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Home Style Beyti Kebab

Beyti Kebab is one of the much loved traditional Turkish kebabs in Turkey- succulent Beyti kofte, rolled over thin wrap, served with a delicious tomato sauce and garlicky yoghurt on top. It is easy to make Beyti Kebab at your home and so delicious. Traditionally minced/ground lamb is used, though you can use half and half minced beef and lamb as I do here or just minced/ground beef if you prefer (10% fat is recommended). You can use Turkish fresh yufka sheets, lavash style thin flat breads if you can find. If not, thin, fresh flour tortilla works well too as an option.

We had some roasted peppers aside too.  The garlicky yoghurt is a must here as it complements the Beyti rolls with tomato sauce so beautifully. You can serve with a refreshing green salad aside, such as Shepherd’s salad with sumac.  I hope you enjoy our home style version of Beyti kebab, a lovely meal to savour with family and friends.

Why not also try my Pistachio lamb kebabs with roasted veg, Fistikli kebap, also at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table (signed copies are available here and delivered worldwide) – another perfect dish for the summer or bring sunny vibes.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Home Style Beyti Kebab
 
Beyti Kebab is one of the much loved traditional Turkish kebabs at home - succulent Beyti kofte, rolled over thin wrap, served with a delicious tomato sauce and garlicky yoghurt on top. It is easy to make Beyti Kebab at home and so delicious. Traditionally minced/ground lamb is used, though you can use half and half minced beef and lamb as I do here or just minced/ground beef if you prefer (10% fat is recommended). You can use Turkish fresh yufka sheets, lavash style thin flat breads if you can find. If not, thin, fresh flour tortilla works well too as an option.
Author:
Recipe type: Kebabs
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • For the Beyti kofte rolls:
  • 750g/1lb 10 oz minced/ground beef, lamb or a combination (10% fat)
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 2 slices of stale bread (crusts removed)
  • Small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped (optional)
  • 5ml/1tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp (or more!) pul biber or red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Small bowl of water with a drizzle of oil - to shape the kofte rolls -
  • For the tomato sauce:
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 30ml/2tbsp olive oil
  • 30g/2tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
  • 90ml/3fl oz water
  • 5ml/1tsp pul biber
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Garlic yoghurt:
  • 350g/12oz whole milk or strained yoghurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 4 thin, fresh flour tortilla (25cm in diameter), lavash bread or yufka to wrap the Beyti kofte
  • Optional:
  • 140g/5oz small green peppers (Turkish pointy sivri biber or Padron peppers work well)
  • 15ml/1tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. First prepare the Beyti kofte. Soak 2 slices of stale bread (hard crusts removed) in a small bowl with warm water and squeeze out the excess water with your hands. Combine the kofte ingredients in a large mixing bowl, except the meat. Using your hands, combine them well for a minute (this ensures a smooth blend of the ingredients and soften the onions. Parsley is not traditionally included but we like the freshness of the herb here; please save a little for decorating the plate when serving). Stir in the ground/minced meat and again combine well with your hands. If you have time, cover with cling film and let the mixture rest and settle in the fridge for 30 minute – this helps the mixture to firm up and hold together better when cooked-.
  2. Preheat fan oven to 180C/350F. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Also take the yoghurt out of the fridge to bring to room temperature.
  3. Have a small bowl of water with a drizzle of olive oil and the Beyti kofte mixture near you. Dampen your hand in the oily water (that helps shaping the kofte) and take about a medium orange size kofte mixture in your hands. Roll into a log about 13 cm long. Place on a tray with baking paper and gently pat to flatten a little – kofte roll will be about 5cm wide. Repeat this with the rest of the kofte mixture and place them side by side, with about 2cm space between them. You will have 8 long Beyti kofte rolls. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Place the small green peppers on a small baking dish and drizzle with 1tbsp olive oil. Season with sea salt and combine well with your hands. Put this also in the preheated fan oven at 180C to bake for 18-20 minutes (it works well if you put them in the oven after the first 10 minutes of Beyti kofte baking so that they both finish baking the same time).
  5. While they are baking, prepare your garlic yoghurt sauce. Combine the chopped garlic with the yoghurt, season with sea salt to taste. Leave aside at room temperature.
  6. Once kofte is baked, take out of the oven; also take the peppers out of the oven. Turn the oven temperature down to 160C fan. Place the kofte rolls on a large flat plate. Gently place and pat the tortilla wraps or yufka over the kofte tray, for the wrap/yufka to soak up the delicious juices of kofte.
  7. Place the wrap on a clean, dry surface. Place 2 Beyti kofte rolls end to end to make one long roll, at the edge near you. Roll into tight log. Cut the log into 4 equal pieces, about 5.5cm long. Have a clean baking paper on the baking tray and place these Beyti rolls seam side down. Repeat this for the remaining kofte rolls, using the wraps.
  8. Brush the top of the rolls with a little olive oil (about 1 tbsp. enough for all) and place in the oven to warm up and get a little crispy, for 5 - 6 minutes. Also return the baked peppers back to the oven to warm up, for 2-3 minutes.
  9. While they are baking, make your tomato sauce. Pour in 2tbsp olive oil over a small sauté pan and stir in the chopped garlic. Sauté for just over a minute on medium to high heat. Stir in the tomato paste and pul biber and combine well. Then pour in the water, season with sea salt and ground black pepper and simmer on a medium to low heat for 1-2 minutes. If appears to be on thick side, dilute with one or two tablespoons of water. Turn the heat off.
  10. Now ensemble your Beyti kebab. Arrange the Beyti rolls in a circle on a serving plate and place the garlic yoghurt in the middle. Drizzle tomato sauce over the Beyti rolls and decorate with the roasted peppers around the plate. Decorate with the remaining chopped parsley and serve immediately.
 

