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Recipes    

Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
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Rice with Lamb (or Beef) and Onions; Etli Pilav, The Aegean Way; and Spring time in Ephesus – popular with children and cats too!:)

Rice, pilaff form a very important part of Turkish cuisine; we Turks like to have rice, bulgur wheat or pulses for at least one meal every day. Pilav or pilaffs are enjoyed as an accompaniment to stews and casseroles like to this Kuru Fasulye, dried beans stew with chicken in tomato sauce or are served as the main course, like this popular Turkish street food Nohutlu Pilav – Rice with chickpeas (and chicken) . The cooking of rice is regarded as an art (and traditionally an important test for the bride-to-be to master before marriage!); the grains must be soft but still have a bite to them.

Etli Pilav - Rice with onions and chunks of meat; a delicious meal on its own.

Etli Pilav – Rice with onions and chunks of meat; a delicious meal on its own.

One of the dishes we made at our Aegean style Turkish cooking class at Hanimeli, near Sirince was this very delicious & impressive Etli Pilav – Rice cooked with chunks of meat and onions. It is common to incorporate meat and vegetables into the rice and flavors change in different regions, with the use of different spices. It has been very interesting to see  how Etli Pilav is made at the Aegean region and compare it with the Mevlubi – rice with marinated meat, eggpplant, onions and potatoes cooked in Southern Turkey, more fragrant and richer with the use of spices and red pepper paste, biber salcasi.

Mevlubi; Upside down rice with marinated meat, eggplants, onions and potato; Southern Turkish way

Mevlubi; Upside down rice with marinated meat, eggplants, onions and potato; the  Southern Turkish way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We greatly enjoyed this delicately flavored Etli Pilav, the Aegean style; the marriage of sauteed onions and meat was so delicious cooked with rice.

Rice with Chunks of Meat and Onion – Etli Pilav

Serves 4-6

Preparation time : 15 minutes                         Cooking time: 35-40 minutes

350gr/12oz/1 ¾ cups long grain or wholegrain basmati rice, rinsed and drained

450gr/1 lb. beef or lamb, cut in small chunks

2 medium onions, quartered and sliced thinly

30ml/2 tablespoon butter

1lt/4 cups of the meat’s cooking liquid reserved

15ml/1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Non-stick pan works best for this dish

Make sure to reserve the cooking liquid of the meat for the rice.

Make sure to reserve the cooking liquid of the meat for the rice.

 

Place the meat in a heavy pan, pour in the water (enough to cover the meat and some more) and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes or until tender at low to medium heat. Season with salt and ground black pepper and make sure to reserve and keep the cooking liquid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spread the cooked meat evenly over the onions, then stir in the rice and the cooking liquid over.

In a separate pan (non-stick pan works best), stir in 1 tbsp. butter and olive oil and sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes. Then take out the cooked meat from the other pan and spread them evenly over the onions. Over the meat, stir in and spread the rinsed rice. Add the cooking liquid, the remaining 1 tbsp. butter and salt to taste. Cover and cook on low heat for about 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the liquid absorbed.

Once cooked, turned the heat off and place a paper towel over the pan and cover with the lid. Rest the rice for about 10 minutes, this will help all the moisture to be absorbed and rice to settle.

Hanimeli's staff is getting ready to turn the rice upside down!

Hanimeli’s staff is getting ready to turn the rice upside down!

Before serving, turn the rice upside down on a wide serving tray, onions and the meat will appear as layers at the top, looking like a delicious savory cake. The delicious flavors of the cooked meat and onion blend in with the rice and make it very flavorsome.

Etli Pilav; Upside down rice with onions and meat.

Etli Pilav; Upside down rice with onions and meat.

 

 

 

 

Season with ground black pepper and serve hot. This dish can be a meal on its own, or you can complement with this Eggplants cooked in olive oil with vegetables, Zeytinyagli Patlican or how about with this refreshing Purslane with garlic yoghurt, Yogurtlu Semizotu?

