Yuvarlama – Γιουβαρλάκια (Meatballs in yogurt soup)

October 2nd, 2010 § 1

My temporary kitchen in Istanbul is a poor one but still I hope to get back to Autumn cooking.

This is one of the traditional soups of South East Turkey from Gaziantep. It is a Turkish rice meatballs in egg and lemon sauce that add flavour and richness, which is Rumeli in origin.

Never to be missed!!

  • 250 gr ground beef
  • 2 T rice (washed, drained and let stay 30minutes in hot water)
  • 1 small onion (grated)
  • 1 t. dried mint
  • 1 t red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Mix all the above mentioned köfte ingredients in a bowl. Break off small pieces and give a small ball shape with your palms. Place the flour in a plate and soak the small balls of köfte in it.

  • 250 gr chickpeas (soaked overnight)
  • 1/2 cup broth or water
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • Boil the soaked chickpeas in broth or simply in water. Add the small köftes in it. Let them cook for about 15 minutes over medium heat. Boil yogurt and after cooking the köftes add boiled yogurt and stir well.

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1 t dried mint flakes
  • To prepare the soup, beat the egg yolk together with lemon juice. Add a spoonful of this mixture to the boiling liquid of the köftes at a time and mix each time. So the egg yolk gets to the temperature of the pan without souring. Add dried mint flakes.

  • 2 T butter
  • 1 t red pepper flakes
  • Melt the butter in a small pan and add red pepper flakes. Drizzle over the hot soup and serve immediately.

    Lentil dip

    April 30th, 2010 § 0

    Lentil dip

    As we know, lentil is one of the best vegetable source of iron and it is a wonderful diet for people who suffer iron deficiency and for pregnant women, that require additional iron. On the other hand, the word lentil derives from lens; as an optical lens resembles this vegetable’s shape. This connection is available for most of the languages, including Turkish and Greek.

    In Turkey the culture of soup is very important. For us it is a tasty and appetizing dish as well as it warms us inside especially during winter. Today I converted my mother’s lentil soup recipe to a dip.

  • 1/2 cup yellow lentil (rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup red lentil (rinsed)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt
  • Put rinsed yellow and red lentils to a pressure cooker with celery stalk, salt and onion. Add 3/4 cup of water and cook for 15 minutes. Buzz in a blender to make puree.

    Put it to a bowl. Add olive oil, lemon juice and red pepper flakes to taste. Top with a parsley leaf. Serve as a dip with pita or salty sticks.

    Lentil dip

    Nutritious kale soup

    April 16th, 2010 § 0

    Nutritious kale soup

    Kale or cavolo nero also known as black cabbage, descends from wild cabbage which is originated from Asia. The season for kale is between winter and mid spring. It is considered to be a highly nutritious vegetable with powerful antioxidant properties. Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C and rich in calcium.  It is a fashionable super food which also stops breast cancer. In some places yearly kale festivals are held. You will be glad to prepare this soup!

    Nutritious kale soup

  • 100 gr kale (chopped)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (peeled and cubed)
  • 1/2 cup frozen pinto beans(common beans)
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 T bulgur
  • 2 T yogurt
  • 1 T corn flour
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • Wash kale throughly and shred them finely.

    In a pan with a tight fitting lid, saute onion. Add kale, bulgur, corn flour, cubed carrot, chopped celery stalk and frozen beans. I usually buy the beans in season and clean them. Then store in deep freezer by putting them in plastic bags. Simmer until the beans and the bulgur cook. Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving add yogurt by stirring constantly and let boil for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

    Nutritious kale soup

    Round pastry with ayran

    March 29th, 2010 § 0


    Ayran is a yogurt based beverage, rather consumed during summer in our country. You can easily prepare it by mixing 3/4 cup of yogurt  with 1/4 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Beat it about 5 minutes and it is ready. Americans call it buttermilk. This time I used our popular beverage ayran in a salty pastry. In Turkey, we generally call these small round salty pastries poğaça. It is simply delicious that you can’t resist them!             


  • 3 cup flour
  • 1 cup thick ayran (make it with a little bit less water)
  • 1 egg (separate egg yolk from white)
  • 50 gr butter
  • 2 t. soda
  • 2 t. lemon juice
  • 1 t. dried thyme
  • 200 gr. white cheese
  • 100 gr. hard pale cheese (kaşar)
  • half bunch parsley (shredded in small pieces)
  • half bunch dill (shredded in small pieces)
  • Melt butter.            Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add soda and lemon. Add melted butter, ayran, egg white, parsley and dill. Knead the dough by adding the rest of the ingredients. Knead until making a smooth dough. Prepare small balls and place them to a greased oven tray.                         

    For the topping:                     


  • egg yolk & red pepper flakes
  • Brush with beaten egg yolk. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Bake them in 180° C pre-heat oven about 30 minutes. They are best when they are warm.               

    Fried lamb’s liver (Arnavut ciğeri)

    March 23rd, 2010 § 0

    This is a classical meze served hot, literally meaning Albanian style liver, coming from the huge Ottoman cuisine.

    I think spring is the best time to consume lamb’s liver which is rich in iron and Vitamin A.

    But never exaggerate to eat too much, as liver has high in cholesterol!

  • 1 piece lamb’s liver (1oo gr)
  • 2 T. flour
  • 4 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • red pepper flakes
  • Buy well cleaned lamb’s liver with the membrane and nerves removed. Cut into very small pieces like the size of chickpeas.

    Put the flour and salt in a bowl and place the liver cubes in that bowl. Let them cover with flour.

    Put oil in a deep frying pan and heat it.

    Drop the floured liver cubes, stir to separate.

    Pan fry until they begin to brown.

    Drain on absorbent paper.

    Optionally sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

    Serve with parsley, fresh onion, white cabbage, walnut and baby zucchini cubes(raw) or simply with pan fried red chili pepper.

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