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Best Turkish Foods You’ll Want Immediately
What is it: Grilled ground beef, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and eggplant.
Why you’ll love it: Since all the ingredients are grilled on the same skewer, the flavors mingle to create a mouth wateringly delicious smoky combination.
Patlıcan Kebabı
Fırın Patlıcan Kebabı (Roasted eggplant kebab) recipe
There are so many variations of kebab in Turkey, other than "Kırmızı Biber siş Kebab" which I'd been  posted previously, there are many other types of kebab which are being everybody's favorite here. This time I try to make "Fırın Patlıcan Kebabı" or Roasted eggplant Kebab. Compared with Kebab from "Usta" (the expert) or cuisine locally here, really my cooking is nothing ... But as long as my husband said "Cok Güzel Olmus" less or more means "really nice" ... yeeaa I'm still confident  featuring Turkish cuisine creations from my mixed-culture kitchen

- 3 medium sized eggplants. Peel the skin lengthwise like a zebra pattern. Cut out a circular 2 ~ 3 cm thick. Soak in salt water for some time. Wash
- 3 medium size tomatoes. Cut a circle 1 cm thick
- 3 ~ 4 Chili Carliston (or long green peppers). cut about 3 cm long
- Several skewers
For the sauce
- 1 large size tomato. finely grated.
- 1 tbsp tomato paste. Dissolve with 3/4 cup water.
- Pinch of salt and sugar.
Mix together all sauce ingredients.
for Meatball:
- 300 gr ground beef
- 1 sheet of white bread (I use old bread)
- 1/2 medium onion. Finely grated.
- Salt and pepper to taste
Meatball Mix all ingredients and form a round flat. set aside

1) Stick all the ingredients for the kebabs, meatball and vegetables, Varied and intermittent between meatball and vegetables.
2) Place in baking pan, pour with tomato sauce on top of them. And roast at 170 deg C oven until cooked. (I need time approximately 50 minutes until the eggplant is really soft)

Serve hot with French fries , Mashed Potatoes, pilaf or bread.

What is it: Layers of phyllo dough filled with chopped walnuts or pistachios, cinnamon and sugar covered in honey syrup.
Why you’ll love it: Baklava oozes deliciousness in every bite. It is the ultimate sweet food for any sugar lover.

This recipe is in my drafts for like ages. To be precise 8 months!. But after getting repeated recipe requests for Baklava, I had to do "open sesame" and post this now. Why the hesitation? This Baklava is the Best one I have ever tasted, it just was the photo. It simply does not do justice to the heavenly sensation that it creates in your mouth and down your throat. I was waiting for the moment, when I would make this sinful indulgence again, but well it just did not arise. Anyways, I personally think that we should ban Baklava. yes, you heard right. Its worse than drugs - makes you a die hard addict. I mean see it this way - I, don't love sweets. Period. I am among the 0 .00000001% of women who DON'T go gaga over chocolate. In fact I run the other way. Sugar syrup makes me hurl and even the smell of desserts in general does not give that velvety esthesis which it usually induces in average humans. Inspite of all this - I did a complete U-Turn and all but finished a huge plate of Baklava all by myself. I simply couldn't stop myself from reaching the fridge like 10 times a day to fork a mouthful!

Once it was over, with the wardrobe suddenly shrinking, I finally realized what an addiction this Baklava is. So, to avoid you all those emotional backlashes, I am warning you beforehand - THIS IS ADDICTIVE, THIS IS HIGH CALORIE, YOU WILL SURELY EAT MORE THAN YOU SHOULD, DON'T FORGET TO BUY BIGGER CLOTHES BEFOREHAND. Phew! Now that I have let the steam out, lemme go into this recipe which I noted down from Greek cookbook ( no recollection of title or author). This step by step instruction will help you to conquer one of the most loved sweets in the world today!

Basic Information
Prep Time: 30 min to 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 min to 1 hour
Serves: 8+ people

   For the Filling
   2 cups (8 oz) finely chopped almonds
   1 cup (4 oz) finely chopped walnuts
   1/4 cup (2 oz ) caster (superfine) sugar
   2-3 tbsp bread crumbs (optional. It helps to bind the filling. I dint use it in this recipe. I came to know of this trick later)
   2 tsp ground cinnamon
   1/8 tsp ground cloves
   For the syrup
   2 cups (1 lb) sugar
   2 cups (16 fl oz) water
   1 stick cinnamon
   1 tbsp lemon juice
   For the cover
   150 grams (5 oz) unsalted butter, melted
   12 oz packet filo pastry (375g) (see how to make Phyllo dough from scratch here)

What is it: Vegetarian meatballs made from lentils, green onions and tomato paste.
Why you’ll love it: Perfect for vegetarians, they are also light and make amazing appetizers or side courses.
Mercimek Köftesi
Red Lentil Kofte / Mercimek Köftesi

This vegetarian kofte is one of the most popular appetizers of Turkish cuisine.

