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Tag Archives | olive oil

Karniyarik – Stuffed Eggplants (Aubergines) with ground lamb, tomatoes and onions

 

Karniyarik; Stuffed eggplants with ground meat, onion, tomatoes

Karniyarik; Stuffed eggplants with ground meat, onion, tomatoes




This impressive dish is a legacy of the Ottoman Palace kitchens and yet another of the imperial demands for ingenuity concerning the much loved eggplant, aubergine, you will find this dish wherever you go in Turkey! Though traditionally made with ground lamb, you may prepare it with ground beef or have a vegetarian version too. Simply replace the meat with your favorite vegetable (mushrooms, chickpeas work very well), sprinkle some grated cheese over the top and bake it, it turns out to be a delicious alternative.

This Karniyarik recipe and many more are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland, along with stunning photography and personal stories. Signed copies are now 30 % OFF for a limited time at this link and delivered worldwide including the USA.

You can cook this dish ahead of time and gently reheat in the oven. Karniyarik freezes very well, once cooked. Here’s also my YouTube video for how to make Karniyarik :

Preparation time – 45 minutes Cooking time – 55 minutes

3 dark purple eggplants (aubergines; small to medium variety if possible)
340 gr / 12 ounces ground (minced) lean lamb
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
400 gr /14 oz (1 can of) chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
240 ml / 1 cup water
1 bunch or 1/2 cup Italian (flat) parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 – 4 tablespoons canola oil or ground nut oil for shallow frying
6 thin slices of tomato and green bell peppers, seeded – for decorative topping
1 -2  teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F

Cut the eggplants in half lengthways leaving the stalk intact. In each half of eggplant, cut a deep split lengthways without cutting through to the skin on the opposite side and leaving 1/2″-13 mm- uncut at either end. Sprinkle salt over the flesh side of the eggplants and leave them aside for 15 minutes. Salt will help the moisture come out of the eggplants.

In a little of the olive oil, sauté the onions until soft. Add the ground lamb and cook until all the moisture is absorbed. Add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, mix well. Continue cooking for a further couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in most of the chopped parsley. Seasoning is important, so please check the seasoning of the mixture and add more salt or pepper if you would like.

Dry the eggplants with kitchen towel thoroughly. Lightly brown them evenly on both sides in the canola oil or gorundnut oil. With the split sides facing up, place them into a well-oiled ovenproof dish or a baking tray. Spoon the filling into the splits. On the top of each filled eggplant put a slice of tomato and a green bell pepper. Mix the water with a drizzle of olive oil. Pour this mixture on the baking tray. Cover and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes. Remove the cover and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until they are tender and the eggplants are nicely browned on top.

Serve hot with plain rice and a dollop of plain yoghurt by the side.

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Bulgur Wheat Pilaf with Vegetables – Sebzeli Bulgur Pilavi

Bulgur wheat pilaf with onions, tomatoes and peppers

Bulgur wheat pilaf with onions, tomatoes and peppers

My cousin asked me recently what to feed his 15 month old baby. Our children have been eating mainly what we have been eating (with the condition of compromising from the seasoning and adding more salt and spices on our own plate), we have been lucky. And that’s what I have suggested to him. Turkish food provides a healthy and balanced diet to the children too and this bulgur pilaf with vegetables would be a healthy and delicious option to give to them – my children enjoy it greatly!

Often confused with cracked wheat, bulgur wheat is a grain made from cooked whole wheat berries, which have had the bran removed, and is then dried in the sun and crushed. As it has already been cooked, it requires little cooking to reconstitute itself. It is available coarsely and finely ground. For pilaf, the coarser type is used, to create a nutty and delicious dish, which is a meal in itself and served with yoghurt. Bulgur has been a major staple in many rural areas in Turkey; during the Ottoman Period, the rice was a very precious commodity that only the rich could afford. This made the bulgur a very popular option and healthy one too. It is reach in fiber and provides good source of protein.

Serves 6
Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: about 20-25 minutes

350 gr/ 12 oz/ 2 cups of coarse organic bulgur wheat, rinsed and drained
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
15 ml / 1 tablespoon olive oil
30 ml / 2 tablespoons butter
400 gr /14 oz can of chopped tomatoes
600 ml / 1 pint / 2 1/2 cup hot vegetable or chicken stock or water
1 teaspoon salt – please adjust to your taste –
freshly ground black pepper
chopped parsley for garnish – optional-

Rinse the bulgur under cold running water, drain and set a side.

Sauté the chopped onions in olive oil and butter until soft. Add the green bell pepper and chopped tomatoes, cook for another minute. Add the stock (or water) and bring to boil.

Add the bulgur, salt and ground pepper and stir once. Cover and cook over a low heat until the bulgur has absorbed all the stock and stem holes are visible on the surface. It is important not to stir the pilaf during this time. Remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pan with a cloth or absorbent kitchen paper and the lid over the top. The bulgur will continue cooking in the steam and the cloth will absorb any excess moisture. Leave to stand covered, for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Delicious and wholesome bulgur wheat with onions, tomatoes and peppers

Delicious and wholesome bulgur wheat with onions, tomatoes and peppers

Fluff up the pilaf with a fork and serve hot, garnished with a sprinkling of chopped parsley if you would like.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

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Yoghurt Dip with Cucumber and Garlic – Ozlem’s Cacik Dip

Cacik dip with yoghurt, cucumber and dried mint; delicious and refreshing

Cacik dip with yoghurt, cucumber and dried mint; delicious and refreshing

This wonderful, easy to prepare refreshing dip appears often on our table. The cool cucumber, yoghurt and mint combination goes very well served by the side of grilled meats, vegetables and casseroles.

Some of the finest yoghurt in the world is made in Turkey. Yogurt is an important feature of the Turkish diet, and is included in some way at most family meal times. Traditional Cacik is not so much a meze but more a chilled yoghurt soup with water and ice cubes added. Made in the traditional way, it is easy to whisk up, and served in a small bowl alongside hot meal dishes, to refresh and cleanse the palette. If you wish, exclude the water and the ice to create a great cooling dip, as I prefer to do here.

I am passionate about healthy, delicious Turkish cuisine; over 90 authentic Turkish recipes are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. Signed copies now 30 % off for a limited time here and delivered worldwide including the US.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes

225 gr / 8 oz / 1 cup of natural, creamy plain yoghurt
1 garlic cloves, crushed with salt
About 100 gr / 3 1/2 oz cucumber, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried mint
salt to taste
fresh mint leaves to garnish

Combine the yoghurt and garlic and beat until smooth. Stir in chopped cucumber and mint. Add salt to taste, cover and refrigerate until required. Add fresh mint leaves for garnish when serving.

Note: Praised for its health-giving qualities, yoghurt is rich in calcium, phosphorus and B vitamins and has earned a reputation as one of the most valuable health foods. The bacteria in live yoghurt are known to stimulate friendly bacteria in the gut easing gastrointestinal problems and aiding digestion.

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