#TurkishByHJ – Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak

Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak

Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak

Mains for 5 people

This Turkish main that consist of meat & either beans (Fasulye) or spinach (Ispanak). It is ideally served with rice cooked in butter, but I am service mine with wheat which is much firmer.

 Ingredients:

  • 300g flat beans (50p)

    Kıymalı ingredients

    Kıymalı ingredients

  • 300g spinach (40p)
  • 1 tinned of chopped tomato (50p)
  • 1 red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 800g lamb chops (£4.00)
  • Oregano
  • Fresh Mint (50p)
  • Fresh coriander (50p)
  • 3 Turkish peppers (25p)

    Raw wheat grains

    Raw wheat grains

  • Paprika
  • Chilli flakes
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Ground Cumin
  • Vegetable oil.
  • Pomegranate (50p)
  • Natural yogurt (45p)

£7.60

Accompaniment:

  • 500g wheat (99p)
  • 50g butter
  • 25g onion

Total cost for the main £8.59 or £1.71 per person.

All the above ingredients were necessary as I tried to make this dish as authentic as possible. The most costly item on the list was the lamb chops, found in Iceland. For even lower budget, revert to chicken which can be bought from £2.00. The yogurt and pomegranates are also extra and often found in Turkish mains. Both are not really necessary. Instead of wheat, I could have stuck to rice or barley which are half the price of wheat. Excluding the yogurt and Pomegranate well as using chicken wings instead of lamb and rice instead of wheat would have bought the main’s cost down to around £5.15

Method:

Rinse and cut the lamb chops in smaller pieces big enough to be a mouth full. Place in a bowl. Peel & press the garlic over the lamb then add black pepper and salt. Mix well and set aside.

Lamb cuts

Lamb cuts

Rinse the flat beans, cut off the extremities and cut them in pieces of about 3cm in length. Do the same for the Turkish peppers and set aside. The Turkish pepper are much more flavourful than your regular green sweet peppers and they are not hot.

Cut off the spinach leaves from their stalks, rinse the leaves individually before roughly cutting them. Set aside. I used the large spinach leaves.

Peel and chop the onion, set aside. Pick off about 15 leaves of mint and a hand full of fresh coriander, rinse and chop finely. Set aside.

In a large sauce pan, heat 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil, add the meat and fry for 5 minutes turning the pieces of meat until all sides are browned. Now add ¾ of the chopped onion, mix and cover the pan. Allow the meat to sweat for 10 minutes.

Flat bean and Turkish pepper cut

Flat bean and Turkish pepper cut

Now, add tomato, cumin, paprika, chilli flakes, oregano, mint, coriander and 100ml water. Mix well, taste and adjust seasoning before covering to simmer for 20 minutes.

Halfway through the 20 minutes, add the flat beans & Turkish peppers, stirs and cover again. At the end of the 20 minutes, add the spinach stir well and cover to simmer for another 5 minutes.

By the time the spinach are softened, the meat would have been cooking for 45 minutes in total, so it should be really tender and almost falling off the bone.

Steaming Kıymalı

Steaming Kıymalı

Now on to the Wheat. The Turkish would have served the meat above with a Sade Pilavi, which means rice fried in butter, then cooked with stock… Please read the Wiki page about Turkish food, such an interesting mix of flavours and techniques. I am not using rice obviously, but I am cooking my wheat in the “Sade” way.

Rinse off the starch from the wheat, set aside. In a big enough pan with a lid, heat 50g butter and add the chopped onion. Until it starts to caramelise. Now add the wheat with a pinch of salt and stir fry for about 5 minutes to obtain a very slightly toasty smell (or burn if you will) coming from the pan.

Close up cooked wheat

Close up cooked wheat

Now pour over it 500ml of stock and cover to simmer for 30 minutes.  You will need to open the pan very often to check the water levels and add more water until the wheat softens.

