ. It's a dessert pudding by is made with chicken of all things.

              Kofte, doner. Will check the book when I get home.

              1. Paprikaboy RE: Angelina Apr 3, 2013 11:50 AM

                I like making this with lambs liver.
                Not sure if it's authentically Turkish but it's a nod in that direction.

                Slice and roast a couple of red onions.
                Mix up plain youghurt, mint or parsley , salt to taste a little lemon juice.
                Toast some coriander and cumin seeds and grind . Then mix with sweet smoked paprika ,salt ,and plain flour and put in a container or freezer bag.
                Slice the liver and dredge with flour mix. Shake off the excess.
                Fry the liver quickly so the outside is crisp but inside is still pink.
                Toast a pitta and fill with, salad and the roasted onions and then the liver.
                Top with the yoghurt mixture,

                1. b
                  blinknoodle RE: Angelina Apr 6, 2013 08:12 AM

                  My favourite to eat is probably su boregi, which is pretty labour intensive, and I have yet to try making it.

                  For baklava, my Turkish recipe is our go-to standard since it isn't as cloyingly sweet as others.

                  I also make a fun twist on kisir with bulgur, chickpeas, pomegranate molasses, almonds and roasted tomatoes.

                  The Red Lentil Peasant Soup with Sizzling Mint in Turquoise is also very good.

                  Mualle (Eggplant, Tomato and Lentil Stew with Pomegranate) is also very good.

                  Desserts are hit-or-miss for Middle Eastern treats, but Turkish Nightingale’s Nests (Bulbul Yuvasi) have also been an easy (yet impressive) treat.

                  Hope this helps. If you want directions to specific recipes, let me know.


                  1. r
                    relizabeth RE: Angelina Apr 6, 2013 08:50 AM

                    We used to live in a neighborhood in London that had a huge Turkish& Turkish Cypriot population. One restaurant made this amazing grilled onion salad. We've copied it somewhat successfully, but the results are sublime.

                    -On charcoal grill, grill half onions until translucent and somewhat blistered
                    - Toss grilled onions with olive oil, salt, pepper, pomegranate molasses, parsley
                    - Eat.

                    Wish I could make lahmacun and gozleme.

                    1. Antilope RE: Angelina Apr 7, 2013 12:30 PM

                      You also mentioned Armenian recipes. Here's a link to an American-Armenian family's online cookbook.
                      Some really good stuff there:


                      1. s
                        sparky403 RE: Angelina Apr 10, 2013 09:12 AM

                        Same Same but different.... I just saw this recipe on the FN.... it's lebonese - but it looks good and is veggie...

                        Rice and Lentils with Carmelized Onions... Mujadara


                        Here's also a recent thread on Kofte - grilled Lamb and Beef meat balls.


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