THE TURKISH EDITION
Subscribe today at eatable.net.au/shop eatable.net.au
Ibrahim Kasif of Sydney’s Stanbuli dishes up a menu of ultimate comfort food, p20
It’s time we take a trip along the Aegean coastline to taste the beautiful dishes of Turkey. The food is so complex and just uniquely delicious. From the Ottoman Empire to modern-day Turkey, the inheritance of culture and cuisine played a big part in how the food is today; the Uyghurs from the north-west of China with kebabs, Mongolia similarly with manti dumplings. Countless variations of halloumi from Cyprus, and Georgian and Arab influences found in breads like lahmacun and pide. Tomatoes are the ultimate, but relatively new, Mediterranean ingredient, however they feature in so many of Turkey’s dishes. Although it’s almost winter in Australia, we couldn’t help but explore a few of these tomato dishes and more beautiful produce, including Turkish chilli, quince, bulghur, walnuts, yoghurt and mint. In this edition we make beautifully indulgent dishes, and talk to some Australian chefs as well as Turkish locals. If the Turkish spirit Raki isn’t your drink of choice due to its anise-notes, master sommelier Isa Bal is here to share with us the history, and his best picks, of Turkish wine. Ibrahim Kasif of Sydney’s Stanbuli dishes up a menu of ultimate comfort food, including a sour and salty yoghurt soup and a sublime dessert of quince and clotted cream, plus we chat with chef Mehmet Gürs from Istanbul’s highly-acclaimed Mikla restaurant about the importance of locally sourced produce and more.
Lisa & Liz eatable.net.au | @eatablegram
Cemre Torun & Begüm Yaramancı Ibrahim Kasif
A Thousand Vines p12 Isa is the first and only person from Turkey to have achieved the title of master sommelier, and worked as head sommelier at The Fat Duck restaurant for 13 years, including Melbourne. He lives in London and has just cofounded and opened his restaurant, Trivet, near London Bridge. Isa shares with us insight into Turkish wines and which producers to look out for. “When people think about Turkish wine they should think about the people that make the wines and that grow the vines, they are operating in a very hard environment and despite that they keep going.”
Spirit of Istanbul, p30 Layers of home, p20 Ibrahim is Cypriot-Turkish, secondgeneration Turkish-Australian and the owner of Sydney restaurant, Stanbuli. In this edition, Ibrahim dishes up a menu based around the simple comfort foods he loves to eat at home. “I developed a love for cooking and in particular Turkish food which takes me back to the mainland and northern Cyprus in my travels from a young age.”
Cemre Torun (pictured left) is the food editor of Vogue Turkey and Academy Chair for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, covering Turkey, Greece, Israel and the Balkans. She is also a founder of YEDI, an Istanbul-based food conference, bringing together chefs, producers and leaders around powerful discussions on food. She translates Turkish recipes for us from her book Cooking in Istanbul. Begüm Yaramancı (pictured right), co-author of Cooking in Istanbul is a chef with a passion for fermentation techniques who produces artisanal pickles and ferments.
Editorial director Lisa Featherby Creative director Liz Elton CONTRIBUTORS Isa Bal; Mehmet Gürs;Ibrahim Kasif; Somer Sivrioğlu; Cemre Torun; Derya Turgut; Coskun Uysal; Arman Uz; Begüm Yaramancı. PHOTO CREDITS Cover: Photography and styling Lisa Featherby. Inside front cover: Colours of Turkey, Unsplash. Subscribe: Lisa Featherby. Bowl by Gallery Court. Welcome: Interior, Jean Carlo Emer, Unsplash. Stanbuli, Lisa Featherby. Boat, Martin Katler, Unsplash. Contents: Lisa Featherby. Postcard from: Xavier Balderas Cejudo, Unsplash. The social network: Instagram, @fatih_tutak. Wine: Tolga Ahmetler, Unsplash. The classics: Photography and styling Lisa Featherby. Plate by Gallery Court. In profile: Photography Seren Dal. Food opener: Photography and styling Lisa Featherby. In print: Extracted with permission from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden. Layers of home: Lisa Featherby. Spirit of Istanbul: Extracted with permission from Cooking in Istanbul by Cemre Torun and Begüm Yaramancı. Food photography Derya Turgut. Istanbul photography Serhat Beyazkaya, Meric Dagli, Alessio Rinella, Tolga Ahmetler, Unsplash. The list: Svetlana Gumerova, Unsplash and Instagram. Memoir: Halil Ibrahim Cetinkaya, Unsplash. In focus: Derya Turgut. Last drinks: Recipe and photography Lisa Featherby. Inside back cover: Arns Civray, Unsplash. ISSN 2653-0864
The publication and its contents are protected by copyright. All rights reserved. No material published in this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written authority. No responsibility is taken for unsolicited material. Author recipes are edited, but untested by Eatable. Published by Elton & Featherby (ABN 20370450968). Eatable magazine is printed by Pulse Print Solutions. For custom publishing inquiries please contact email@example.com.
08 POSTCARD FROM 10 IN PRINT Turkish Delight. 11 THE SOCIAL NETWORK The modernist cuisine of Fatih Tutak of Turk restaurant. 12 WINE Isa Bal decants Turkish wines for the beginner. 14 IN PROFILE Mehmet Gürs, the FinnishTurkish chef behind Mikla. 16 THE CLASSICS Icli kofte, Turkey’s handmoulded, filled meatball.
20 LAYERS OF HOME Ibrahim Kasif of Sydney’s Stanbuli creates ultimate comfort dishes to share. 30 SPIRIT OF ISTANBUL Food writer Cemre Torun translates recipes from her latest cookbook. 42 TABLE OF PLENTY Somer Sivrioğlu’s Mehyanes-inspired meze.
52 IN FOCUS Photographer Derya Turgut takes us on a journey through Istanbul museums. 62 THE LIST Turkish food expert Gamze Ineceli explores Istanbul. 64 MEMOIR Coskun Uysal remembers the joy of ferry rides and simit. 65 LAST DRINKS Quince Gin Sour, a zero waste cocktail that’s a take on a classic.
A hot air balloon floats above the distinctive terrain of Cappadocia
“The mixture must be cooked until it reaches the right consistency. This takes about 3 hours, and on this depends the success of the recipe. To test if the consistency is right, squeeze a small blob of the mixture between two fingers. Only when it clings to both fingers as they are drawn apart, making gummed threads, is it ready. It may then have acquired a warm golden glow.” Claudia Roden on Rahat Lokum (Turkish Delight) in the New Book of Middle Eastern Food.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
A new state
Fatih Tutak helmed one of Bangkok’s best restaurants while at The Dining Room of The House on Sathorn. Back in Istanbul, the chef of Turk restaurant creates clever twists on classic Turkish dishes, inspired by his mother’s cooking.