Now. Wheat does not soften to the level of rice and can be very chewy, if you have never used it, after cooking it for 20-25 minutes you should be able to eat it without too much efforts.

Wheat is a great alternative to rice.

I server mine hot, topped with the Lamb Kıymalı with yogurt and fresh pomegranates jewels.

I chose to use the pomegranates instead of dry fruits because they are less sweet and bring much colour to the plate.

Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak serve with sade wheat , natural yogurt and pomegranate

Kıymalı Fasulye-Ispanak serve with sade wheat , natural yogurt and pomegranate

Enjoy!

To read how I came up with the menu read here… Other elements from this Turkish menu include a meze with Babaganoush, beans hummus, flat bread, cabbage dolma & tomato/almond dip

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#TurkishByHJ – Tomato and almonds dip

Meze - Tomato & almond dip

Meze – Tomato & almond dip

Meze for 5 people

Including: Babaganoush, Broad beans hummus, Fresh tomato & almond Dip, Dolma and flat crusty breads.

Ingredients:

Tomato dip ingredients

Tomato dip ingredients

  • 10 small tomato (50p)
  • 10 leaves basil (59p)
  • 10g red onion
  • Salt
  • 10g roasted almond flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 50ml groundnut oil or any other vegetable oil

Cost: From time to times, Lidl sells groundnut oil from 99p for 250ml during their Asian week promotion. I already had this oil, so didn’t need to buy some. For this dip, I only had to buy tomato and basil. I have flaked almonds left over from a previous recipe. They are essential to this recipe and they give it the dippy taste. This dip cost £1.09.

Method:

Cut the quantity of onion needed, peel, dice and place it in the blender. Rinse the tomatoes, quarter them and place them in the blender. Rinse and chop the basil, peel the garlic and add all in the blender as well as the almonds and groundnut oil. Put the lid on the blender and mince the content in 2-3 bursts.

This dip is not meant to be smooth and should still have visible bits in it…

Once you are satisfied with the consistency, pour in a serving bowl, cover with the cling film and chill.

Done.

Turkish Meze - 3 dips

Turkish Meze – 3 dips

Next, the dolma and flat bread.

Turkish food… Let’s do it!

Just a skip and a hop from Africa

Just a skip and a hop from Africa

We are back this Saturday on Croydon Radio with a Turkish menu. Turkey was all over the front pages today with the elections… ahah…

It is fascinating how much I discover with the challenges that this show brings to my plate.

When I started to look at the Turkish menu it was just because a colleague brought in two weeks ago a really beautiful and colourful scarf that her mother in law had handmade for her.

Turkish Kilim rug

Turkish Kilim rug

The scarf reminded me of few of the random handmade tribal items I had seen among

old Medaillon-Uschak

old Medaillon-Uschak

some o auction list I had seen while working as a handmade Persian rugs auction coordinator.

I had never considered eating or cooking Turkish food event though I get a lot of my ingredients from their shops… and there are many in Croydon.

I have discovered quiet a lot looking into this… It is almost as if Turkish food does not have its own identity. The Turkish cuisine according to what I have read takes on flavours from almost all the countries surrounding it including Northern Africa just a boat crossing away.

You will find in its flavours Mediterranean, northern African and East Asian hints… So, imagine having a menu reminding you of Greek cuisine, topped with Moroccan and Iranian cuisine in one menu and you can almost imagine what it might look and taste like…

It is with that in mind that I will be offering you my interpretation of the Turkish cuisine… I really hope that you will be available to tune it and hear what I came up with!

Do Post your comment while we will on air on Croydon radio this Saturday from 4pm. It is a 3 course Turkish meal! Don’t miss it! x

Every  related tweets will be posted with #TurkishByHJ

An this is What I came up with: A meze for starters (vegan),  Kıymalı Fasulye and to finish a Baklava served with a redbbush, cinnamon & orange tea.

Turkish set by HJ

Turkish set by HJ