1 cup red lentil
1/2 cup fine bulgur
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups of water
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp tomato paste + 1 tbsp red pepper paste (if you cannot find red pepper paste you can use 2 tbsp tomato paste)
~1 tsp salt
juice of half or 1 lemon (depends on how you like it: sour or not so sour)
1/3 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/2 bunch green onion, finely chopped
curly leaf lettuce

Wash lentils and boil them in 2 cups of water until it almost soaks the water.
-Once you turn it off, add bulgur and salt. Mix once and cover to let the bulgur expand. Let it cool off.
-Heat oil in a pan and add the onion (not the green one!) and cook until soft.
-Add tomato paste and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
-Add cumin and stir once you turn it off.
-Add this to the lentils which should be cool by now.
-Add half of finely chopped parsley, green onion, and lemon juice to the lentils. Mix all well.
-Take walnut size pieces and give them kofte shape in your hands.
-You can either place lettuce leaves on a serving plate and put koftes on top as in the picture, or serve koftes and lettuce leaves separately. However, when you eat them you should wrap each kofte in a lettuce leaf.
What is it: Lamb stew served on top of a creamy eggplant puree.
Why you’ll love it: The acidic tomatoey flavor of the lamb stew combined with the creamy eggplant creates something truly out of this world.
Hünkar Beğendi
Sultan's Delight (Hünkar Beğendi)

have heard two different stories surrounding the name of this dish, Hünkar Beğendi, which literately translates as "the Sultan liked it." The first one is that the dish was created for Sultan Murad IV (1612-1640) and obviously he liked it. Where the dish was created--in the palace kitchens or in the kitchen of a moderate house that Murad IV spent a night on his way back from a hunting trip--is not clear. The second rumor is that the same dish was served for Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III, in Sultan Abdülaziz's Beylerbeyi Palace in 1869, and she liked it so much that Abdülaziz promised her to ask his chef to give Eugenie's cook the recipe. And the rumor goes that Abdülaziz's chef was reluctant to share his recipe. I salute whoever shared the recipe later on.

Hünkar Beğendi is lamb stew served on a bed of creamy roasted eggplant puree. However, "begendi," in time, started to be used for eggplant puree. Now you can also find 'chicken beğendi' or 'meatball beğendi.'

he stew
1 lb stew lamb (preferably from leg)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 green chilies or bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, petite diced
2 tbsp tomato paste
2-3 tbsp butter
salt and pepper
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1-1 1/2 cup hot water

for the eggplant puree
2 lb eggplant
1/4 cup white flour
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup grated Turkish hard mature cheese OR kashkaval cheese OR parmesan
1-1 1/2 cup milk
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

-Heat butter in a pot and sautee the onions for a coupe of minutes. Then add the meat. When browned on all sides, add green pepper. Stir for a couple of minutes.
-Add tomato paste and stir for another couple of minutes.
-Add tomaoes and cook for 5 minutes.
-At this point add the hot water and let simmer until meat is tender, approximately an hour. Add more water if need be.
-Meanwhile, wash and prick the eggplants with a fork on at least two sides.
-Place eggplants oon gas burner or under broiler turning them frequently until eggplant is collapsed and skin is charred. You can also bake them until flesh is soft, but charred tastes better.
-Let cool and then peel eggplants and discard stems.
-Mash eggplant with the back of a fork in a bowl and mix with lemon juice.
-Heat butther in a pot. Add flour and stir constantly to make a roux on low heat.
-Warm the milk and add slowly. Whisk to make the mixture smooth. simmer for 4-5 minutes.
-Add eggplant puree and mix well.
-Add salt and black pepper, and cheese. Mix well. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
-Make a bed on a plate with eggplant puree and place meat on top of eggplant puree. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

What is it: Slow cooked meat or chicken stuffed inside bread, along with your choice of vegetables.

Why you’ll love it: You may never find meat as tender and juicy as this. The combination of hot peppers, onions, and veggies take it all to another level.

   500g lean lamb mince
   3 garlic cloves, crushed
   1 tablespoon plain flour
   2 tablespoons each olive oil and chopped parsley
   2 teaspoons each ground cumin and cinnamon
   3 teaspoons ground coriander
   1 egg, beaten
   Lemon, warmed pita, salad, natural yoghurt and mint, to serve


   Step 1

   Preheat grill to medium-high. Line base of a 28cm x 8cm lamington pan with baking paper and lightly grease. Combine lamb, garlic, flour, oil, parsley, spices, egg, salt and pepper in a bowl. Press into an even layer in the pan.
   Step 2

   Place pan under the grill for 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Drain off any liquid, then invert onto a board. Discard paper, then return meat to pan, sealed- side down, and grill for 2 minutes until cooked through. Slice meat into thin strips, squeeze over lemon, then pack into pita with salad, yoghurt and mint.

What is it: Shredded phyllo pastry covered with syrup and a hint of lemon juice.
Why you’ll love it: A ‘light’ Turkish dessert, kadayıf blends the sour of lemon with the sweet of syrup perfectly.
Kadayıf, just like baklava, is among the favorite desserts in Turkey..And künefe, as a type of kadayıf..But what are they? Kadayıf, is the name given to both the half baked string- shaped dough, as well as the dessert made of it.


   4cups sugar
   1 stick and 1/2 stick butter
   2 cups crushed or ground hazelnuts
   2 lb tel kadayif
   4 -1/2 cups water
   the juice of 1 lemon (or a coffee spoon of lemon salt)

How to make it

   Melt half the butter in a round, high-sided cake pan. Spread half the "tel kadayif" on the bottom of the pan. Spread the crushed nuts over this layer and spread the rest of the kadayif over the nuts. Put small pieces of the remaining butter evenly over the top of the dough. Bake for about 25 minutes in a medium oven, until the top of the kadayif turns golden brown.
   While the kadayif is baking, prepare a syrup with the water, sugar and lemon juice. When the kadayif has become a rich golden color, remove from the oven, place on a serving dish and cover with the boiling syrup. Serve when cooled.
   NOTE: A second way to prepare this dessert: Prepare the kadayif as explained above, then place it in the oven for 15 minutes. Invert the kadayif on a plate and return it to the mold. Bake the inverted kadayif for 10 minutes. Prepare the syrup the same as indicated above, and pour it boiling hot over the kadayif as soon as you take it out of the oven.