Cookery Classes

I teach Turkish cooking classes in England,Turkey & USA, hope you can join us!,
Find Out More

Recipes    

Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
Find out more

Tag Archives | Turkish flat breads

Simit Kebabi; Ground Meat and Bulgur Kebabs, Gaziantep Style

Simit Kebabi; Ground (minced meat) and bulgur kebab, Gaziantep Style

Simit Kebabi; Ground (minced meat) and bulgur kebab, Gaziantep Style

This delicious ground (minced) meat and bulgur kebab called Simit Kebabi, hails from Gaziantep, considered as one of the gastronomic capitals of Turkey. Fine bulgur is referred as Simit in Gaziantep and that’s where the kebab’s name come from (Simit is also the name of the popular Turkish street food, the sesame coated bread rings). Bulgur is an important ingredient in southern Turkish cooking; it appears in pilafs, mezzes like Icli Kofte, soups and in kebabs. Fine bulgur brings a wonderful texture and taste to this kebab, fragrantly spiced with cumin, red pepper flakes and dried mint. If you can’t find fine bulgur, you can ground the coarse bulgur in food processor in a couple of pulses; take care not to ground too much and turn the bulgur into fine powder.

Vakkas Usta preparing the meat using Zirh blade at Istanbul’s Şeyhmus Kebab; photo credit: IstanbulEats

It is important to have some fat content in the meat mixture for this kebab; traditionally, tail fat is included in this kebab in Gaziantep. The ustas, masters in Gaziantep prepare the ground (minced) meat for the Simit Kebabi, chopping by hand, using a special curved-bladed knife called Zirh. This method gives the meat a lot of flavor and much better texture; so if you can get your meat hand chopped by the butcher that would be great. If not, use ground lamb or beef with some good fat content in it.

I served my Simit Kebabi with roasted vegetables and garlic yoghurt by the side. You can wrap the kebab and roasted vegetables with a dollop of garlicy yoghurt, in Turkish flat breads or pita pockets. Here is my Turkish flat breads recipe if you’d like to make flat breads at home.

Simit Kebabi; Ground (minced meat) and bulgur kebab with roasted vegetables, Gaziantep Style

Simit Kebabi; Ground (minced meat) and bulgur kebab with roasted vegetables, Gaziantep Style

This recipe is inspired and adapted from the wonderful Gaziantep Cookery, A Taste of Sun and Fire cookery book, edited by Aylin Oney Tan. I hope you enjoy this delicious southern Turkish style kebab.

My Turkish Cookery Class at the Divertiment Cookery School, London;

Tuesday 13th October, 7pm – 9.15pm

A quick reminder of my Turkish cookery class on Tuesday 13th October, 7pm – 9.15pm at Divertimenti Cookery School, London. I will be teaching how to recreate delicious, wholesome Turkish classics such a spinach and feta filo pie, Ispanakli Borek, Turkish classic stuffed aubergines, Karniyarik, Spicy bulgur wheat salad with pomegranate molasses, Kisir and homemade baklava (much lighter and delicious!), along with tips and stories from my homeland. You will be amazed to see how easy each course is, also wholesome and packed with flavor. Here  is the class details. Booking is through the Divertimenti Cookery School, hope you can join us!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simit Kebabi; Ground Meat and Bulgur Kebabs, Gaziantep Style
 
This delicious ground (minced) meat and bulgur kebab called Simit Kebabi, hails from Gaziantep, one of the gastronomic capitals of Turkey. Serve this fragrantly spiced kebab with roasted vegetables and garlic yoghurt, in flat breads. Afiyet Olsun!
Author:
Recipe type: Southern Turkish, Gaziantep Style Kebab with Bulgur
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. ground (minced) lamb
  • 75 gr / 2.6 oz. / ⅓ cup fine bulgur (or coarse bulgur, grounded to fine bulgur in food processor)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 80 ml/ 2.7 fl. oz./ ⅓ cup hot water
  • 15 ml/ 3 tsp. red pepper flakes (or a bit less if you prefer less spicy)
  • 5 ml/ 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 5 ml / 1 tsp. dried mint
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Bowl of water to shape the simit kebab on skewers
  • For the roasted vegetables:
  • 2 medium eggplants (aubergines) quartered and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, quartered and coarsely chopped
  • 1 red bell (or pointy) pepper and 1 green bell (or pointy) pepper, deseeded and cut in chunks
  • 60 ml/ 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • For the garlicy yoghurt sauce:
  • 13 oz. / 1 ½ cup plain whole milk yoghurt
  • 1 small clove of garlic, crushed with a pinch of salt and finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F
  2. Place the fine bulgur in a bowl and pour in the hot water. Combine well and set aside for 10 – 15 minutes for the bulgur to absorb all the water and soften.
  3. Place the soften bulgur in a large mixing bowl and stir in the garlic, ground (minced) meat, red pepper flakes, ground cumin and dried mint. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Have a bowl of water by your side. Wet your hands and knead the mixture well for 5 – 8 minutes, until all combined.
  4. Wet your hands and take a large lump of the meat mixture – just a bit less than ½ cup and form into a ball. Mold it around and along the skewer, until it is evenly thick. Squeeze and shape the meat gently so that the meat sticks to the skewer. Work meat around and down the skewer while rotating skewer with bottom hand until kebab is ¾" in diameter. Cover the skewered meat in cling film and refrigerate until firm, for about 30 minutes.
  5. Now prepare your vegetables. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the eggplants (aubergines) lengthways in zebra stripes. Cut the eggplants lengthways, and then slice about ½ inch thick. Sprinkle some salt over them and leave for about 15 minutes. Squeeze out their moisture with paper towel. On a baking tray, spread the eggplant slices, chopped onions and the colorful peppers. Drizzle 4 tbsp. the olive oil over them and season with salt and black pepper. Coat all the pieces with olive oil and seasoning. Bake in the preheated oven for about for about 35 minutes, until they are chargrilled around the edges.
  6. To bake the Simit Kebabi, grease a baking tray and arrange the prepared kebab skewers side by side. Sprinkle 3 tbsp. water over them and place a (heat resistant) bowl of water at the bottom of the oven (this will keep the kebabs moist). Bake the kebabs for 35 – 40 minutes, turning them half way around.
  7. You can also grill the kebabs over a medium charcoal fire, turning frequently in the same direction. Or you can grill kebabs on hottest part of grill, turning as needed, until slightly charred and cooked through, for 12-15 minutes.
  8. To make garlicy yoghurt; crush a small garlic clove with salt and chop finely. Stir in to the yoghurt and combine well.
  9. Serve the Simit Kebab hot, along with the roasted vegetables, garlicy yoghurt and flat breads. You can wrap the kebab and roasted vegetables with a dollop of garlicy yoghurt, in Turkish flat breads or pita pockets too. Afiyet Olsun.

