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Category Archives: Turkish

Turkish Style Chicken Kebab


  •  ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons Turkish tomato paste (regular tomato paste is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (juice of one lemon can be substituted)
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 chicken drumsticks with skin
  • Fresh lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Transfer chicken pieces to a ziplock bag and add the marinade. Massage the bag to ensure all pieces are coated with the marinade. Marinate in the fridge over night or at least 2 to 3 hours. Take out of bag and place on to a lined cookie sheet. Grill outside or in the oven. If cooking in oven, broil to brown evenly and then cook in a 350 degrees F oven till the chicken is done. Sprinkle extra salt if needed. Drizzle fresh lemon juice. Serve immediately!

Turkish Style Chicken Kebabs

Turkish Style Cucumber And Parsley Salad

  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 to 4 Persian cucumbers, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Transfer the parsley, cucumbers and green onions to a medium bowl. Add the salt, pomegranate molasses and olive oil. Mix well and serve!

Turkish Style Bulgur Pilaf

Healthy and delicious!!

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon Turkish tomato paste (or use regular tomato paste)
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat (I used quick cooking bulgur from Trader Joes)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Heat a medium saucepan with the olive oil. Add the tomato paste and cook on medium heat for a minute or two. I bought some Turkish tomato paste from Istanbul. I got the spicy kind, which has chilies in it- but regular tomato paste can be substituted. Add the bulgur and stir. Add the broth and salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and let cook for 10 minutes. Turn heat off, fluff with fork and let sit for another 5 minutes. Check for seasonings and serve.

Turkish Style Kebabs with Yogurt Sauce

One of our best vacations was in Istanbul- the food was out of this world.. These kebabs remind me of the amazing trip…

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup milk

Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk for about 10 minutes and keep aside.

  • 1 pound ground pork, beef or dark meat turkey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Transfer the soaked breadcrumbs, ground meat, salt, cumin, all spice, sumac, dried mint, garlic, egg and parsley to a large food processor. Process till a smooth mixture is achieved. Take out and let the mixture marinate for at least 2 to 3 hours. Form into meatballs or kebabs, about ¼ cup of mixture for each kebab. Heat a frying pan with the oil and cook the kebabs on a medium heat, turning every 2 to 3 minutes until all sides are brown. Cook till the kebabs are cooked through- about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with yogurt sauce.

Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup full fat yogurt, whisked
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon

Mix all the ingredients including the yogurt in a bowl. Serve with the kebabs.


Turkish Style Lentil Soup

Yummy lentil soup for meatless Monday!!

  • 1 tablespoon butter or extra light olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • ½ cup red lentils, washed
  • 1 small potato, peeled and cut in half inch squares
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Fresh lemon juice

Heat a medium saucepan with the oil. Add the onion, ground cumin and mint. Saute on medium heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Add the lentils, potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil and add the salt and turmeric and simmer on medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes adding more broth if necessary. Once the potato chunks are soft, take off the heat and let cool. Transfer to blender and blend till smooth. Pour the liquid back to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Adjust the consistency by either adding more broth or cooking off extra broth. Check for seasonings. Squirt some fresh lemon juice right before serving.

Turkish Style Kebabs

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoons harissa
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 small yellow onion, grated
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup mint, chopped

Transfer all the ingredients to a mixing bowl, mix well and let sit for 2 to 3 hours. Form about 12 sausage shaped kebabs and then insert a skewer through each and grill till done. Serve in warm pita with some greens like arugula topped with the harissa sauce.

Harissa Sauce

  • 1 cup full fat yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup mint, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sumac
  • 2 tablespoons harissa
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Mix everything in a small bowl, taste for seasonings and serve over the kebabs.

Bulgur Pilaf with Red Pepper and Eggplant

This is a perfect accompaniment for the kebabs from yesterday’s post. I added delicious red pepper and eggplant to the grain and included harissa which is a Moroccan spicy condiment. It was a delicious dish!

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 1 small eggplant, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1½ cups bulgur wheat, washed and drained
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint

Heat a large saucepan with the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat. Add the harissa and tomato paste. Saute for another 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the red pepper, eggplant and jalapeno. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, mix well and simmer on a medium low heat, covered for about 5 minutes. Take the lid off and add the bulgur and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the hot water, bring to a boil and simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the bulgur rest for 20 minutes. Take the lid off, fluff with a fork. Add salt and dried mint. Check for seasonings. Serve warm.