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Sautéed Liver with Red Onion, Parsley and Sumac Salad; Ciger Tava

Turkish Style Sauteed Liver with Red Onion, Parsley and Sumaz Piyaz Salad; Ciger Tava or Arnavut Cigeri

Turkish Style Sauteed Liver with Red Onion, Parsley and Sumaz Piyaz Salad; Ciger Tava or Arnavut Cigeri

I was delighted to spot calf’s liver at my butcher the other day and decided to make our popular dish, Ciger Tava, Sautéed Liver, served with red onions, parsley and sumac piyaz salad. Also known as Arnavut Cigeri in Turkey, this is an easy and delicious way to enjoy liver flavored with red pepper flakes, accompanied by sumac flavored red onion & parsley salad. With a squeeze of lemon over, it is great to see even those who may pass liver normally, enjoy this way of preparing.

I used calf’s liver as it was available but try also lamb’s liver if you can get it; utterly delicious prepared this way and a hugely popular mezze at home. We enjoyed it as a main course, accompanied by these delicious Potato and Bulgur rolls with pomegranate molasses, Patatesli, Bulgurlu Kofte aside ( a popular and wholesome vegetarian mezze, which I also demonstrate at my Online Turkish Cookery Course).

Delicious and easy sauteed liver with red onion, parsley and sumac salad; Ciger Tava

Delicious and easy sauteed liver with red onion, parsley and sumac salad; Ciger Tava

Tip: The trick with cooking liver is that it needs to be stir fried quickly for a few minutes each side so it browns slightly and gets crispy outside but stays moist and soft inside. So please prepare your red onion, parsley and sumac salad first and then cook the liver so that you can serve straight after cooking over the salad, with a wedge of lemon aside.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

4.8 from 5 reviews
Sautéed Liver with Red Onion, Parsley and Sumac Salad; Ciger Tava
 
Sauteed liver Turkish style, Ciger Tava or Arnavut Cigeri, as it is also known, is an easy and delicious way to enjoy liver with red pepper flakes. Sumac flavored red onion & parsley piyaz salad accompanies the sauteed liver very well; serve with a wedge of lemon aside, for an extra zing, flavor and freshness.
Author:
Recipe type: Turkish mezzes with liver
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 500 gr/ 1 ¼ lb. fresh lamb’s or calf’s liver
  • 60 ml / 4 tbsp. light olive oil
  • 45 ml/ 3 tbsp. all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp. red pepper flakes or chili flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the red onion, parsley and sumac piyaz salad:
  • 1 large red onion, cut in half lengthways and thinly sliced
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp. ground sumac
  • 1 lemon cut in wedges
Instructions
  1. Make the piyaz salad first. Slice the red onion and rub 1-2 tsp salt (preferable sea salt) into the onion slices; this will soften the onions and make them more palatable. Stir in the chopped parsley, ground sumac and black pepper, combine well. Spread the piyaz salad on a serving dish and set aside.
  2. Slice the liver into chunky bites or stripes (removing skin or ducts).
  3. Spread the flour on a tray and stir in the red pepper flakes, salt and ground black pepper, mix well. Toss the sliced liver into the flour mixture and make sure all liver pieces have a light coating of the flour mixture.
  4. Heat the olive oil is a wide, heavy pan. In the meantime, place absorbent kitchen paper towel on a clean tray.
  5. Toss in the liver into the hot pan with olive oil and sauté on high heat for about 2-3 minutes each side. The liver pieces will become crispy and have a light brown coating outside but still will be moist and soft inside. Once cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper towel.
  6. Serve immediately over the bed of red onion, parsley and sumac salad. We like to serve with a wedge of lemon and squeeze the lemon juicer over the liver while eating; it gives a lovely refreshing taste to the liver and complements the red onion salad well.
Notes
The trick with cooking liver is that it needs to be stir fried quickly for a few minutes each side so it browns slightly and gets crispy outside but stays moist and soft inside. So please prepare your red onion, parsley and sumac salad first and then cook the liver so that you can serve straight after cooking with a wedge of lemon.