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News and Turkish Summer BBQ online class with Milk Street-July 17th

Merhaba dear All,

I hope you are all well. I had a very busy and exciting May and more exciting classes and projects are work in progress. I hope you enjoy reading what I have been up to and keep on cooking delicious, wholesome Turkish food.

Waitrose Magazine, May 2022 feature – Rose pastry with minced meat – Sosyete Mantisi

I was delighted to be featured at the Waitrose Food Magazine, May 2022 issue, with my Beef rose pastries with garlicky yoghurt, Sosyete Mantisi recipe. Over a two page spread, I talked about the very special place savoury pastries and boreks have in Turkish cuisine – some of my favorite things to enjoy with family and friends. If you have missed the magazine, you can read online here at page 58 and 59. I do hope you can give this delicious rose pastries a go – they look elegant and great for entertaining too.

Turkish cuisine week at the Turkish Embassy, London

We celebrated Turkish cuisine week at the Turkish Embassy in London on May 26th and it was an honor to present wholesome Turkish cuisine to our guests. The Turkish cuisine week, celebrated globally via Turkish Embassies around the world, aimed to showcase not only our  hundreds years old rich culinary heritage, but also the healthy, wholesome Turkish cuisine with zero waste and sustainable practices. After my presentation, Turkish Embassy’s resident chef Ali Usta served delicious examples of Turkish cuisine to our guests –  from mezes to vegetables cooked in olive oil, casseroles to borek and desserts, it was a Turkish feast.

One of the things I tried to highlight at my presentation was that nothing is wasted in Turkish cuisine. For example, let’s take the Circassian chicken – Cerkez Tavugu with walnut sauce recipe. We traditionally use whole chicken here, use the broth to make soup and pilaf and use up stale/left over bread to make the walnut sauce. I hope you can give this delicious recipe a go.

Circassian Chicken with walnut sauce, Cerkez Tavugu,

The Kew Gardens Cookbook

The month of May also witnessed the launch of the brilliant The Kew Gardens Cookbook. I am a big fan of the Kew Gardens and I was delighted to be able to contribute to this important book, with my Baked cauliflower, red onions and feta – Karnabahar Mucveri recipe. All proceeds from the sale of this wonderful book supports the important research Kew Gardens does for sustainability and beyond; you can get a copy at this link.

Turkish cookery classes in Fethiye – Turkey

It was lovely to be back to Fethiye – Turkey, to teach a series of hands on cookery classes in early May – thank you very much all joined our classes in Blossom Hill Uzumlu, GP Kalkan Cookery School and at Yakamoz Hotel Oludeniz. We cooked up a feast from Aubergine and meatball kebabs to Kunefe, Filo triangles with cheese and spinach, muska boregi and more. My sincere thanks to Pinar Foods UK and Fethiye Times for all their support at our events.

