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Apr 2, 2013 07:12 PM

Favorite Turkish recipe? 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. 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

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

    2. 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

        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:

        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. 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

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

          1. re: prima

            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

            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. 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

              Thanks, added to my!

            2. 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.