 

My Online Turkish Cookery Course – special offer ends on April 6th!

A little reminder of my Online Turkish Cookery Course, as the special offer ends on April 6th (many thanks to those already watched, shared and your very kind, generous positive feedback). I aimed to provide a window into our warm Turkish culture through the delicious, healthy, wholesome Turkish food with my online Turkish cookery course, here is a lovely short video on my course, kindly prepared by Mer-ka-bah:

 

 

 

 

 The beauty of this online course is that it provides accessibility (you can watch the course in your home, while on the road or desktop), flexibility (anytime that suits you; as little as 10 minutes a day or the whole course, you can pause and come back as you wish) and yours to keep (once purchased, you own the course and can revisit whenever you’d like, with your user name and password).

Our delicious Turkish dishes I demonstrated at my online Turkish cookery course

From Spinach and feta filo pie to Stuffed eggplants and more; delicious Turkish dishes I demonstrate at my online Turkish cookery course

 My Online Turkish Cookery Course divided into different modules, covering Turkish culinary history, Importance of being connected with our roots, Seasonality, Use of Spices, Turkish serving traditions, as well as 4 classic Turkish recipes I demonstrate (Stuffed eggplants with ground meat & vegetables, Karniyarik; Spinach and feta filo pastry, Ispanakli Borek; Bulgur & Potato rolls with pomegranate molasses sauce, Patatesli, Bulgurlu Kofte and Turkish Coffee).

Here’s a free preview of what my online Turkish cookery course covers. And here is the link to my online Turkish cookery course. May it inspire you to learn more about healthy, delicious Turkish cuisine and be able to recreate the dishes in your kitchen, afiyet olsun!

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Inspiring flavors at our Turkish Cookery Course in Amman, Jordan

My Turkish cookery course at the JA University, Amman - Jordan

My Turkish cookery course at the JA University, Amman – Jordan

I have just returned from an amazing trip to Amman, Jordan; I was in Amman last week to teach a 5 day Turkish cookery course at JA University, a wonderful experience from the start to the end, very kindly organised by Panthera Jordan with a much appreciated support by the Turkish Embassy in Amman, Jordan. There has been so many highlights from our course, here I wanted to share a few with you.

Spinach and feta filo pastry, Ispanakli borek, was a big hit at our Turkish cookery course

Spinach and feta filo pastry, Ispanakli borek, was a big hit at our Turkish cookery course

Making kisir, spicy bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses during our Turkish cookery class

Making kisir, spicy bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses during our Turkish cookery class

Antakya's tray bake kebab with vegetables, Tepsi Kebabi

Antakya’s tray bake kebab with vegetables, Tepsi Kebabi

During our 5 day course, we covered 22 recipes; from Spinach and feta filo pastry, Ispanakli Borek and pastries to salads, vegetables cooked in olive oil, Zeytinyaglis to mezzes, to kebabs to desserts and drinks. It was great to hear the participants very much enjoyed the freshness of our dishes, based on seasonality, ease of making and lightness in flavor as well as being wholesome. They expressed they loved the vegetarian courses we made as much as the meat based dishes. I aimed to try to show them what is cooked and enjoyed in Turkish homes as well as some classic Turkish dishes; from Mucver – Zucchini fritter with feta and dill to Ispanakli borek to Patlicanli Mualla, Eggplants, lentils and peppers cooked in olive oil to Revani to Caramalised dried apricots with walnuts – Kuru Kayisi Tatlisi and more so they get a broader perspective of wholesome, delicious Turkish cuisine, beyond our much loved kebabs.