Turkish Summer Barbecue Online Class with Ozlem Warren

Milk Street Cooking School, Sunday July 17th – 1pm EST

Do hope you can join us at my online cookery class with Milk Street on July 17th – it will be a Turkish summer BBQ feast with Pistachio lamb kebabs and Smoked aubergine/eggplant salad – you can see details below – registration at this link – hope to see you at the class!

Join Ozlem to learn the science behind mixing and the importance of chilling ground meat mixtures along with cooking a Turkish summer meal.

About this event

If there’s one dish that could be the culinary mascot of Turkey, it’s the kebab. Guest chef Özlem Warren, author of “Özlem’s Turkish Table,” knows that Turks love meat—but also knows they can’t say no to a great vegetable. We’ll start with a traditional kebab from the Gaziantep region of Turkey that combines ground lamb, pistachios, parsley and aromatics. You’ll get tips on how to prepare your kebabs for cooking on the grill or at the stovetop. You’ll learn the science behind mixing and the importance of chilling ground meat mixtures before cooking—both lessons that you can apply to many future kebabs, meatballs and more. To accompany the kebabs, we’ll make a platter of roasted vegetables and a batch of smoky eggplant salad. Traditionally, you would smoke your eggplant over an open fire, but Özlem will walk you through an indoor-friendly version of this technique. Blended with dried mint, tangy yogurt and a glug of good olive oil, this dish is as good as part of a vegetarian meze spread as it is served alongside a platter of kebabs. Join us to learn how to give your meat—and your vegetables—the Turkish treatment.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book at Milk Street Online Store

Readers in the US; I am delighted that the wonderful Milk Street Online store carries hardback copies of my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table. You can order a copy at this link.

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Turkish style roast chicken with rice and currants stuffing – Ic Pilavli Firin Tavuk

My dear belated dad Orhan, absolutely loved his roast chicken, Firin Tavuk, with our traditional rice with currants (kus uzumu) stuffing, Ic Pilav. I have recreated this special recipe recently, and we greatly enjoyed it with friends. I used Jamie Oliver’s roast chicken recipe as a base and adapted to my Turkish style roast with our additions.

Towards to end of the roasting, we traditionally glaze the chicken with a mixture of tomato paste, yoghurt and olive oil; this gives a lovely colour and taste to the chicken.  The rice that we use to stuff the chicken is partially cooked – you can prep this ahead of time.

I hope you enjoy my mother’s roast chicken recipe, firin tavuk, which would appear at special family meals as well as at New Year’s Eve on our table. If you wish, you can stuff your turkey with this fragrant rice this way too. Muhammara, my mother’s walnut and red pepper paste dip, as well as zingy Shepherd’s Salad always accompanied our roast, if you like to include at your festive table – both recipes are included at my cookery table, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, as well as the Ic Pilav, Herby rice with pine nuts, currants, with addition of lamb liver (just omit lamb liver for a vegetarian option). My baked beetroot salad with pomegranate molasses also makes a lovely accompaniment to this festive dish. If you live in the USA, Canada or Mexico, there is now lower shipping rates for hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table at this link.

My very best wishes to you all for the festive season, Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Turkish style roast chicken with rice and currants stuffing – Ic Pilavli Firin Tavuk
 
