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Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
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Casseroles and Stews

Chicken and Vegetable Bake in Pomegranate Molasses; Eksili Tavuk

Chicken and vegetables bake in pomegranate molasses and lemon sauce; Eksili Tavuk

Chicken and vegetables bake in pomegranate molasses and lemon sauce; Eksili Tavuk

Inspiration for this delicious, gluten-free recipe, Eksili Tavuk; Chicken in lemon and pomegranate molasses sauce with vegetables, came from dear Janet, who is part of the wonderful blog, Archers of Okcular. Janet and Alan have been enjoying Eksili Tavuk, traditionally made with the delicious whole chicken from the villages nearby; I can just imagine how tasty that chicken must be. She asked me the recipe and so glad she did. After some research, I came up with my version of Eksili Tavuk, using some seasonal vegetables like celeriac and chard in it. We greatly enjoyed this dish and I owe a big thanks to Janet!

Marinating the chicken in pomegranate molasses, red pepper paste, garlic and spices add a lot of flavor.

Marinating the chicken in pomegranate molasses, red pepper paste, garlic and spices add a lot of flavor.

Traditional Eksili Tavuk in the Aegean Region is made with cooking a whole chicken in plenty of water and adding vegetables like potato, carrots and onions to it, as well as the lemon sauce. I have seen flour being used in the broth to thicken the sauce; it is a delicious dish. I have used chicken breast in my version and added celeriac and chard to the vegetable mix. I have also added pomegranate molasses in the sauce; celeriac especially has been a perfect pair to the chicken in the tangy lemon and pomegranate sauce; the sweet and savory flavors really complemented one another very well (Pomegranate molasses, nar eksisi is widely used especially in southern Turkish cooking and add great flavor to salads, mezzes, stews. You can make your own pomegranate molasses with my recipe here, if you’d like). Marinating the chicken in cumin, red pepper flakes, garlic, tomato paste, red pepper paste, biber salcasi (if used), lemon juice and pomegranate molasses really worth the effort, add a delicious flavor to the chicken.

I baked my eksili tavuk; chicken with vegetables in pomegranate and lemon juice sauce, in the oven. It turned out to be an easy, wholesome and delicious all in one pot dish that we loved and will be revisiting often. Many thanks for the inspiration, Janet, hope you all enjoy it!

Eksili Tavuk; baked chicken and vegetables in lemon and pomegranate sauce

Eksili Tavuk; baked chicken and vegetables in lemon and pomegranate sauce

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

4.0 from 1 reviews
Chicken and Vegetable Bake in Pomegranate Molasses; Eksili Tavuk
 
An easy, wholesome and delicious all in one pot chicken and vegetables bake with pomegranate molasses and lemon sauce, inspired by the Agean region's Eksili Tavuk. Celeriac especially here really worked well with the sweet & savory pomegranate molasses; a wonderful dish we loved and will be revisiting often. Afiyet Olsun!
Author:
Recipe type: Healthy & gluten-free chicken and vegetable casserole
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 500 gr / 1 ¼ lb. chicken breast or boneless thighs, skinned
  • 175 gr/ 6 oz. chard, washed, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 small carrots, quartered and sliced in small chunks
  • 1 small celeriac root, cut in small, chunky strips (about 4 cm log, 1 cm wide)
  • 2 onions, quartered and sliced thinly
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp. concentrated tomato paste
  • ½ tbsp. Turkish hot pepper paste, biber salcasi (optional)
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. pomegranate molasses, nar eksisi
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 30 ml/ 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1.2 liters/2 pints/5 cups water
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F
  2. Cut the chicken into small chunks and place in a large bowl.
  3. Marinate the chicken in cumin, red pepper flakes, garlic, tomato paste, red pepper paste (if used), lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well so that all the ingredients coat the chicken pieces. Cover and keep in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.
  4. While the chicken is marinating, prepare the vegetables. Cut the outer skin of celeriac root and slice in chunky strips. Rub the celeriac with 1 tbsp. lemon juice to avoid discoloring.
  5. Combine the celeriac with the other vegetables chopped, except chard, in a baking dish. Add the 2 tbsp. olive oil, season with salt and ground black pepper and mix well.
  6. Stir in the marinated chicken to the vegetables mixture and combine well.
  7. Pour in the1.2 liters/2 pints/5 cups water and mix well.
  8. Cover and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  9. After 30 minutes, stir in the chopped chard to the mixture and give a good stir. Cover and bake 10 -15 minutes more, until the chard is tender and chicken is cooked.
  10. Serve hot with crusty bread aside.
 