A thousand vines
A master sommelier talks grapes and styles of wine through Turkey’s diverse terroirs, and the influence of a changing landscape. WORDS
Turkey is a large peninsula with the Mediterranean Sea to the south, Aegean Sea to the west and Black Sea to the north of it. It has a variety of different climate zones as well as a rich array of altitudes, thanks to its mountainous terrain. Viticulture is spread all over the country except perhaps the wet Black Sea coastline. The two main areas that produce wine are Thrace (including the Gallipoli) and Tekirdag in the north-west. Along the Aegean coast and inland is also a principal vine growing area. Throughout Turkey’s history, vine and wine has been an important part of life. It was during the Hittite period when Turkish wine culture reached its peak; the Hittites ,who were Indo-European language speaking people of the bronze age, had a very sophisticated understanding of the merits of vintages and vineyards. During the Ottoman era wine making continued and was largely practiced by the non-muslim population. And after the establishment of the modern-day republic vine-growing and wine making was encouraged by the state, and has resulted in some of these companies still producing wine in Turkey. In the last three decades many people returning to Turkey have had successful careers in many areas of different industries, starting small-to-medium size wineries which have made a marked increase in the quality of wine. Turkey has a large number of indigenous varieties also; over 1000 and about 80 of which are currently used in wine production. Of the white varieties, Narince, Emir and Bornova Miskesti are the most common, though these are being joined by newly discovered varieties with great potential. Main red varieties of Okuzgozu (named ox eye due to its large berries) and Bogazkere are the two most important, with Papazkarasi, Kalecik Karasi other varieties grown. Some international grapes are also grown in Turkey with varying levels of success. In particular Cabernet Franc has found a good home in parts of Turkey along with Syrah. Chardonnay is by far the most successfullygrown white with some very good Sauvignon Blanc also produced. Some of the key wineries producing wine in Turkey are: Doluca, Kavaklidere, Sevilen, Urla, Chamlija, Kayra, Chateau Kalpak and Pamukkale in different locations. They are worth seeking out.
“This country shaped like the head of a mare. Coming full gallop from far off Asia. To stretch into the Mediterranean.” Nâzım Hikmet Ran, humanist poet of Turkey. 2017 Sevilen 900 Fume Blanc, Denizli, Aegean Coast Region This is a single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc that is grown from over 900 metres altitude. Always has a great refreshing structure with distinct pink grapefruit and minerality. A very well-judged use of oak, too. theturkishdrop.com.au
2018 Chamlija Kara Sevda, Kırklareli province, Thrace Papaskarasi is a local variety found mainly in the north-west of the country. It tends to have a light colour with earthy palate and red tart cherry-like fruit. It has some similarity to Blaufrankish in how it behaves in the glass. opalwines.com.au
2015 Pasaeli 6N Karasakiz-Merlot, Aegean Coast Region Situated not far from ancient Troy. 6N when read in Turkish means gold; this label was created in protest to gold mining around Mount Ida where more than 70 endemic species of plants found. A low-intervention wine, so expect some funk here.
2019 Turasan Emir, Capadoccia An important grape indigenous to Capadoccia and one of the best white grapes of Turkey, Emir is a high-quality grape variety known for its acidity. It can be a great alternative to Chablis with its steely minerality and refreshing finish.
2017 Doluca Kav Narince, Northern Anatolia Narince is a high-quality grape variety from Turkey producing fullstructured wines with stonefruits, melon and quince aromas. It takes on an apricot-like aroma as it ages. Great with most shellfish dishes. floxwines.com.au 13
Left: Vines growing in the port city of Mersin, Turkey. The region is known as the ‘Pearl of the Mediterranean.’
A man on a mission to find Turkey’s best ingredients and the caretakers of them. WORDS
From left: chef Mehmet Gürs with various growers, Turkey’s coastline, red mullet with purslane
L I S A F E AT H E R B Y
Mehmet Gürs didn’t follow the same path as other chefs. He didn’t work at Michelin-starred restaurants like others. At a young age he took a leap of faith after living in New York and moved to Istanbul to start his own restaurant. From there he’s learned on the job. Half Finnish and half Turkish, Gürs grew up in Stockholm and started cooking European food from an early age. Being young, he says, helped him to take big leaps along the way to get ahead, which only the young have the courage to do. His first restaurant, Downtown, was an American-Scandi restaurant that had nothing to do with Turkish food at all. He recollects it as a very cool place, during a time when Istanbul was opening up to the west for the first time. After he sold Downtown, he went through a series of partnerships, and experienced both great successes and failures. As a twist of fate, he sold most of the restaurants he owned just before the pandemic hit, deciding to just keep one, Mikla. Mikla was never meant to be that trend-driven place of smoke, foams and frills, but more about cleancut, properly cooked food that relies on generations of 14
traditions and the regionalism of Turkish food, with a minimalistic approach that is attached to Gürs Scandi genes. “We learn from elders in villages, but it’s in no way traditionally Turkish food. Clients want to see super-white pressed napkins, but other than that we have a very natural approach,” he says. Transitioning from cooking European food to Turkish food came as a natural progression for Gürs, as he felt influenced to cook the food and use the ingredients of the region where he lived. For ten years, Gürs has forged, and held strong, intimate relationships with producers all around the country. While he feels cooking with introduced foods is fine, he believes introduced foods must be produced in a respectful way. “We do a lot of long, time trials with ingredients, working closely with the community.” When he first started looking for the right ingredients, he had a difficult time finding them - he hired a full time researcher, gave him a car and sent him on the road. It took a few years to find the best ones, and these were only available to the right people who
Red mullet, wild purslane, dried roe SERVES 4 AS A STARTER | PREP TIME 15 MINUTES | COOK 5 MINUTES
genuinely cared about them and how they were going to be used. On an average day, he waits for a phone call from someone to say, “the mulberries are perfect” and so accordingly he sends a refrigerated van to pick them up. This very seasonal produce is used in various ways; mulberries, for instance might be used fresh in ice-creams or dried. Just utilised when best. While waiting to open up Mikla again, Gürs started distilling his own Raki. “It’s very much like cooking, as flavours and technique are involved,” say Gürs. He’s excited to take on the challenge of sourcing the best aniseed growers and grapes, knowing the nuances of which region they’re from and how they can continue to recreate the same flavour each year when ingredients are seasonal, and change through the fluctuating climates. Gürs wants to produce an aromatic distillation that has the aroma of the grapes, rather than the overpowering heaviness of spices and alcohol. Harnessing those ingredients and creating something that refines one of Turkey’s valued traditions is the exciting part.
“The Aegean and south-eastern Anatolia are my favourite areas for food,” says Gürs. “We still get some really nice red mullets in the south-western part of Turkey. Dried grey mullet roe is from a cooperative in Köyceğiz, the capers from the Mediterranean shores and wild purslane is picked on the island of Bozcaada in the northern Aegean.” This dish is a seasonal spring-dish in Istanbul.