Mucver; Zucchini/courgette fritters with feta and dill

Mucver; Zucchini/courgette fritters with feta and dill

Showing the class the "Sweating of the eggplants/aubergines" and importance of getting rid of the bitter juices from eggplants

Showing the class the “Sweating of the eggplants/aubergines” and importance of getting rid of the bitter juices from eggplants

Baked  caramalised dried apricots with walnuts, Cevizli Kuru Kayisi Tatlisi, a wholesome, delicious and easy dessert

Baked caramalised dried apricots with walnuts, Cevizli Kuru Kayisi Tatlisi, a wholesome, delicious and easy dessert

Teaching at the Jordan Applied University, JAU was very special; seeing the students’ as well as other participants – houseviwes, keen foodies, chefs from restaurants and hotels, as well as JAU students -enthusiasm and interest for the Turkish cusine, as the young chefs of the future. It really was a pleasure to have a chance to teach the delicious, wholesome, refreshing Turkish flavors to them and hearing they were inspired to enthusiastically make them straight after the class, showing me the photos of their creations.

Talented young chefs in JAU attending my Turkish cookery course

Talented young chefs in JAU attending my Turkish cookery course

Making and sharing Pide, Turkish flat breads, a special highlight from our Turkish cookery course in Jordan

Making and sharing Pide, Turkish flat breads, a special highlight from our Turkish cookery course in Jordan

Home made Pide, Turkish flat bread with sesame and nigella seeds from our Turkish cookery course in Jordan

Home made Pide, Turkish flat bread with sesame and nigella seeds from our Turkish cookery course in Jordan

Making the Turkish pide bread was a special highlight from the class; bread is a major staple in Jordan too and it was interesting to compare notes of our flat bread and theirs. Fresh from the oven, it was much enjoyed.

Our lighter baklava with walnuts, fragrant with lemon juice in syrup also hit the spot well. Baklava at home, in Turkey is much lighter than its versions abroad and glad to see it is received very well.

Pouring cold syrup over piping our hot, lighter baklava

Pouring cold syrup over piping our hot, lighter baklava

My home made baklava with walnuts; delicious with a lighter, fragrant syrup

My home made baklava with walnuts; delicious with a lighter, fragrant syrup

I was delighted to see that the salads and vegetarian courses were very popular during our course. Zeytinyaglis, Vegetables Cooked in Olive Oil is a wholesome, delicious category in Turkish cuisine and a favorite with us. We made Antakya’s aubergines/eggplants cooked with lentils, onions and peppers in olive oil, Patlicanli Mercimekli Mualla during our Turkish Cookery course. Marriage of lentils with eggplants and vegetables are heavenly in this dish and dried mint gives a delicious, refreshing finish – a personal favorite, became hugely popular at the class.

Eggplants/aubergines cooked with lentils, peppers and onions in olive oil - Patlicanli, Mercimekli Mualla

Eggplants/aubergines cooked with lentils, peppers and onions in olive oil – Patlicanli, Mercimekli Mualla

Turkish oval flat breads with ground meat and vegetables topping, Kiymali Pide was another highlight from our course. My version includes a lot of onions and peppers, a lovely juicy topping, if you’d like to have a go too.

Kiymali Pide; Turkish oval flat breads with ground meat and vegetables topping

Kiymali Pide; Turkish oval flat breads with ground meat and vegetables topping

Simit, sesame encrusted bread rings is the ultimate street food in Turkey and it was wonderful to recreate this much loved snack during our course in Amman and we all enjoyed the results!

Making Simit, sesame - encrusted bread rings, during our Turkish cookery course in Amman.

Making Simit, sesame – encrusted bread rings, during our Turkish cookery course in Amman.

Here comes our Simit, sesame encrusted bread rings!

Here comes our Simit, sesame encrusted bread rings!

Memorable food scene from Amman, Jordan:

Jordanians are a very hospitable nation, everyone has been so kind, generous with hospitality high on the agenda. My huge special thanks to especially dear Suhair Kilani and the Panthera Jordan team for their amazing hospitality. Thanks to them, I got to experience the Jordanian food scene at its best.

