Simple, hearty eggs – The Turkish way
Turkey is a food lover’s paradise!
Turkish cuisine is one of the three great cuisines of the world – other two being Chinese and French. The Ottoman Sultan’s chefs, were specially brought to the Istanbul palace from the mountain regions of Bolu. At the Topkapi palace, they devoted themselves to creating an elaborate unrivalled menu! The Ottoman traditions like weaving, agriculture and family business changed the social culture of Turkey. Turkey’s rich and diverse geography produces seasonal fruits, vegetables, olives, wheat, barley, fish, goat’s milk – a treat for the chef.
Geography defines cuisine – fish from the coast of Marmara and Aegean sea, Anatolia is the bread basket, the Balkan mountain goat and sheep give milk and cheese products, fruits in cooler northern regions. A traditional Turkish menu, at home, bus terminal or a luxurious restaurant will include : meatball Kofte, Shawarma, Kebap, roasted aubergine, lentil soup, chicken /mutton biryani, Shakshouka, Mehmet broad beans, banana milkshake, fried Haloumi cheese with olives, Turkish eggs or Menemen. Trays filled with colourful pastries and puddings are dessert menu.
Now, enjoy it just like the Turks do – families gather together at tables, pass plates and smoke traditional hookah. ‘Laugh and be merry, it helps digest the food’ goes the saying.
Turkey’s famous sweets are: Baklave, slurpy Turkish ice-cream, Pistachio Halve, Tahini Halve, Lokum sugar cake or grain based puddings, sitting pretty in colourful containers on bakery shelves. No meal is complete without a traditional pot of Turkish kahve, or coffee and almond filled dates.
ShubhanAllah! God is kind and merciful.
Here is my home version of the ever popular Menemen. Served to us on the terrace cafe during a tour of Istanbul, we enjoyed generous Turkish hospitality. Feta cheese, olives, slices of ham and fresh-baked cake are perfect accompaniment. Don’t forget a pot of kahve , Turkish coffee
Scrambled eggs or Menemen (pronounced Meh-ne -men), is a classic Turkish breakfast, influenced by European and Asian cuisines. It is heavily drizzled in olive oil and flavoured with spices. Dollops of fresh goat’s milk yoghurt, black olives and Feta cheese, ham slices are nutritious accompaniment. Seasonal fruit like oranges, apples, plum (Elma )and apricots (Kayisi) and fleshy figs (Incir) are perfect sweet note to end upon.
Recipe : Turkish scrambled eggs or Menemen
1 piece chopped red bell pepper
1 piece chopped yellow bell pepper
3 tsp. olive oil
1 medium red onion sliced into rings
1 medium tomato
Red chilli flakes ( adjust to taste)
Fresh ground pepper ( 2-3 peppercorns)
Feta cheese 200 gm ( or less)
kosher salt /pepper to taste
Iron wok /skillet is ideal / thick bottom pan
Garnish : Green and black olives, Feta cheese, fresh parsley or mint leaves
Warm up the olive oil in a heavy bottom frying pan. ( Do not over heat oil !) Add the onion and stir till soft brown, add chopped green or red peppers and cook further. Add diced , seasonal tomatoes and simmer for about 5-7 min, or until most of the moisture evaporates. Sprinkle some chilli flakes and ground pepper.
In a bowl, lightly whisk eggs and slowly fold into pan mixture, gently stirring. You don’t want to over cook your Menemen – it will go crumbly, it’s better to have it a bit on runny side. Drizzle plenty of olive oil – it’s good for your skin and health.
Once the eggs are scrambled, crumble white Feta cheese on top. Take off the heat. Garnish with chopped parsley or fresh mint and few pieces of peppers to decorate further. Menemen must look bright and colourful!
Here is another recipe I found in the Women’s Era, Indian magazine: http://www.womansera.com/showarticle2.php?id=832
Turkish Vegetables with an Indian twist, by Roma Ghosh
Okra Turkish style
300 gm okra/ bhindi – medium-sized
salt to taste
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp pepper powder
1 onion – medium sized finely chopped
1 tomato medium-sized cut into small pieces
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
Wash the okra and wipe with a kitchen towel to remove the water. Discard both ends of the okra Wash the okra and wipe with a kitchen towel to remove the water. Discard both ends of the okra but keep the okra whole. Make a slit in the centre and keep aside. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion pieces till translucent. Mix in the tomatoes and stir fry for another 2 minutes. Add the okra and cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Lower the heat and mix the remaining ingredients. Cover with a lid and cook till the okra are tender. Remove and serve hot with bread, Feta Cheese and bowl of yoghurt.
All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 – 2015) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.