1 cup wild purslane (see note) ½ fennel, shaved on a mandolin Thinly shaved air dried grey mullet roe, or bottarga, to serve 2 tbsp fresh green almonds, thinly sliced 2 tsp capers, rinsed Early harvest extra virgin olive oil, to serve Lemon juice, to taste 2 red mullets, filleted
1. Toss purslane, shaved fennel, capers and shaved fresh almonds with some olive oil, lemon juice and salt. 2. Preheat a grill to high heat. Drizzle a bit of olive oil and season both sides of the red mullet fillets with salt. Place on a lightly oiled oven tray and cook the fish skin side up under grill until just cooked. It’s really quick, so be careful not to overcook it. Shave a few slices of the dried mullet roe over the salad and serve with fish.
NOTE Wild pursane grows in warm coastal regions as a summer weed. You can substitute with another small succulent, such s samphire if unavailable. 15
Influenced by Arab versions, the hand-moulded meatball requires patience to make, but rewards with masses of flavour. WORDS
L I S A F E AT H E R B Y
There are countless meat dishes in Turkey. Particularly in the form of kebabs (grilled meats) and kofte (hand shaped minced meat dishes, often meatballs) and these are influenced by regional styles and surrounding countries, and take many different forms. In the south, Adana kofte is a celebrated dish of long flat sword-like skewers - in its purest form, a mixture of hand-minced lamb belly and leg with tail fat, red capsicums and salt is turned slowly over charcoal while the meat manages to cling to the skewer, it’s served with diced tomato and onion on top of bread to soak up the juices. Adana’s spiced-up sibling is the Urfa, which has the addition of spices and fermented pastes. Pistachio kofte is made in Antep, and Izmir kofte has potato and parsley. There are even seasonal versions found in specialty kebab houses that make kofte with cherries and new season garlic that make for a sweet smoky version. You can’t forget inegol kofte, which has specialty restaurants modeled off the finger-sized kofte, grilled to juicy perfection as they contain breadcrumbs and onions. Then comes kibbeh. Kibbeh as it’s known through the Middle East is a dish of minced lamb with bulghur added. In its raw state, minced meat is mixed with bulghur and called cig kofte in Turkish, a variation of the Arab version known as kibbeh naye. Meatball variations known as kofte come in various forms, but the most celebrated Turkish version is shaped into a hollow shell first which is filled with meat and then fried. This is known as icli kofte or bulgur kofte, and is a prized dish in Turkish households. Southern Turkey is heavily influenced by the Arab version of this dish that has meat in the shell. In its distinct difference to the Arab version, the shell version - made with minced lamb and bulghur - that doesn’t have meat inside it, makes for a crispier crunchier result, but takes a bit more patience and skill to make. According to Claudia Roden in the New Book of Middle Eastern Food, some people are considered blessed to have a special hand with long finger to create the shells. The outer shell of the filled version is made by making a dough of bulghur and boiling water that when kneaded becomes pliable. This bulghur dough is carefully shaped into a hollow deep egg cup-like shape and then filled with meat and then shaped into a torpedo. This mixture can be crumbly and difficult to mould, and so the addition of minced meat to the dough helps to bind it and make it easier to work with. Beating the dough in an electric mixer also creates a smooth and elastic mixture which binds well, becomes easier to mould and creates a smooth-textured finish. The meatballs once shaped can be fried and served simply with yoghurt, tahini, and a salad to the side.
Icli kofte SERVES 6 | PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOK 25 MINS (PLUS RESTING)
Turkish chilli flakes, to serve Herbs such as mint and parlsey mixed with thinly sliced onion to serve Lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil to dress the herbs SHELL 500g fine burghul 200g minced lamb 1 tbsp tomato paste 1 tsp paprika MEAT FILLING 2-3 tbsp olive oil 500g minced lamb 3 onions, finely diced Handful of finely choped walnuts 1 bunch of parsley, coarsely chopped 1. For the shell, activate burghul with 500ml boiling water and 1 tsp salt in a bowl. Stir together, cover to rest for 1 hour. It is imperative that the mixture dries out while covered. 2. For filling, heat half the oil in a frying pan and add lamb and stir over high heat until cooked. Set aside. Add onion to pan with remaining oil and stir until translucent. Season with chilli flakes and black pepper, add parsley and cooked lamb and set aside to cool. 3. Finish making the shell by placing bulghur mixture into an electric mixer (or you can knead by hand). With motor running, gradually add up to 250ml extra of boiling water and knead until a dough comes together (you may not need all the water), then when cool, beat in lamb, tomato paste and paprika and beat mixture until smooth. Rest for 15 minutes, then knead again until you have a smooth dough. 4. Take golf ball-size pieces of mixture and shape into an egg shape with your hand. Press into the centre to create a hollow middle. Fill with meat mixture, then seal the dough around the outside of the filling, and shape into an oval, pinching the ends to created pointed tips. Set aside. 4. Preheat oil in a saucepan to 160°C. Fry kofte, in batches, turning occasionally until golden and just cooked through (7-8 minutes). Serve, seasoned with salt flakes and Turkish chilli, with a herb salad, lemon wedges or cacik (see note) to the side. 17
CACIK Serve with another of Turkey’s classic dishes, Cacik: Take ½ cup of thick yoghurt mixed with 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 grated Lebanese cucumber, squeezed of excess liquid and a handful of chopped fresh mint, or sprinkling of dried mint. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes to finish.
Known as the Turkish bagel, Simit are the classic bread of Turkey, made less chewy and dense, and with a sesame-crusted exterior that is brushed with pekmez, a grape molasses.
Breaking bread Cooking an ultimate Turkish feast, eating meyhanes-style meze and serving up Anatolian classics.
Braised spinach and rice and Kuru fasulye, Braised lamb and white beans Recipes p28 & p29
Linguine with anchovy, kale and burrata
Layers of home From Turkish-Cypriot soup to vegetables steeped in folklore, a very beautiful Turkish feast is the ultimate in comfort cooking.