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Kale Stew in Yoghurt, Chickpeas; My Online Turkish Cookery Course

Kale with chunks of meat, chickpeas in yoghurt sauce with dried mint and red pepper flakes – A borani inspiration from Antakya

Borenye or Borani is an Antakya region specialty, which is served often as part of the dinner spread for special occasions in Antakya. I love this hearty dish especially in winter times; combination of yoghurt with chickpeas, vegetables and meat is just wonderful. We like to add more flavors to this special dish with dried mint and red pepper flakes; a delicious, wholesome comforting dish.

Traditionally, Borani or Borenye is made using another Antakya region specialty, tuzlu yogurt (strained, salty yoghurt, you can find more information here). Tuzlu yogurt is made from goat’s milk in Antakya region; it is a salty, rich, tangy spreadable paste and added to Boranis. I love tuzlu yogurt however it is hard to find abroad, so I used thick, plain yoghurt in my recipe, like my mother does, still works well. Boranis are made using a variety of vegetables like spinach, fava beans, pumpkin, courgette/zucchini. I used kale for my version here; combined with chickpeas, dried mint and red pepper flakes, it worked beautifully.

This Borani has a delicious sauce and we like to dip in potato and bulgur rolls, patatesli, bulgurlu kofte to its juice. Baked Oruk, or Kibbeh or Icli Kofte with that delicious walnuts and ground meat filling would also be divine served with borani or borenye.

Antakya’s borani or boreniye – this time with kale; delicious

I hope you enjoy this delicious regional specialty from Antakya, Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

3.0 from 1 reviews
Kale Stew in Yoghurt, Chickpeas; My Online Turkish Cookery Course
 
Borenye or Borani is an Antakya region specialty, which is served often as part of the dinner spread for special occasions in Antakya. I love this hearty dish especially in winter times; combination of yoghurt with chickpeas, vegetables and meat is just wonderful. We like to add more flavors to this special dish with dried mint and red pepper flakes; a delicious, wholesome comforting dish.
Author:
Recipe type: Healthy Turkish stews with chickpeas, kale and spices
Cuisine: Turkish Regional Cuisine
Ingredients
  • 350 gr / 12 oz. kale; washed, trimmed and chopped
  • 400 gr/ 14 oz. beef or lamb, cut in small chunks
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 400 ml/ 14 fl oz./ 1⅔ cups thick, plain yoghurt (brand Fage works well)
  • 400 gr/ 14 oz. -1 can of cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. dried mint
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 600 ml/ 1 pint/ 2 ½ cups water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot and stir in the onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until it beings to soften and start to color.
  2. Stir in the chunks of meat and sauté with the onions for 3 -5 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Add the kale and the garlic to the pan and combine well. Stir and cook with the onions and the meat for 3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the water, mix well.
  5. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste, combine well. Cover and cook over medium to low heat for 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cooked & rinsed chickpeas to the mix, combine well.
  7. Beat the yoghurt until smooth and pour into the pot, while the heat is low. Stir and blend well.
  8. Immediately add the dried mint and red pepper flakes, combine well. Check the seasoning to your taste, add more salt if needed. Turn the heat off.
  9. Serve hot with crusty bread aside. Potato and bulgur rolls, patatesli, bulgurlu kofte would be delicious to serve aside and dip into this delicious Borenye sauce.

 

My Online Turkish Cookery Course Coming Up Soon!

Shooting my online Turkish cookery course – exciting times!

Camera, Action! Shooting my online Turkish cookery course

I have often been asked to do an online Turkish cookery course and I am delighted to share that we have just shot my online Turkish cookery course to be aired at the wonderful and holistic website Mer-ka-bah, by early January 2015.

Talking about Turkish cuisine and seasonality during my online course

Demonstrating spinach and feta filo pastry, Ispanakli Borek

Demonstrating spinach and feta filo pastry, Ispanakli Borek

Love of food connects us no matter where we come from and it has a universal language. And Turkish food is a wonderful expression of the warm, generous Turkish culture. In this exciting, holistic course on Turkish cuisine and serving traditions, I will be exploring the wholesome Turkish cuisine, based on thousands years of culinary heritage (Importance of connecting with our roots in Turkish cuisine, Turkish culinary history, Serving Traditions, Seasonality, Flavoring through Spices, recipe demonstrations and many more amongst the course modules) and its ability to connect us, our strong emphasis on sharing and hospitality. I will also demonstrate some classic and delicious Turkish recipes here; from Spinach & feta filo pastry, Ispanakli Borek to ever popular Stuffed Eggplants/Aubergines with ground meat and vegetables, Karniyarik, from Potato and Bulgur patties to Turkish Coffee.