Joy of Cooking together; our feast is ready.

Joy of Cooking together; our feast is ready.

 

 

 

 

Etli Pilav - Rice with onions and meat-; Zeytinyagli Patlican - Eggplants with vegetables cooked in olive oil and many more at our Aegean style cooking class in Turkey

Etli Pilav – Rice with onions and meat-; Zeytinyagli Patlican – Eggplants with vegetables cooked in olive oil and many more at our Aegean style cooking class in Turkey

Hope this inspires for healthy, delicious meals, cooked and enjoyed together.  Afiyet Olsun,

 Ozlem

Spring time in Ephesus, Turkey – Popular with children and cats too!-

The Curete Street, "The citizens of the city" - the main street of the Ephesus, Turkey.

The Curete Street, “The citizens of the city” – the main street of the Ephesus, Turkey.

 I love to be able to have a chance to cook with locals and enjoy regional Turkish cuisine,  exploring the magnificent sites all around Turkey. After our Aegean style Turkish cooking class, we made it to the Ephesus, dating back to 6000 BC, to the Neolithic age. Ephesus, the best preserved Roman city in the Eastern Mediterranean with its Temple of Artemis, is one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World.  Ephesus had a population of more than 250,000 in the 1st century BC, which served to make it one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean world. Only about 25 % of this magnificent site has been excavated; just imagine its grandeur once more excavation done.

Ephesus and the lovely cats ; )

Ephesus and the lovely cats : )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spring is a great time to visit Ephesus, with mild, pleasant temperatures reaching around 70F. Cats seems to be the residents of Ephesus at the moment, greatly enjoying this fantastic site! It has also been lovely to see children from babies, toddlers to teenagers at Ephesus; seeing is believing and this experience is I am sure to stay with them more than any history book. I remember taking our son to Ephesus when he was about 5 years old; his fascination with the Old Roman Milestone is still vivid in his memories. And how about this little one? He certainly enjoyed strolling around Ephesus!

Children love exploring Ephesus too!

Children love exploring Ephesus too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ephesus, once, the trade centre of the ancient world, is located on a very fertile valley. Here is the Goddess of Victory, Nike, in Ephesus – next to one of the many fig trees in the region; they are simply everywhere in Ephesus.

Nike; the Goddess of Victory, at Ephesus - Turkey

Nike; the Goddess of Victory, at Ephesus – Turkey

Last but not least, the Libary of Celsus at Ephesus; what an impressive piece, still takes my breath away, even if I must have seen it over a dozen of times.

Celsus Library, Ephesus - Turkey

Celsus Library, Ephesus – Turkey

 

Up close at the Library of Celsus, Ephesus - Turkey

Up close at the Library of Celsus, Ephesus – Turkey

Before I sing off; I forgot to mention a wonderful eatery, Asik Restaurant, at my previous post on Didyma. We had a very delicious and generous Turkish Esnaf Lokanta style buffet lunch at Asik Restaurant, right accross the entrance of Didyma. Perhaps 15-20 different types of home cooked traditional Turkish food from Izmir kofte -meatballs with potato in tomato sauce, bulgur pilaff, stuffed cabbage leaves to  eggs cooked with spinach,karniyarik – stuffed eggplants with ground meat and vegetables filling are offer and  you feel like you are in heaven. Hasan Bey treated us to a real Turkish hospitality and we re-filled our plates with this generous, delicious food and greatly enjoyed it. Many of these recipes are available at this blog, if you would like to have a go.

Zeytinyaglis, stews, stuffed cabbage, koftes and more; a delicious and generous Turkish buffet spread at Asik Restaurant, Didyma.

Zeytinyaglis, stews, stuffed cabbage, koftes and more; a delicious and generous Turkish buffet spread at Asik Restaurant, Didyma.

