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.
I hope you enjoy this delicious regional specialty from Antakya, Afiyet Olsun,
- 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
- 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.
- Stir in the chunks of meat and sauté with the onions for 3 -5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the kale and the garlic to the pan and combine well. Stir and cook with the onions and the meat for 3 minutes.
- Pour in the water, mix well.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste, combine well. Cover and cook over medium to low heat for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the cooked & rinsed chickpeas to the mix, combine well.
- Beat the yoghurt until smooth and pour into the pot, while the heat is low. Stir and blend well.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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.
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.
It’s wonderful that you’re spreading the good news of how wonderful Turkish food is with your online course. The photos are absolutely fabulous and all of the dishes you’ve chosen are some of our favorites. We can’t see how it could be anything but a big success. Bravo! As for your latest recipe, we are big kale fans as well of the other ingredients and so look forward to making it. Thanks ve çoook öpüyoruz, ailene sevgilerimizi gönderiyoruz. xo J
Merhabalar sevgili Jolee, you are most kind and I am always grateful for your support, many thanks : ) Look forward to the course, enjoyed shooting it – and i hope you enjoy the Kale borenye : ) Cok sevgiler ve tesekkurlerimle, Ozlem xx
Lovely recipe using a new favorite- kale:) congratulations on the course, absolutely wonderful spread…waiting excitedly for the course to come on. Well done! XxPeri.
Many thanks for all your support dear Peri, I am looking forward to this new online course venture too – much to share on Turkish cuisine, I am excited : ) ozlem xx
Can’t wait to try this. I’m looking forward to the online lessons
Many thanks, I am looking forward to sharing my online course with you all too, hope you enjoy the recipe!
I’m using kale more and more instead of spinach these days, so much easier to wash. I’m looking forwards to seeing you on the screen.
Thank you BB, very kind – we do enjoy kale a lot too, love its texture and all the goodness comes with it – afiyet olsun : )
Wow! Congratulations!! That is wonderful news! Best of luck to you in all your future filmed endeavors… I started releasing cooking videos a few months ago, too. It is a whole new experience!
Merhaba Joumana, many thanks – I have seen a few of your videos, really wonderful, authentic and inviting. Indeed a new venture, look forward to it!
Lovely recipe. Definitely my kind of flavours. Great news about the cookery course.
Many thanks Phil, hope you enjoy the dish, look forward to the course.
You should put videos on a youtube channel!
There’s this Italian food channel called “GialloZafferano” that started off from obviously humble beginnings but has since become noticeably more polished (due to many thousands of views). You should take a look and see for yourself and their format.
Maybe Turkish cuisine doesn’t have s big a worldwide reputation and profile as Italian cuisine, but you have the advantage of being clearly bi-lingual. Their videos are shot in Italian and then translated & voiced-over (sometimes not ideally) to English, but you could shoot two versions in the respective Turkish and English languages.
Many thanks for stopping by and this note – I look forward to checking them out! online videos is a new venture, look forward to digging in, many thanks for the ideas!
Ozlem, some great recipes here and I can hardly wait to try some of them– but I’ve looked all over stews and soups for the one recipe I was looking for, and haven’t found it yet : an authentic recipe for Turkish borscht. (I guess you spell it without the T?)
I used to have a great recipe for it from a Mediterranean cookbook, but don’t know where that book’s gotten off to, so I’m guessing you ‘ve probably got a good one. The Turkish Borscht recipe most often repeated on the Internet is from an American author’s cookbook, and it doesn’t look very authentic to me because, among other things, it doesn’t include cinnamon.
Hoping to hear back from you, I’m nutso for borscht but I like it thick and chunky, not puréed and watery.
Merhaba John, many thanks for your kind note, hope you enjoy the recipes here. I wonder is it Boza, the fermented Turkish drink you are after? I haven’t made that one yet, a bit of a specialty but with your encouragement I may give it a go soon : ) Many thanks for your note again, best wishes, Ozlem
I’m a bit surprised you don’t know of Turkish Borscht. Maybe it’s a dish more common in northern Turkey. I believe Turks spell it Borç (or Borsh, without the T.)
Originally Ukrainian and also very well-known in Russia, this is a hearty stew, vegetarian or with meat, in which the predominant ingredient is beets. There are variations that don’t include beets, but to me those aren’t really borscht– the main point being, when you combine beets with sour cream or yogurt, something very magical happens.
Borscht is also very popular with American Jews of Ashkenazi descent, which is why entertainers refer to the resorts of the Catskills, in upstate New York, as “the borscht belt.” BUT when American Jews prepare this dish, they usually like to puree the soup into a thick homogeneous mass. Or, if you follow the New York Times Cookbook recipe to the letter, as I did when I made borscht the first time years ago, you’ll chop the vegetables very fine, and cook the dish so long you don’t even need to puree it, it just breaks down into a homogeneous mass on its own.
Well, I do very much adore the flavors of this dish, but I like stews that have plenty of texture, and as soon as I saw the Turkish variant in the Mediterranean cookbook I mentioned earlier, I knew I had to try it. The results were everything I hoped for: rich, complexly flavorful, and nice and CHUNKY. (And I see on your website, you make your stews with lots of texture.)
The most common recipe on the net, the one I referred to earlier, is this one: http://www.ultra-foods.com/Recipes/RecipeFull.aspx?RecipeID=32686&QuickSearch=66&PageNumber=2&Source=search — attributed by one website to Gourmet Vegetarian Feasts by Martha Rose Shuleman. This is very similar to the recipe from the Mediterranean cookbook but I don’t think Shuleman’s recipe is as authentically Turkish because the recipe I remember definitely includes cinnamon. If I were using Shuleman’s recipe, I would at the very least tweak it by adding some cinnamon. I would also probably leave out all or most of the tomatoes, and probably use more beets, less cabbage.
Well, even if you’re not familiar with this dish in its Turkish variations, perhaps some of your sources are? If so, I’d love to hear back from you.
A related question: when you’re using plain yogurt as an ingredient, do you pour off the whey, which contains most of the bitterness? I often don’t if I’m cooking just for myself, but if I’m cooking for others, I definitely do. Or I use sour cream instead, which is typically American when serving borscht.
BTW… I don’t happen to be Jewish, Turkish, Greek, Ukrainian, Russian… just an all-American foodie.
P.S. The same recipe appears on this webpage, with a nice photo of the results: http://www.gourmed.com/recipes/all/turkish-borscht
Merhaba John, many thanks for these notes on Borscht; indeed a new one for me – though the Borc Corbasi as you refer here sounded familiar – ; very familiar flavors though I haven’t tried making myself, sounds delicious and packed with culinary history, thank you very much for taking the time to write, very kind of you. I do like my stews with chunky vegetables too, brings such wonderful texture. I hope I can have a go at it sometime soon. Re the usage of yoghurt, I use whole milk yoghurt, mix with spoon well and use the it as whole. So much goodness in yoghurt, and we use a lot in Turkish cuisine. Many thanks for your kind interest, hope you enjoy the recipes here! best wishes, Ozlem