L I S A F E AT H E R B Y
Hellim-yoghurt soup Recipe p28
Ayva tatli; Quince and clotted cream Recipe p29
Sogan dolma; Stuffed onions, filled with veal and rice
Sogan dolma; Stuffed onions, filled with veal and rice SERVES 4-6 | PREP TIME 20 MINUTES | COOK 1 HOUR 45 MINUTES
“There is a huge variety of dolma, or stuffed vegetables in Turkish cookery,” says Ibrahim Kasif. “From vine leaves, cabbage and eggplant to red capsicum, quince and zucchini. Stuffed onions are one of my favourites.” 6 large onions 200g minced veal 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped 100ml olive oil 350g canned tomatoes 1 tbsp coarse black pepper 1 tsp caster sugar 100g medium-grain rice, rinsed Juice of 1 lemon Handful of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley 1 tbsp fermented capsicum paste (biber salca; see note)
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Prep 4 of the onions by peeling the skin and leaving the whole onion intact. Make an incision down the length of the onion, only cutting half-way through the onion. 2. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add 1 tbsp of salt. Add onions to boiling water for 15 minutes or until the onions are tender. Remove onions with a slotted spoon and place in ice water to cool, or set them aside to cool on a plate. 3. Separate the layers of onion carefully, so they don’t rip and set aside. They should be tender and pliable. As you peel the layers off, if they feel firm, return to boiling water to cook further. 4. Finely dice remaining onions and add to a deep frying pan over medium-high heat with veal and garlic and half the oil. Season well with salt and as it starts colour, add the tomatoes, pepper and a tsp of sugar and bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes or until tomato breaks down. Add rice, lemon and parsley, remove from the heat and mix through. The rice will be warmed through but not cooked. Set aside to cool. 5. Working with one piece of onion at a time, place a large tbsp of veal mixture in onion petal and roll over itself to enclose filling. Place stuffed onion in a deep baking tray, rolled tightly with cut side facing down. 6. Mix 300ml of water with capsicum paste in a jug and pour over onions, with remaining olive oil. The liquid should come ½ way up the onions, top up if necessary with water. Cover with foil and bake for 1½ hours, or until onions are cooked through and very tender. Rest for 5 minutes, then serve.
Imam Bayildi; The Imam fainted SERVES 4-6 | PREP TIME 25 MINUTES | COOK 40 MINUTES (PLUS SALTING)
“This is probably Turkey’s most famous eggplant dish,” says Kasif. “There are different versions of the story but I do like this one; folklore has it that a young couple were getting married in the village. The Imam (head) of the village was invited and gifted the young bride-to-be with extravirgin olive oil. She was so humbled she invited the Imam over for dinner the following week. She created the lavish eggplant dish filled with onions and tomato. He adored it and had to inquire how she made it. She responded saying, I used all the olive oil, to which he fainted in shock.”
4 medium-sized, firm but light eggplants - they should be plate size and not too big 4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, coarsely chopped and mixed with juice of 1 lemon 1 tbsp caster sugar 4 medium-sized onions, sliced 8 garlic cloves, bruised and coarsely chopped 200ml extra-virgin olive oil mixed with 100ml grapeseed oil 4 curly Turkish chillies or 2 green bullhorn chillies, sliced 1 large handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 80ml (1/3 cup) pekmez (grape molasses) or Turkish pomegranate molasses
1. Peel the eggplant in alternating strips, leaving the stem intact to hold the eggplant together. Place eggplant into a large bowl of salted water (1-2 tsp salt per eggplant) and weight with a lid for 1 hour, then drain and pat dry. 2. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl and set aside to marinate. 3. Heat olive oil mixture in a wide, deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the eggplant until light golden all over and one-third cooked through. Remove eggplant and pat dry on paper towel. 4. Add onions to pan with salt and coarsely ground black pepper and stir until starting to turn golden. Add garlic and chillies and stir for a few more minutes to add flavour. Add tomato mixture and 100ml water and bring to a simmer. 5. Place eggplant on top of tomato mixture and spoon over molasses. Place baking paper over eggplants and simmer over low-medium heat until eggplant is very tender but still holding its shape (about 20 minutes). Remove the eggplant and strain the liquid, keeping sauce and onion mixture. 6. Cut a slit along the length of each eggplant and fill with onion mixture. Place on tray and whilst the eggplant is resting, reduce the liquid in a saucepan over medium-high heat until a thick sauce consistency. 7. To serve, place eggplants on a plate and spoon sauce over and around the eggplant. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and scattering of parsley.
NOTE Salting eggplant to remove bitterness has become unnecessary, but the seasoning of the eggplant makes the end flavour much superior.
Braised spinach and rice
SERVES 4-6 | PREP TIME 15 MINUTES | COOK 20 MINUTES
SERVES 4-6 | PREP TIME 15 MINUTES | COOK 30 MINUTES
“This is a much-loved Turkish-Cypriot Soup, albeit the cheat version made alternatively to using tarhana, a sour grain made by fermenting burghul with yoghurt and then drying it under the sun and re-hydrating it. This soup is still extremely delicious, it’s tangy, and the soft bouncy hellim add delicious flavor and texture.”
“This delicious recipe is the ultimate comfort,” says Kasif. “It can be a dish on its own, or served with a main course. The spinach becomes gelatinous, and the rice thickens the tomato water making it extra delicious eaten hot or cold out of the fridge. A dollop of thick yoghurt is a perfect addition.”
50g butter 50ml olive oil 200g hellim (halloumi) cheese, washed and soaked to disgorge salt, then diced 2 lemons, juiced 150g fine burghul 1 ltr chicken stock, beef stock or water 300g thick plain yoghurt 2 tbsp dried mint 1 bunch of round-leaf mint, coarsely chopped Extra-virgin olive oil and Turkish pepper flakes, to serve (see note)
100ml 2 5 1 3
olive oil onions, diced garlic cloves, minced tbsp coarsely cracked black pepper bunches English spinach, trimmed, and cut in half or thirds, then washed thoroughly in cold water, changing the water a couple of times 2 tbsp Turkish tomato paste (see note) 1 tbsp caster sugar 80g medium-grain rice, rinsed 1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over high heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and stir occasionally until onion starts to caramelise a little.
1. Heat butter and olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Fry the hellim until golden, then remove to a plate and set aside. Pour over lemon juice to marinate the cooked hellim.
2. Add garlic and pepper, and stir for a minute to release the flavour of the garlic and pepper.
2. Add burghul, stock or water and dried mint into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Season to taste, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes until burghul is tender and thickening the liquid.
3. Add the spinach in handfuls, stirring until it wilts and releases water. Season with salt, then continue cooking until water evaporates. 4. Meanwhile, mix tomato paste, sugar and 500ml water in a jug. Add the spinach and bring to a boil. Add the rice, and cover with a lid. Reduce heat to very low and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked. It should be saucy with the rice grains visible when you stir.
3. Place yoghurt into a bowl. Ladle 200ml of hot burghul mixture into the yoghurt to temper it. Reduce heat to low and return the yoghurt mixture and the lemon marinated hellim. Stir well. 4. To serve, stir mint through the soup and drizzle with olive oil. Season with Turkish pepper flakes.
5. Remove lid and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Set aside to rest briefly, then serve with a huge dollop of yoghurt and serve.
NOTE Turkish pepper flakes are a mild dried chilli flake available from Turkish grocers.
NOTE Turkish tomato paste is a concentrated tomato puree that has been dried in the sun. It’s available from Turkish grocers.