My best wishes for exciting, fulfilling travels, Selamlar,

Ozlem

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21 Responses to Rice with Lamb (or Beef) and Onions; Etli Pilav, The Aegean Way; and Spring time in Ephesus – popular with children and cats too!:)

  1. Peri April 24, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    Ozlem, I love the look of Ephesus, the beauty of the place is breathtaking, if the walls could speak, we’d hear the most amazing stories! And the rice with meat and onion sounds delicious, I like the molded look, perfect for parties and get-togethers!xxPeri

    • Ozlem Warren April 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

      Cheers Peri; I loved the look of etli pilav too : ) and as an all in one meal, great for entertaining too. Oh, you have to make it to Ephesus, the place takes your breath away : ) xx Ozlem

      • Pati Waggoner-Gulat September 20, 2013 at 6:25 am #

        I’ve BEEN to Ephesus and it does INDEED take your breath away ! We had an Easter sunrise service in the colesium…MAGNIFICENT !!

        • Ozlem Warren September 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

          Thank you for stopping by Pati, glad you enjoyed Ephesus; I feel the same, no matter haw many times I have been there, each time the whole place takes my breath away, timeless.. That Easter sunrise at the colesium must be so memorable!

  2. Joy @My Turkish Joys April 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    Looks like you’ve been busy traveling around again! Love the cats among the ancient ruins, and the little boy is a doll too. Cheers!

    • Ozlem Warren April 24, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

      Merhaba Joy – the traveling and food has been very memorable – and yes the little boy is adorable : )

  3. raky villaflores April 24, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    surely i will try this one… thanks for sharing..

    • Ozlem Warren April 24, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

      many thanks for stopping by Racky, pleasure to share!

  4. jaz April 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    i could eat rice or grains at almost every meal. this looks so good! if i ever travel to turkey, i better spend weeks because i need to try everything. yesterday i ate an iranian meal and had my first Torshi-e Makhloot. now i must make it. it was fabulous!

    • Ozlem Warren April 24, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

      Merhaba Jaz; I bet you will have a ball and enjoy every minute of it when you travel to Turkey-your Iranian meal sounds fabulous, hope you post the recipe!

  5. BacktoBodrum April 24, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: Server IP]
    The etli pilav looks wonderful – I’ve never cooked it like this before so will give it a go.

    • Ozlem Warren April 24, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

      Glad you will have a go at etli pilav; it was delicious and easy to make – definetely recommend a non-stick pan for the ease of turning the rice upside down!

  6. Barbara April 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    Your post evokes lovely memories of our visits to Ephesus – what a spectacular site!

    • Ozlem Warren April 24, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

      So agree Barbara, a truly special site, glad it brought happy memories back : )

  7. Rachel Cotterill April 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    I went to Ephesus at the end of March – it’s a gorgeous place, and they’re doing such good work to reconstruct the buildings :)

    • Ozlem Warren April 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

      I very much agree Rachel, the place is breathtaking, and only about 25 % excavated – just imagine when more work done and more things to see :)

  8. Biblical tours Turkey May 11, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: CSS Hack]
    Hiya, I ran across your web site by using Yahoo even though searching for a very similar subject, your website got here up, it looks to be such as superior. We’ve saved as a favorite in order to our favourites features and functions|put into bookmarks.

    • Ozlem Warren May 11, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

      thank you!

  9. Eva February 6, 2014 at 12:58 am #

    Lovely blog, I found it via your friend seasonal cooking blog. My father grew up in Istanbul and spoke Turkish well although we are Greek. I am very influenced by the cooking I remember from my childhood. Our cultures are so similar, pity about the politics that stir division. I will enjoy cooking your recipes, and tomorrow will start with the quince which I never managed to get to go soft before. All the best.

    • Ozlem Warren February 6, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

      Kalispera Eva, thank you so much for your kind note. I share the same sentiments; I love our shared culinary heritage, and I have many dear Greek friends, we have so much in common, and that’s what I love to celebrate : ) I hope you enjoy the recipes – the quince turned well, hope it is for you too. My very best wishes, Ozlem

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