Do It Yourself – Turkish Food

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Do It Yourself – Turkish Food

Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck

Not only do we enjoy discovering delicious treasures in every new place we visit, but we like to dabble in the local culinary arts ourselves.

Armed with a Turkish cookbook and an incredible nearby market, it is one of our goals to  test out several new recipes and share them with you as we go.

First up…

Kimyonlu Sahan Köftesi (Cummins Köfte)

500gr. minced meat
1 onion, grated
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 teaspoons köfte spice**
1/2 cup olive oil

**Kofte spice (we think) is equal parts cumin, paprika, and chili powder

Blend minced meat, onions, bread crumbs, garlic, salt, pepper and köfte spice.  Knead this mixture well for 10 minutes.

Kofte raw ingredients

Take walnut sized pieces, roll into a ball and then flatten.

Heat olive oil in a pan and lightly brown the köfte on both sides. When done, take them out and arrange in a flat pan.

Kofte in oil

Mix tomato paste with hot water and spread over köfte.  Sprinkle with salt.  Add potatoes (optional), mixed peppers and cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes.

Cummins Kofte

The Verdict: We really enjoyed this recipe. It was particularly easy, although a little messy kneading the meat dough. The flavors of the köfte spice really soaked into the meat and the vegetables making it very tasty.

Etli Biber Dolmasi (Bell Peppers Stuffed with Meat)

6 medium sized bell peppers
3 Tbsp margarine
1/2 tsp. salt

Meat Filling:
250gr. minced meat
2 Tbsp. margarine
1 medium sized onion
1/2 cup rice
1 medium size tomato
Chopped dill

Prepare the meat filling first.  Chop the onions and lightly brown in pan with margarine.  Add rice and 1/2 cup water.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat.

Add all the other ingredients and mix them well.  Knead for about 5 minutes.

Cut around the stems of the peppers and open the lids up (keep the lids). Remove the seeds and wash the peppers well.  Stuff the peppers with the meat filling and put the lids back on.  Arrange them side by side in a saucepan.  Add 1 3/4 cups water, the margarine, and salt.

Stuffed Peppers in Oven

Cover and cook on medium heat (150C) for about 40-60 minutes until tender.  Serve warm.  If you wish, garnish with yogurt, cheese, chili oil, and fresh dill.

Stuffed Peppers with Meat Filling

The Verdict: Again, another fairly easy recipe, but we found this one a little bland.  We did add yogurt, fresh dill and chili oil afterwards which made it much better. Our recommendation is to add more spice. 

*Note that you can substitute the peppers with tomatoes and stuff them for a change.

Like these and looking for more food from around the globe? Then be sure to try our Do It Yourself recipes from Ireland!

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    1. Hi there! We will be in Turkey until the end of May. If by chance you wander through Burhaniye, stop by for a coffee 🙂 If not, I think Dalene mentioned you will be in Umbria for TBU. Cheers!

  1. So you were serious about putting yogurt on everything weren’t you? To each their own, but I’m going to stick to the first recipe. That looks great.

    1. haha, yes Steve. There is yogurt in lots of recipes down here. I’m becoming quite fond of the stuff. Hope you get to try and enjoy the kofte 🙂

  2. Looks so good, love trying foods from around the globe…back when I traveled, I would try to buy a cookbook from every location…You have inspired me to dig those cookbooks out and try some recipes!! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. hi friends, I must admit that you are goot at making turkish special dish.I hope you will tell us about making turkish baklava at home in detail…ıf you can make baklava ı will call you half turkish-half canadian and probably be jeajous of you.

    1. Haha, Thank you Mustafa. Dalene still wants to try and make baklava despite all the people telling her she is crazy for doing so.. Hopefully talk with you soon 🙂

      1. Dalene is not crazy, it takes time and a delicate but fast hand. I would not describe it as hard. DO IT and you will be so happy with it.

        1. I have been laughed at by two different Turkish people when I say that I want to try! Perhaps they know me well enough already to get that I’m not patient and hardly delicate – haha!

  4. Hmmmm! The Köfte looks delicious – especially withe the potatoes and bell peppers and tomato sauce. Looks very similar to what they used to serve us in Egypt on the scuba boat on some days. Got to try!

  5. You two are really getting into the cooking side of it. Well done. You have achieved more than me. All I ever serve up is chicken and rice. I have never understood the Turkish obsession with putting yoghurt on stuff all the time but each to their own.

    1. haha, I’m always up for trying to cook the local cuisine. But yeah, I haven’t figured out the yoghurt obsession either, but it’s starting to catch on with me 🙂

  6. My girlfriend just leaned over and made appreciative noises at the pictures in the post. So Kofte could be on the menu soon.. although in some fish based form as she doesn’t eat meat. I like a challenge…

    1. Ooh – talk nice to Pete and maybe he’ll cook up one of the many fish recipes for the next post. (I don’t like fish so will strenuously object. You’ll have to talk REAL nice…:) )

      1. Did I ever tell Pete how pretty his eyes are? (I’m not sure if this is the sort of nice you mean…a date would be great, but dinner is the focus here..)

  7. FINALLY!!! I actually Stumble a delicious-looking food post on a full stomach! The first one looks really delicious, and I’d say the second one could probably be spiced up using the mixture from the first one. We love ethnic cuisine recipes, but for some reason have not featured Turkish food on GGT before. Might need to do something about that soon…

  8. I am often similarly inspired when traveling to try making the wonderful things I taste myself. After traveling to Marrakech last March, my fiancee gave me Paula Wolfert’s book “The Food of Morocco” and I have been tearing through it, making tagines and all kinds of other things.

    Your turkish recipes sound wonderful, and I may just try them myself very soon! Thanks for sharing them with us!

    1. Andy! Who needs him?? Haha. He definitely won’t like the recipe we’re making today – a chicken with an onion cooking up it’s butt. Hmmm. Will give some thought to some onion-free recipes…

  9. Posting pictures of the different steps is really a great idea. Sounds and looks like a great dish and can’t wait to try it!

  10. Beautiful! I love the idea of cooking the regions food while you are there and can get the authentic ingredients. I try to do cooking classes when I travel, but I find everything tastes better in its proper country

    1. Well, we’ve got lots more Turkish recipes to come! It is one of our favorite things to do in a new country too, and we can compare the taste to what it’s like in a nearby restaurant. 🙂

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