Kuru fasulye; Braised lamb and white beans
Ayva tatli; Quince and clotted cream
SERVES 4-6 | PREP TIME 20 MINUTES | COOK 2 ½ HOURS
SERVES 4-6 | PREP TIME 25 MINUTES | COOK 1 HOUR
“This is the epitome of home cooking,” says Kasif. “It would be surprising to hear if every Turk didn’t grow up eating braised white beans, maybe with or without meat, a big bowl of hot pilav, a huge dollop of yoghurt, some raw onion and a wedge of lemon.”
“This dessert is my favourite Turkish dessert,” says Kasif. “Poached quince and luxurious thick clotted cream, the texture and flavour is addictive.”
2 quince, peeled, quartered and core removed, peelings reserved 1kg caster sugar 1 star anise 1 cinnamon quill 8 cloves Thin peelings from 1 orange Juice of a lemon Finely chopped pistachios, or walnuts, to serve (optional) CLOTTED CREAM 1 ltr (4 cups) milk 1 ltr (4 cups) cream
500g 200ml 500g 1 4 1 2 1 3
Great Northern beans (not soaked) olive oil boneless lamb shoulder cut into 3cm pieces large onion, diced garlic cloves, finely chopped carrot, diced celery stalks, diced bay leaf heaped tbsp Turkish tomato paste (see note left) 1 tbsp caster sugar Handful of finely chopped parsley
1. For clotted cream, heat milk and cream to 90°C in a saucepan. Place the cream mixture into a bowl placed over a saucepan of boiling water and cook until clotted.
1. Place beans in a large saucepan covered with lots of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-high heat until the beans are half-cooked. This takes about 40 minutes. Drain beans and set aside.
2. As the cream cooks, a clotted skin will form. With a slotted spoon move this to the edge of the bowl and collect it into a separate clean bowl. Continue doing this until most of the thick clotted cream is removed.
2. Add olive oil to the same saucepan you cooked the beans in and heat over high heat. Add lamb shoulder pieces, in batches, season them well and turn occasionally until golden. Set aside.
3. Whisk removed cream well and refrigerate until a thick, luscious cream (overnight; see note).
2. Add onion, garlic, carrot, celery and bay leaf to saucepan and stir for 5 minutes over high heat until starting to turn golden. Season to taste.
4. Place quince peelings in a saucepan with half the sugar, cinnamon, star anise, 2 cloves, peel and lemon juice and 1 litre of water. Bring to a boil and boil until peel breaks down. Strain syrup, discarding the solids.
3. Add tomato paste and sugar and stir through the vegetables. Add the meat back to the pan with 1½ litres of water and bring to a boil.
5. Bring syrup back to a boil with remaining cloves. Add quince and reduce to medium heat. Add remaining sugar, and cover quince with a round of baking paper. Simmer until quince is tender (about 30 minutes), then remove from heat and set aside to cool, then refrigerate (overnight).
4. Add the beans once liquid is boiling, then reduce heat to low, stirring well. Cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour to 1½ hours until meat is tender, then simmer, uncovered, for a further 30-45 minutes until liquid is reduced to a thick sauce. Stir through chopped parsley and serve with thick yoghurt and thick sliced onions, washed thoroughly in cold water. Pilav on the side would also be lovely here.
6. Serve quince with a dollop of clotted cream. You can add pistachios or walnuts to add some texture, too. NOTE Turkish versions of clotted cream are folded into layers and set before serving.
Spirit of Istanbul
Translated recipes from the book Cooking in Istanbul draw inspiration from the region’s ingredients and rich and diverse culinary culture.
B E G Ü M YA R A M A N C I
D E R YA T U R G U T
Baked quince with sour cherries Recipe p34
Red lentil soup with greens Recipe p40
Baked quince with sour cherries
Tomato dolmas with charred eggplant
“For us, quince season means slowly baked, sticky sweet quince dessert,” says Cemre Torun. “Our take on the traditional recipe is less sugary and uses homemade tart cherry liquor and tart cherries which give the quince their beautiful crimson color. If you can’t find tart cherry liquor, use tart cherry juice instead. We like to be patient and bake them gently for almost 4 hours with loads of aromatic spices.”
“Dolma is an essential part of our home cooking,” says Torun. “We like to stuff all sorts of fruits and vegetables, from quinces to onions. These tomato dolmas are rich in color and flavour, thanks to the bright red tomatoes and the smoky charred eggplant.” 1 eggplant 12 medium tomatoes 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 400g minced beef 1 onion grated 2 garlic cloves finely chopped 3 tbsp fine bulghur ½ tsp ground cumin ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves chopped ½ bunch mint leaves leaves chopped
3 quince 150g white sugar 10g fresh ginger, diced 2 cloves 4 black peppercorns 1 star anise 1 fresh bay leaf 1 cardamom pod 1 whole allspice 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped 1 strip of lemon peel 3 tbsp lemon juice 60ml sour (tart) cherry liqueur 5-6 frozen cherries (if you have sour cherry liquor, you may use its cherries)
1. Prick the eggplant all over with a fork and grill over a low-medium heat (a charcoal barbecue or chargrill pan is fine) and cook for 30-45 minutes, turning it occasionally, until the skin is completely charred on the outside and the flesh is tender. Set aside to cool, then peel the skin and mash the flesh with a fork.
1. Preheat oven to 160ºC. Peel the quince and cut them lengthwise in half and remove the seeds. Do not throw away the peels and seeds, you will use them later while cooking. If you are not going to use the quinces right away, soak them in water with a bit of lemon juice.
2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Cut the tops off the tomatoes and set aside. Carve out the tomato flesh with a spoon, leaving the skins intact. Lightly sprinkle the inside of each tomato with salt. Place the tomato flesh in a food processor and process until puréed, then stir through olive oil and season to taste.
2. Spread the peels and seeds on the bottom of a cast iron casserole. Place the halved quince on top and pour over the sugar. Add ginger, spices, bay leaf, vanilla bean, lemon peel, lemon juice and ¼ tsp salt.
3. In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, onion, minced garlic, bulghur, cumin, and mashed eggplant and season to taste. Stuff the tomatoes with the filling and place the tops on to cover. Place the dolmas snugly in an ovenproof dish or baking tray.
3. Pour in the cherry liqueur and place the cherries in between the quinces. Add enough water to cover the quinces. Bake for 2 hours with the lid on, then remove the lid off and cook for another 1½ hours until the quinces are soft and lightly caramelised. As they bake, the quinces will slowly absorb the water. You can baste them with their own juice or add a little hot water to help keep them moist.
4. Drizzle tomato mixture over the dolmas. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a dash of water. Cover the oven tray with a lid or foil and bake for 30 minutes, then bake uncovered for another 15 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to a serving dish, and garnish with parsley and mint to serve.