The atmospheric Rajeen Restaurant in Amman with fabulous mezzes

The atmospheric Rajeen Restaurant in Amman with fabulous mezzes

The traditional Jordanian meal we had at the Rajeen Restaurant in Amman was very special, the atmosphere was unforgettable. I really enjoyed the food and the variety of the mezzes. Their hummus is much creamier than ours and we found the secret – they add strained yoghurt to their hummus, a delicious addition. I loved the Fattoush salad with toasted bread and sumac dressing, packed with flavor, could have eaten just that all night.

Deliciously creamy hummus and fattoush salad, huge favorites

Deliciously creamy hummus and fattoush salad, huge favorites

Personalised doner or shawarma kebab, impressive presentation

Personalised doner or shawarma kebab, impressive presentation

Could you believe this beautifully painted piece of work is a hand wash basin?

Could you believe this beautifully painted piece of work is a hand wash basin?

Dear Suhair and her husband Ma’en also very kindly took me some fabulous local eatries like this local Kunefe shop, it was well worth queuing for an amazing kunefe!

Delicious kunefe in Amman, Jordan

Delicious kunefe in Amman, Jordan

Back to our course, after teaching and sharing 22 delicious Turkish recipes, we gave our participants Certificate of Attendance. We were delighted to have Mrs Onal, wife of Turkish Ambassador, Mr Onal for Jordan with us. My sincere thanks again to dear Suhair Kilani for organising our course in Amman, Jordan, all Panthera Jordan Team, JA University and the Turkish Embassy in Jordan for all their support.

Giving attendees their Certificate after our course, with Mrs Onal from Turkish Embassy in Amman - Jordan.

Giving attendees their Certificate after our course, with Mrs Onal from Turkish Embassy in Amman – Jordan.

Group photo at the end of our 5 day Turkish cookery course in Amman, Jordan.

Group photo at the end of our 5 day Turkish cookery course in Amman, Jordan.

 Our Turkish cookery course in Amman aired on TRT!

Last, but not least, TRT, Turkish National TV crew came to our Turkish cookery course in Amman for an interview with us on the last day. Icing on the cake, it was lovely to express how well Turkish home style cooking is received in Amman and hearing from the JAU students that they very much enjoyed the course and it was inspirational. Here’s the link to our TRT interview

IMG_4603

It was a wonderful series of Turkish course to remember, I very much look forward to returning for more Turkish cookery classes, many thanks Amman, Jordan!

 

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Flatbreads with feta, zahtar and red pepper paste; Biberli Ekmek

Turkish flat breads with crumbled feta, hot pepper paste, zahtar and sesame seeds, Biberli Ekmek

Turkish flat breads with crumbled feta, hot pepper paste, zahtar and sesame seeds, Biberli Ekmek

This delicious flat bread with spicy red pepper paste, biber salcasi, feta cheese and za’atar or zahtar spice blend is a specialty from the Antakya cuisine and brings special memories back. I remember my grandmother and mum preparing the delicious topping at home and we children would take it to the local bakery, firin, to be baked over flat breads. They always smelled mesmerizing and we couldn’t wait to have a bite (or two).

Aromatic and pungent zahtar or za'atar blend

Aromatic and pungent zahtar or za’atar blend

Fresh Zahter or Zahtar is a popular herb grown in southern part of Turkey, especially around Kilis and Antakya in spring. Fresh zahter looks more like summer savory, or a crossing of marjoram, oregano and thyme. This herb is wonderful on salads like this Zeytin Ufeleme, Olive salad with pomegranate molasses and zahtar. Za’atar is also the name given to the exotic blend of herbs, spices and nuts, widely used in Southern Turkish as well as Middle Eastern cooking. At my home town, Antakya, zahtar blend is a rich mixture of dried zahter, sesame seeds, crushed cooked chickpeas, cumin, nigella seeds, sea salt, sumac and many more. It has a lovely, pungent, nutty taste and flavors salads, meat, and vegetables beautifully. In Antakya, locals simply dip their bread to a bowl of olive oil than to this zahtar blend for a delicious breakfast. I now see wholesome zahtar available even in supermarkets these days, you can also make your own zahter or za’atar blend, here’s my recipe.