My dear belated dad Orhan, absolutely loved his roast chicken, Firin Tavuk, with our traditional rice with currants (kus uzumu) stuffing, Ic Pilav. I have recreated this special recipe recently, and we greatly enjoyed it with friends. I used Jamie Oliver’s roast chicken recipe as a base and adapted to my Turkish style roast with our additions. Towards to end of the roasting, we traditionally glaze the chicken with a mixture of tomato paste, yoghurt and olive oil; this gives a lovely colour and taste to the chicken. The rice that we use to stuff the chicken is partially cooked – you can prep this ahead of time.
Author:
Recipe type: Turkish style roast chicken
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • For the roast chicken:
  • 1.9kg/4lb 5oz free range chicken
  • 650g/1lb 6oz carrots
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 60ml/4tbsp olive oil
  • Handful of sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary
  • For the 2nd stage chicken marinade:
  • 10ml/2tsp double concentrated tomato paste
  • 15ml/1tbsp whole milk yoghurt
  • 15ml/1tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • For the Rice pilaf with chestnuts, pine nuts and currants:
  • 170g/6oz cooked chestnuts, chopped into small bite size pieces
  • 30ml/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 15ml/1 tablespoon butter
  • 30ml/2 tablespoons currants
  • 45ml/3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 10ml/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (add a little more if you like cinnamon)
  • 350g/12oz long grain rice, rinsed and drained
  • 750ml/1¼ pints hot water (500ml hot water for partial cooking first)
  • 1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch of dill, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • Wedges of lemon to serve
  • For the roast potatoes:
  • 1.5kg/3lb 5oz Maris Piper potatoes
  • 45ml/3tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. First prepare your fragrant rice. We will be partially cooking the rice to stuff into the chicken. Soak the currants in warm water for about 15 minutes. Then drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the butter and the olive oil in a heavy, medium size pan over a medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook for about 4-5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the currants, cinnamon and the rinsed rice, combine well for a minute. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Pour in the 500ml hot water and bring to the boil. Then lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 7- 8 minutes or until all the liquid have been absorbed. Our partially cooked rice with currants is ready. You can make your partially cooked rice a day ahead of time and keep covered in the fridge.
  3. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking and bring to the room temperature. Preheat the fan oven to 200C/400F.
  4. Wash and coarsely chop the vegetables, there is no need to peel the carrots. Break the garlic bulb into cloves and leave them unpeeled. Spread the prepared vegetables on a large bowl, drizzle 30ml/2tbsp olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper and sprigs of rosemary and thyme. Rub and combine all with the vegetables. Leave this bowl aside – to be combined with the chicken later.
  5. Place the chicken on a large roasting tray. Drizzle the chicken with 30ml/2tbsp olive oil and season well with sea salt and ground black pepper and rub all round the bird.
  6. Place half of the lemon inside the chicken’s cavity. Then carefully spoon 270g/9oz of partially cooked rice inside the chicken’s cavity. Take care not to over stuff, so the rice won’t get mushy. Insert the other half of the lemon to close chicken’s cavity. Roast for 1 hour at preheated fan oven at 200C/400F.
  7. Now is the time to prepare your roast potatoes, if you plan to have them. Make sure to get them into the oven for the last 45 minutes of cooking. Peel the potatoes and quarter the large ones and cut the medium ones in half, so they are all roughly even size. Place them on a large pot, sprinkle over salt. Cover with hot water and par boil for 7 -8 minutes. Then drain in a colander and leave to steal dry for 2 -3 minutes.
  8. After 1 hour of roasting, take the chicken out of the oven and spread your prepared vegetables around the chicken to roast together another 30 minutes.
  9. Place the potatoes into a large tray, drizzle with 45ml/3tbsp olive oil and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Coat and combine well and roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes, timing with the roast chicken.
  10. Now prepare your Turkish style marinade to coat the chicken, for the 2nd stage of marinade; in a small bowl, combine 2 tsp tomato paste, 1tbsp olive oil and 1tbsp whole milk yoghurt, season with sea salt and black pepper, combine well. After the 1 hour 30 minutes of chicken being roasted, take the chicken tray out and brush this marinade all over the chicken. Return the chicken tray back to the oven for a further 15 minutes of roasting; by the end of this period, the vegetables around the chicken should be nicely roasted and the marinate will give a lovely colour to the chicken, as well as taste. When the chicken is cooked (to check, cut into the chicken; if the juices run clear, then the chicken is fully cooked) take the tray out of the oven and transfer the chicken to a board to rest for 10 minutes or so. Cover the chicken and roasted vegetables with foil to keep warm.
  11. While the chicken is in the oven for the final stage, finish your partially cooked festive rice. On a medium to large pot, drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil and stir in the pine nuts; stir and sauté for 2 minutes over medium heat - as they begin to turn golden, stir in the chopped chestnuts and partially cooked rice and combine well. Pour in the remaining 250ml / 9fl oz hot water over, season with salt and black pepper, combine well. Then lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently 5-6 minutes or until all the liquid have been absorbed. Turn off the heat; cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and place the lid back on tightly. Leave to steam for 10 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the chopped parsley and dill and combine gently.
  12. Place your festive Ic Pilav on a large serving plate, and your roast potatoes on another serving place. Serve your Turkish style roast, Firin Tavuk, with vegetables around. Muhammara, my mother’s walnut and red pepper paste dip, as well as zingy Shepherd Salad always accompanied our roast, if you like to include at your festive table too.
 

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