4. Cool the quince at room temperature. Serve them with clotted cream, vanilla or mastic ice-cream.
Tomato dolmas with charred eggplant
Uzbek pilav with kadayif SERVES 4-6
“This is a meal in itself. A one-pot dish, a perfect comfort food,” says Torun. “The trick is not to hold back on the onions and the carrots. The crispy kadayıf, which is not in the traditional recipe, gives the rice a nice crunch and colour.”
125ml (½ cup) olive oil 500g lamb shoulder cut into 3cm cubes 4 onions chopped 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks 2 small heads of garlic 1 bay leaf 1½ cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper 1 tbsp unsalted butter ½ cup kadayıf noodles (see note) ½ bunch dill, finely chopped
1. Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large casserole over high heat. Sear the meat until golden, and set aside. 2. Add remaining oil to pan and sauté half the onions until caramelised. Add the carrots and then add the chopped lamb back into the pot along with 2½ cups of hot water. Place the garlic in the pot. Stir in the remaining onions, the bay leaf, and salt, then simmer for 1 hour over low heat with the lid on. Add rice and pepper to the pot, mix and cook for 15 minutes with the lid closed. Turn off heat. Fluff the rice with a fork. Place a kitchen towel over the pot, cover the lid and set aside to rest for 15 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a separate frying pan. Crumble the kadayıf lightly with your hand and fry until it turns light golden brown. Add the crisp kadayıf and the chopped dill to the rice and serve. NOTE Kadayif noodles, also known as kataifi is available from Turkish grocers.
Olive salad with grated tomatoes and baharat bread Recipe p40
Olive salad with grated tomatoes and baharat toasts
Red lentil soup with greens SERVES 4-6
“This is one of our all-time favorite fall/winter dishes. It’s more than a soup-- with the greens, cornmeal and bulghur, it is hearty and incredibly comforting,” says Torun. “Don’t skip the preserved lemon. It brightens the dish and gives it an extra zing.”
“Grated tomato is what makes the difference in this recipe,” says Torun. “The result is a juicy, fresh, salad. We use a homemade spice mixture for the toasted bread, which is perfect to soak in the juices.”
50g cornmeal, or coarse polenta 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp butter 1 onion minced 2 garlic cloves minced 15g fresh ginger peeled and grated 1 tbsp tomato paste 1 tbsp red pepper paste ½ tsp ground turmeric ½ tsp ground cumin ¼ tsp red pepper flakes 40g coarse bulghur 50g red lentils 1 bunch collard greens or kale, sliced 2 tbsp preserved lemon rind, diced
250g olives pitted 3-4 medium tomatoes grated 1 tsp coriander seeds roasted and ground 1 tsp fennel seeds roasted and ground 1 tsp dried basil ½ lemon zested and juiced 60ml (¼ cup) olive oil BAHARAT TOASTS 2 tbsp dried thyme 2 tbsp sesame roasted and ground 1 tsp ground paprika ½ tsp mustard seeds roasted and ground 60ml (¼ cup) olive oil 4 slices sourdough bread
1. In a cast iron frying pan, toast the cornmeal over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
1. For the olive salad, mix all the ingredients. Adjust the salt. Rest the salad until you get the bread ready. In the meantime, the tomatoes will release their juices and the flavors will nicely come together.
2. Heat the oil and butter in large saucepan and sauté the onion. Add the garlic, ginger, tomato, pepper paste, and all the spices. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until they release all their beautiful flavors. Adjust seasoning. 3. Add the bulghur and lentils, stir lightly. Pour in 2 litres of hot water, close the lid and leave to cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
2. For the baharat bread, heat the oven to 100°C. Mix the thyme, sesame, paprika and mustard seeds with olive oil. Spread the mixture on each slice of bread. Toast the slices in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve the olive salad with warm toasted baharat bread.
4. When the lentils are cooked, slowly stir in the roasted cornmeal. Add the greens and cook for another 5 minutes, then serve with preserved lemon.
Table of plenty
Inspired by the meyhanes of Turkey, drinking culture includes good conversation with meze - pour the Raki and share some bar snacks from Anason. RECIPES
L I S A F E AT H E R B Y
Beetroot and labne Recipe p46
Beetroot and labne
Grilled calamari with walnut tarator
SERVES 6 AS PART OF A MEZE | PREP TIME 20 MINUTES |
SERVES 4 AS A MEZE | PREP TIME 20 MINUTES |
COOK 1 HOUR (PLUS HANGING YOGHURT OVERNIGHT)
COOK 5 MINUTES
“The traditional version of this dish is made with canned beetroot mixed with garlic yoghurt”, says Somer Sivrioglu. “Our version at Anason adds native Davidson plum when they are in season for tartness and sweetness, and charred beetroots for extra smokiness. We bury the beetroots in hot ash overnight in our restaurants from the charcoal fire. You can also burn the skin on a gas cooktop then roast in your oven to get a smoky flavour.”
“Tarator is a nut and garlic-based sauce that is great served with seafood,” says Sivrioglu. “We use Southern New South Wales fresh squid and serve it simply charred and thinly sliced.” 1 large Southern calamari, cleaned 1 tbsp lemon juice, plus extra to serve 2 tbsp olive oil 75g butter WALNUT TARATOR 200g walnuts 50ml extra-virgin olive oil 50g tahini 2 garlic cloves 60ml (¼ cup) white wine vinegar
5 beetroot 1 baby target beetroot, to garnish Fennel fronds (optional), to serve LABNE 200g natural pot set yoghurt RHUBARB SAUCE 2 rhubarb stalks, washed 50ml Pekmez (see note) 1. For labne, hang natural pot set yoghurt in the fridge in a muslin-lined sieve (overnight). 2. For rhubarb sauce, slice rhubarb and place in a saucepan over low-medium heat. Add Pekmez and 100ml water and cook until the rhubarb is tender and breaking down. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Rhubarb should taste sweet and sour. Strain through a seive if desired. 3. For beetroot, preheat oven to 200°C. Turn beetroot over an open flame or charcoal barbecue to blacken the skin and create a smoky flavour, then roast beetroot wrapped in foil on a tray until beetroot is tender (about 1 hour). Set beetroot aside to cool, peel and then cut into small dice.
NOTE Pekmez is Turkish grape molasses, if unavailable it can be replaced with maple syrup or pomegranate molasses. At Anason they also sprinkle a deydrated beetroot powder over beetroot to garnish.
1. Preheat a charcoal barbecue until coals have heated to hot embers. Alternatively, preheat a barbecue over high heat. 2. For the walnut tarator, blend ingredients in a blender until a coarse paste, adding a little extra oil or water to help the mixture blend as necessary until blended to your liking, smooth or coarse. Season with sea salt and lemon juice to taste before serving. 3. Dress calamari with lemon juice, olive oil, and season with sea salt flakes. Grill over the hot charcoal or barbecue, turning occasionally until just cooked (2-3 minutes). Keep warm. 4. Meanwhile, heat butter in a small saucepan over high heat and cook until nut brown and foamy. 5. Spoon walnut tarator onto a plate. Thinly slice calamari into rings. Place on top of tarator. Dress with extra lemon juice and burnt butter and serve.