Spread the topping over the flat bread and let the dough rise for 30 minutes.

Spread the topping over the flat bread and let the dough rise for 30 minutes.

These delicious and healthy flat breads also feature Antakya’s much loved olive oil, Turkish hot pepper paste, biber salcasi and crumbled feta cheese, cokelek. Combined with zahtar, sesame seeds and cumin, it makes a scrumptious, wholesome and fragrant topping for the flat breads. There is a delicious heat from red pepper paste, biber salcasi, a staple in Antakya cuisine and in my kitchen, which add so much flavor. You can make your own red pepper paste, biber salcasi with my recipe; it really is worth the effort. If not, you can add red pepper flakes, mixed with tomato paste instead.

Delicious flat breads with crumbled feta, red pepper paste, sesame seeds and spices; Biberli Ekmek

Delicious flat breads with crumbled feta, red pepper paste, sesame seeds and spices; Biberli Ekmek

I hope you enjoy Biberli Ekmek; it is delicious served as a mezze (try with hummus, muhammara, cevizli biber – red pepper paste and walnut dip or with cacik, yoghurt dip with cucumbers and dried mint), accompanies tea time, soups and main courses so well.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

5.0 from 2 reviews
Flatbreads with feta, zahtar and red pepper paste; Biberli Ekmek
 
I hope you enjoy Biberli Ekmek; Turkish flat breads with crumbled feta, red pepper paste, sesame seeds, spices and zahtar blend. This easy recipe from Antakya, southern Turkey also showcases region's wonderful olive oil and crumbled feta, cokelek. Delicious and wholesome; try as a mezze (try with Hummus, Muhammara – red pepper paste and walnut dip or with Cacik, yoghurt dip with cucumbers and dried mint), or at tea time, with soups and main courses.
Author:
Recipe type: Turkish flat breads with spicy feta cheese topping
Cuisine: Turkish Regional Cuisine - Antakya Cuisine
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • For the dough:
  • 3 cups/16 oz./ 1 lb. plain flour
  • 1 sachet (7 gr ) dried yeast
  • 5 ml/ 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup / 4 fl. oz. luke warm milk
  • ¾ cup/ 5 fl. oz. luke warm water
  • ⅓ cup / 3 fl. oz. olive oil
  • For the topping:
  • 200 gr/ 7 oz. crumbled feta cheese or cokelek
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. Turkish hot pepper paste, biber salcasi
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp. concentrated tomato paste
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 45 ml/ 3 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. zahtar or za’atar
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F
  2. Prepare the topping first. Combine the crumbled feta (or cokelek), red pepper paste, tomato paste all the spices, sesame seeds and olive oil. Knead with your hands to blend them well to form a smooth paste. Set the topping aside.
  3. Now let’s make the dough. Combine the flour, dried yeast and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Stir in the warm milk, warm water and olive oil and knead for 3 minutes to form a soft dough. If it gets sticky, drizzle a little extra olive oil in your hand to shape the dough, it really helps.
  5. Grease a baking tray with 1 tbsp. olive oil and spread the dough as a thin flat bread base, reaching all the edges (about ¼ cm, 0.9”).
  6. Spread the topping evenly over the flat bread.
  7. Leave the flat bread with topping on at a warm spot to rise for 30 minutes.
  8. Once the dough's risen, bake in the preheated oven (180 C / 350 F) for 18 – 20 minutes.
  9. Let the baked flat bread with spicy feta cheese topping, Biberli Ekmek to cool down for 15 minutes.
  10. Slice and serve as part of a mezze spread or with tea, Turkish cay.
 

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