Our delicious Turkish table at my online Turkish cookery course

Our delicious Turkish table at my online Turkish cookery course

I truly hope this course on Turkish cookery may inspire folks all around the world to discover wholesome Turkish cuisine and have a go at my recipes and enjoy good food with family and friends. Above all, I hope Turkish cuisine’s emphasis on sharing, generosity, hospitality, a reflection of the warm Turkish culture to be felt all throughout the course and inspires.

Stay tuned!:)

Ozlem

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Baked Zucchini, Pepper, Onion, Garlic in Tomato Sauce; Firin Sebze

Baked zucchini (courgette), peppers, onion and garlic in tomato sauce - Firin Sebze

Baked zucchini (courgette), peppers, onion and garlic in tomato sauce – Firin Sebze

This baked vegetables in tomato sauce with olive oil, Firin Sebze, is a delicious, easy and healthy vegetarian course that we turn to often. Beauty of this dish is that you can use whatever vegetables you have in hand; zucchini (courgettes), peppers, onions, peas, carrots, beetroots, aubergines, beans, potatoes especially work well. In Turkish cuisine, we use tomato based sauces a lot in our casseroles, stews and baked dishes; you can use juicy, ripe tomatoes when they are in season. If you can’t get hold of ripe tomatoes, a good quality canned chopped tomatoes also work very well.

For a more substantial vegetarian course, you can add cooked chickpeas to the vegetable mixture here and bake all together. It is a delicious and gluten-free vegetarian course that complements any grills and pasta beautifully; you can also serve this vegetable bake as part of a mezze spread.

You can prepare this dish ahead of time and keep in the fridge or freezer. If left in fridge, reheat at the preheated oven at 200 C / 400 F for 15 – 20 minutes. If kept in freezer, reheat at the same temperature for about 30 minutes.

Baked vegetables with olive oil in tomato sauce; easy, healthy and gluten-free

Baked vegetables with olive oil in tomato sauce; easy, healthy and gluten-free

I hope this delicious baked vegetables with olive oil inspires for easy, healthy, delicious home cooked meals for you all.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

5.0 from 2 reviews
Baked Zucchini, Pepper, Onion, Garlic in Tomato Sauce; Firin Sebze
 
This baked vegetables in tomato sauce with olive oil, Firin Sebze, is a delicious, easy and healthy vegetarian course that we turn to often. Beauty of this dish is that you can use whatever vegetables you have in hand. You can also prepare this gluten-free dish ahead of time and serve as part of mezze spread, or as a side to pasta and grills- Afiyet Olsun!
Author:
Recipe type: Baked vegetables in olive oil with tomato sauce; easy, delicious and gluten-free
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 medium zucchini (courgettes), quartered and sliced (about ½ cm, 0.20”)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Red, green and yellow bell peppers (or pointy peppers), deseeded and sliced in small chunks
  • 4 ripe tomatoes cut in small chunks or 1 can of 400 gr/14 oz. canned chopped tomatoes
  • 10 ml/ 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 fl oz. / 1 cup water
  • 10 ml / 2 tbsp. oregano
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to your taste
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 C / 400 F
  2. Combine sliced zucchini (courgettes), peppers, onions and garlic on a baking tray.
  3. Pour in the olive oil and mix with the vegetables well.
  4. Stir in the chopped tomatoes or canned chopped tomatoes, combine well.
  5. Pour in the water.
  6. Stir in the oregano and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Combine well.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven (200 C/ 400 F), uncovered for 20 minutes.
  8. After 20 minutes, give the vegetables a good mix and bake for a further 20 minutes, until they start to chargrill at edges.
  9. Serve hot as part of a mezze spread or as a side to pasta and grills.
Notes
For a more substantial vegetarian course, you can add cooked chickpeas to the vegetable mixture here and bake all together. It is a delicious and gluten-free vegetarian course that complements any grills and pasta beautifully; you can also serve this vegetable bake as part of a mezze spread.
 

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