4. To serve, place beetroots into a bowl, add rhubarb sauce to taste and season to taste. Transfer the mixture onto a plate. Pipe or spoon labne on the side. Decorate with thinly sliced target beetroots and fennel fronds.
A Sevilen Bornova Muscat, from Izmir
A 900 Fume Blanc from Denizli 46
Grilled calamari with walnut tarator
Cauliflower with green harissa SERVES 4-6 AS PART OF A MEZE | PREP TIME 20 MINUTES | COOK 1 HOUR
“Contrary to popular belief, Turkish cuisine is laden with vegetarian delights like this one. Charred and tender cauliflower goes great with tahini and green herbs,” says Sivrioglu. 1 small cauliflower 50g roasted almonds, coarsely chopped Olive oil, for shallow frying Lemon juice, to taste GREEN HARISSA 4 long green chillies 2 bunches of parsley 2 bunches of coriander 1½ tbsp coriander seeds, dry-roasted 3 tsp cumin seeds, dry-roasted 2 tsp sea salt flakes 100ml olive oil 70ml lemon juice 4 small garlic cloves
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Remove any outer leaves from cauliflower, toss with oil and season to taste, then roast on an oven tray until crisp. 2. For harissa, blister the green chillies by turning occasionally over an open flame such as a gas stove, or charcoal barbecue, until blackened. Remove the stalks, coarsely chop, and transfer to a blender. Add parsley and coriander with remaining ingredients and blend until a smooth sauce. If needed, you can add a little extra oil or water to help the mixture blend. 3. Cut cauliflower into steaks, or break off large florets. (Save the smaller pieces of cauliflower for fried cauliflower with tahini the next day). 4. Add olive oil to a frying pan and fry cauliflower in batches with extra oil as necessary, turning occasionally, until deep golden on both sides. Transfer to an oven tray and repeat with remaining cauliflower, then bake in oven until tender and cooked through (about 5-10 minutes). Remove from oven and dress with lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt. 5. To serve, spread green harissa onto serving plates. Place cauliflower on top. Finish the plate with crisp cauliflower leaves, roasted almonds.
Grilled beans with muhammara (pictured p43). Blister 2 each capsicums and chillies over a naked flame or charcoal barbecue, then peel and discard the seeds and stems. Blend with 2 garlic cloves, 2 tbsp each of Turkish capsicum paste and Turkish tomato paste, 3 tbsp tahini, 50g walnuts, 100ml pomegranate molasses and 50ml olive oil until a smooth paste and serve.
“Contrary to popular belief, Turkish cuisine is laden with vegetarian delights like this one. Charred and tender cauliflower goes great with the tahini and green herbs.”
NOTE Any leftover harissa can be used as salad dressing or sandwich spread and will keep refrigerated for 3 days. WINE SUGGESTION Plato Kalecik Karasi
Cauliflower with green harissa
Pita and green olives with tahini SERVES 4 AS A MEZE | PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOK 10 MINS (PLUS PROVING THE PITA)
“This is a typical Aegean meze with olives of the region and walnuts from Anatolia,” says Sivrioglu. “Each Mediterranean country has their own version of small plates accompanying drinks of choice. Meyhanes are where you go for mezes generally accompanying the national drink of Turkey, Raki, which is a suma grape distilled drink that’s flavoured with aniseed, and generally drunk diluted with water and ice. Some other examples of mezes are yogurtbased dips, olive oil poached vegetables and hot offals rich in protein.” 100ml pomegranate molasses 50ml olive oil 50ml tahini 150g pitted Turkish or Greek green olives, coarsely chopped ¼ cup coriander, coarsely chopped 2-3 tbsp pomegranate arils PITA DOUGH 7g (1 sachet) dried yeast 1 tsp caster sugar 325g bakers flour 125g wholemeal flour 125g rye flour 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp milk Sesame seeds, nigella seeds and sea salt flakes, for garnishing
1. For pita dough, dissolve yeast and sugar in 100ml warm water (35°C) in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add flours and another 350ml water and a large pinch of salt and mix until a dough forms, if dough is quite stiff add a little extra water - you want a nice soft dough, then mix until smooth and elastic (about 20 minutes.) Transfer dough to a large lightly oiled tray, cover with a tea towel and set dough aside until doubled in size (about 1 hour). 2. Pull large pieces of dough (about 100g each) and with lightly floured hands, shape them into round balls and set aside on a tray to rest for another 20 minutes. 3. Preheat oven to 250°C or as hot as it will go and place an oven tray in the oven to heat. Brush the dough balls with eggwash. Sprinkle sesame seeds and nigella seeds on top and using your fingers press the dough into a round flat shape, about 1cm-thick, Bake the dough in batches until puffed and golden (about 8-10 minutes). 4. Combine molasses, olive oil, and tahini into a mixing bowl and mix to combine. Add more olive oil if needed. Each brand of tahini and the molasses might be in different consistency when you buy them. Mixture should leave a sweet taste in your mouth once you taste it. You might need to add more molasses to taste. 5. Spread the tahini mixture onto a plate then scatter the olives on top. Finish with coriander, pomegranate arils and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and serve with pita bread.
WINE SUGGESTION A Isabey Sauvignon Blanc from Izmir
Pita and green olives with tahini
D E R YA T U R G U T
lstanbul-based photographer Derya Turgut takes us on a visual journey to the peaceful Istanbul Archaeological Museums, a place close to her heart where she can escape the chaos of the city.
“The Istanbul Archaeological Museum is one of the most underrated museums in Istanbul, and actually consists of three museums: The Archaeological Museum, the Museum of the Ancient Orient, and the Museum of Islamic Art. It’s listed as one of the top ten museums in the world and was the first museum in Turkey. This place has a beautiful courtyard and very peaceful gardens. I come here when I want to escape from the chaos of the city. It’s the most relaxing place for me, especially very early on summer mornings. The Museum of Islamic Art displays beautiful Seljuk, Anatolian and Ottoman tiles and ceramics dating from the end of the 12th century to the beginning of the 20th century. The collection includes iznik tiles from the period between the mid-14th and 17th centuries when Istanbul produced the finest coloured tiles in the world.”
