Tastes of Turkey

One of the things I enjoy most about travelling is the exposure you get to seeing how different cultures eat, cook and celebrate the special events in their lives. The food in both Greece & Turkey was wonderful, healthy, fresh, colourful and varied. I have come home motivated to try a lot of different dishes so I reserved a couple of Turkish cook books at the local library, this one, Anatolia-Adventures in Turkish Cooking arrived Friday so I’ve done a couple of test meals.

Anatolia Recipe BookYesterday I made ‘Ezo The Bride’ Soup, or also known as red lentil and burgul soup. I had been eyeing off a recipe for Turkish Bride Soup that Annabel Langbein has developed but I hadn’t gotten around to making it. This soup seems to have many variations to both the ingredients and the story as to how it evolved, when I googled it, no other recipes seemed to use rice as well as lentils and bulgur and many others used butter to cook the onion first.  I didn’t have enough red lentils so I made up the balance with brown lentils. Served with some pumpkin seed sourdough it was a hale and hearty meal indeed and one I think, that would be extremely high in fibre content. Oops, should have wiped the bowls before taking pictures I think!

Turkish Bride soupI mentioned last post that I made some red pepper paste, this paste is used in just about everything in Turkey. It is as common as our tomato paste is and it is delicious. The version I made is quite spicy as I used my rocoto chillies as well as red capsicum to make it. This pic shows some tomato paste on the left and some weird-looking pepper paste on the right. It has been stored in the fridge with olive oil covering it so it looks strange but you can see the brilliant colour of it. Most of it is still hiding under the layer of oil.

Pepper pasteTonight I made a version of Lamb kebaps with Barbecued salad.

Lamb kebabsThis was delicious! I deviated a little in the cooking as I didn’t have any meat skewers and our little grill pan is all that is available at the moment so it was easier to shape them like kofta. I made these a little earlier so the stove was free to cook the salad skewers, I also included some eggplant in the vegies to grill. The meatballs were reheated just prior to serving.

Kebabs fryingI couldn’t be bothered making pita bread so it was served with some mountain bread (not really recommended) and some greek yoghurt. I’m glad I halved the paprika in the sauce mix as it was quite hot, tasty but just a little too much.

Ready to eat kebabs

Both of the recipes I tried were really nice so I’ll continue testing a few more. I will create a document and add the recipes for these dishes later.

Last year I mentioned we had bought a Kitchen dresser, and that I was going to give it some TLC. I just didn’t like the shiny lacquer finish that had been applied and I wanted it to look far more soft and silky.

Antique kitchen dresser

well I’ve finally been working on getting it to look more like it would have originally. It means going over every part of it with water based paint stripper, lots of sanding, possibly some oxalic acid applications to remove some black staining, lots more rubbing with steel wool then applying a finish of beeswax and carnuaba wax. So far it looks promising as to how it will progress but there is a long way to go yet. This is after the first attack.

Sideboard drawersSome would think this enough to burn the unit but I happen to love wondering about what it may have been that chewed its way along the back of this drawer.SB Drawer eatenHere are a couple of pics taken in a little restaurant in Goreme Cappadocia Turkey. These women sit here most of the day making dumplings, Turkish ravioli (manti) and other beautiful goodies.Goreme mantiThis is the setting our table was placed, you look out over some of the amazing ‘homes in caves’ which is what this area is most noted for.IMG_7137 This will give an indicator as to how much the tourism industry is effected by the unrest in the area. Normally would be packed at this time of year.IMG_7136We under-estimated how much food would be served by a mile. This was the appetizer,IMG_7139Followed by the main meal of Turkish ravioli (this is what the women made) it is about the size of the tip of a finger and painstakingly shaped to perfection. There is about a match sticks head worth of filling in each piece. This was served with yoghurt, red pepper paste and dried herbs. The other dish was smoked roasted stuffed eggplant and I am drooling remembering it! The bread was baked in their wood oven and I thoroughly enjoyed every morsel!Manti

11 Replies to “Tastes of Turkey”

  1. It’s 10 years since I visited Turkey but not a week has gone by since without a delicious dish inspired by the flavours of the region. I’ve looked at Anatolia a few times in book shops, next stop the library. Sad the effect that conflict has on small communities dependent on tourism….


    1. Hi Sandra, it is so sad that such a beautiful country is struggling from exterior influences and its likely to get worse. The tour that left the day after ours only had 2 participants. Locals couldn’t thank us enough for making the trip. Jury is still out on the value of the Anatolia book, quite a few things I came home with ideas for that aren’t mentioned. I do realise though that there is a massive amount of recipes to choose from that can’t all go in one book. 🙂


      1. Claudia Roden’s New Book of Middle Eastern Food has been my best reference by a country mile. While she doesn’t always acknowledge the source country of the recipe, there’s still lots to work with. Greg Malouf’s Turquoise too

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Really great you are trying to recreate flavours of your travels! One of the perks of travelling, I think. Those Cappadocian ravioli I think are called manti. We have a Greek friend who was originally from Istanbul and whose family came from Cappidocia. She gave me a tutorial on how they are made, but I never got around to making and posting about them. You’ve given me the inspiration to go back and give them a try.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Debi, yes, manti, forgot to mention that! There is absolutely no way I could make these at that size. Patience and non-dodgy hands definitely a necessity! I did however have no trouble devouring them 🙂


  3. Great to see your Turkish photos- have been waiting. So sad about the recent events in Turkey.
    I love Turkish Bride soup and make it often ( there’s one on my blog too from tow years ago- very red) and that you made your own capsicum paste- impressed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great stuff Ree, as always. What beautiful trinkets to bring back…recipes. Hope those flavours help rekindle wonderful memories of a special journey…though ’twas good to have a few miles from the airport! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am sitting here eating a boring lunch of cheese and dry biscuits and positively drooling over your photos. I’m going to Google that Bride Soup. I think I could just about manage it and I have red lentils coming out my ears (well, actually they’re in the pantry)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love biscuits & cheese! I usually have oodles of red lentils too, not sure how I managed to run out but it was still nice, just not as vibrant a colour!


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