KIYI An upscale landmark fish restaurant located at the coastal Bosphorus district of Tarabya. Fresh seasonal fish, and house favourite meze, like stuffed mussels, tarama, pilaki (lukewarm beans in cooked with olive oil), and a famous oven-baked quince dessert. Tarabya, Haydar Aliyev Cd. No:186 D:A, 34457 Sarıyer @kiyi.tarabya PANDELI Located in a spice market, the foundation of this legendary culinary treasure goes back to 1901. Turquoise tiles, Ottoman windows and white linen-tablecloths remain the same, as do classic dishes such as seabass cooked in paper, and lamb stew with roasted aubergine. Mısır Çarşısı No: 1, 34110 Fatih @pandeliistanbul
A Turkish food expert takes us through Istanbul’s metropolis of sweets, spices, and good places to eat and drink. WORDS
ALAF Described as a ‘nomad’s table nourished by its roots’, this restaurant is dedicated to the multi-cultural culinary roots of Anatolia. Everything that comes out of the wood-fire oven is exceptional, taste and storywise. Kuruçeşme, Kuruçeşme Cd. No:19, 34345 Beşiktaş @alafkurucesme ZÜBEYIR OCAKBAŞI Make an early reservation and sit around the copper domedgrill where Adana kebab, ribs, sweetbreads, lamb chops, eggplant and tomato are flamed over
TATBAK İf you’re in the neighbourhood of Nişantaşı for lunch, this is a locals’ institute for kebabs. Besides kebabs, it’s also renowned for lahmacun, a thin flatbread topped with spicy meat and herbs. Teşvikiye, Akkavak Sk. 38/B, 34365 Şişli @tatbak_ HÜNKAR İf you are curious about what grand Turkish families still eat at home, and want a taste of imperial Ottoman cooking, this is the place. Harbiye, Mim Kemal Öke Cd. No:21, 34271 Şişli @hunkar1950
crackling coals. Wash that down with fermented spicy turnip juice and some Rakı. Şehit Muhtar Mahallesi İstiklal Caddesi Bekar Sokak No: 28 Beyoğlu @zubeyir_ocakbasi
FOXY A wine bar collaboration between chef Maksut Aşkar and wine expert Levon Bağış brings forth a brilliant wine menu highlighting indigenous Anatolian grapes to match delicious small dishes such as samphireshrimp fritters, raw fennel salad and a succulent stuffed and spiced chickpea dish called topik. Harbiye, Mim Kemal Öke Cd. No:1 D, 34365 Şişli @foxyistanbul
Foxy Zübeyir Ocakbaşi
ÇIYA SOFRASI This eatery showcases Anatolian food culture from different regions of Turkey with hearty soups, casseroles and vegetarian dishes. The Şöbiye, ta baklavastyle sweet is the best in İstanbul. Caferağa, Güneşli Bahçe Sk., 34710 Kadıköy @ciyasofrasi YANYALI FEHMI Tucked in the Kadiköy market, this traditional tradesmen restaurant is for home-cooked meals. Various milk puddings like the renowned chicken breast pudding should be tasted. Osmanağa, Güneşli Bahçe Sk. No:1, 34714 Kadıköy @yanyalifehmi BASTA Run by two well-known and highly trained chefs celebrating the beautiful migrant street food culture of Istanbul. Caferağa, Sakız Sk. No:1, 34710 Kadıköy @basta_food
ASMALI CAVIT Meyhane is where Turks go to drink the local aniseed-flavoured spirit Rakı with good conversation and meze. This family establishment carrys on this tradition with dishes like grilled anchovies, cured bonito,, and broad beans with caramelised onions. Cd. 16/D, 34430 Beyoğlu
HAÇAPURI The folk from the Black Sea region are considered masters of Turkish pide and this place lives up to all expectations. The quality of the toppings are equally fabulous. Hasanpaşa, Fahrettin Kerim Gökay Cad. No:11, 34722 Kadıköy @hacapuripide
ETHEM KAHVECI Preparing Turkish coffee properly requires attention and patience. It is seen as an access to the art of conversation. Few take this heritage and responsibility as seriously as fourth-generation owner of Ethem Kahveci, a coffee stall within the exquisite Grand Bazaar. Beyazıt, Halicilar Carsisi Cad. No:89, 34126 Fatih
KADIKÖY FISH MARKET A short ferry ride crossing the Boshorus and a place to stroll among fishmongers, butchers and grocers. Try @ozcantursu for pickles, olives and pomegranate molasses @sekercicafererol for candied fruits and marzipan. Caferağa, Yasa Cad. No:56, 34710 Kadıköy
Circle of life A ferry ride for bread that feeds the soul.
As a boy growing up, I remember going to school each day, crossing the Bosphorus on a ferry from the Asia side of Istanbul where my family lived, to the Europe side. I always looked forward to this trip because it meant Turkish tea and simit. Although lighter, and less dense, if you can imagine a Turkish bagel, then you’ll understand simit. It’s made with flour and yeast, dipped in grape molasses, then covered in sesame seeds before baking. The molasses gives simit its golden colour and crust. Crossing one of the most beautiful waterways in the world, sharing my simit with the seagulls and having my tea was the daily delight of my childhood. Sometimes, if I had a little money, I would treat myself to a simit sandwich with olives, tomatoes, and my favourite white cheese, Tulum, a sheep’s milk cheese from eastern Turkey which matures for six months inside sheep skins that are hung in caves. My love of this 64
cheese inspired the name of my restaurant, Tulum. Even on weekends, simit was an important part of our culture and the family kitchen. Early on Saturday and Sunday mornings, the quietness of our street was broken with the cry, “simitciiiii” from the man who sold it. From high up in our apartment building, my mother used to lower a basket on a rope with money in it and buy simit for breakfast for the whole family. I loved to dip this into my most-loved of my mother’s favourite dishes, Cilbir, a dish of eggs in yoghurt with Turkish pepper. Waiting for her to come home, then before preparing the evening meal, she knew I was always hungry. She would poach an egg, add whipped yoghurt and burnt butter, and I would dip my simit into this warm creamy mixture. It was heaven! I have taken the memory and warmth of this dish and recreated a version for my restaurant. It’s so popular, I can’t take it off the menu.
Quince Gin Sour
With hints of clove and rosewater, any leftover syrup from poaching quince can transform a drink such as a Gin Sour into a sublime, fragrant sweet and sour cocktail.
45ml gin 45ml lemon juice 30ml quince syrup (from poached quince p29) 1cm piece of cooked poached quince, muddled A few drops of rosewater 2 tsp eggwhite or aquafaba Soda water, to top Rose petal, to garnish
1. Combine gin, lemon juice, eggwhite, quince flesh, syrup and rosewater in a cocktail shaker and add enough ice to fill half-way up. Shake vigorously until mixture is ice-cold and frothy. 2. Strain into a chilled coupe, top up with soda water to taste, and garnish with a rose petal.
It’s time we take a trip along the Aegean coastline to taste the beautiful dishes of Turkey. The food is so complex and just uniquely delici...
Published on Jun 9, 2021
It’s time we take a trip along the Aegean coastline to taste the beautiful dishes of Turkey. The food is so complex and just uniquely delici...