Continue Reading

Home made Turkish Pide Bread; Pide Ekmek

Home made Turkish round flat bread, Pide Ekmek

Home made Turkish round flat bread, Pide Ekmek

Firin, bakery in Long Market, Uzun Carsi; fond memories of getting our daily bread from there.

Firin, bakery in Long Market, Uzun Carsi; fond memories of getting our daily bread from there.

Bread, ekmek is a major staple in Turkish cuisine and appears generously at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bread is treated with high respect and rarely wasted at home; stale bread is used in spreads like in this Walnuts and red pepper paste dip, Muhammara – Cevizli Biber, in soups as well as in puddings. Traditional oval or round pide bread, Ekmek, is a national favorite, traditionally cooked in hot clay oven. Pide bread is also a must in Turkish tables and highly consumed during the Ramadan period to break the fast. I have lots of fond childhood memories of strolling through Uzun Carsi, Long Market in Antakya to pick up the freshly baked bread and how delicious it was. Grandma would always order a spare one as she knew we had a soft spot for pide bread and half would be gone on the way home – just irresistible.

Stretch the dough into large, uneven rounds and indent the dough with your fingertips.

Stretch the dough into large, uneven rounds and indent the dough with your fingertips.

This version of pide (recipe adapted from Ghillie Basan’s Classic Turkish Cookery book) has a crispy crust but soft in texture, great to serve with mezzes and mop up the delicious juices of the casseroles and indispensable at Turkish Breakfast. Important tip: To keep the pides soft and warm, place a dry towel over them when fresh out of the oven. You can also reheat them before eating; just sprinkle them with water and place in a hot oven (180 C/ 350 F) for a few minutes.

Turkish pide bread, pide ekmek

Turkish pide bread, pide ekmek, straight from the oven

Pide bread and many more Turkish pastries and specialties are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. Signed copies are NOW 30 % OFF at this link with a prompt worldwide delivery,  including US and Canada, if you’d like to get it. We hope this helps enjoying delicious, healthy Turkish recipes during lockdown, as well as during Ramadan;  it can also make a lovely gift to a foodie and for Mother’s Day too.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

4.3 from 6 reviews
Home made Turkish Pide Bread; Pide Ekmek
 
Bread, ekmek is a major staple in Turkish cuisine and appears generously at breakfast, lunch and dinner. This Turkish pide bread is delicious and easy to make at home. Pide is great to serve with mezzes and dips or mop up the delicious juices of casseroles and stews. This recipe is adapted from Ghillie Basan’s Classic Turkish Cookery book. Makes 2 medium sized Pide.
Author:
Recipe type: Turkish Flat Breads
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 8 - 10
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. / 450 gr all-purpose plain flour
  • ¼ oz. 7 gr dried yeast or ½ oz. / 15 gr fresh yeast
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • 6 fl. oz. / 175 ml lukewarm water
  • 5 ml/ 1 tsp. salt
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. thick yoghurt
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. nigella seeds or poppy seeds
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F / 200 C
  2. Cream the yeast with sugar in half of the lukewarm water, leave to froth.
  3. Sift the flour with the salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast, olive oil, yoghurt and the rest of the water. With using your hands, draw in the flour from the sides and work the mixture into a sticky dough. Add a little more water if necessary. Knead until the dough is smooth and leaves the sides of the bowl (drizzle a little oil in your hands to help shape the dough, if needed too).
  4. Continue to knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough is elastic and smooth. Roll it in the few drops of olive oil in the bowl, cover with a damp towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 1- 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.
  5. Preheat 2 baking sheets.
  6. Once doubled, punch the dough down, knead again and divide it into two pieces. Knead each piece well. Flatten them out with the heel of your hand and stretch them into large, uneven rounds or ovals, creating thick lip around the edges. Indent the dough with your fingertips.
  7. Lightly oil two hot baking sheets and place them in the oven for 2 minutes. Place the pide on them and brush the pides with the beaten egg. Then sprinkle the nigella (or poppy) seeds and sesame seeds over the top.
  8. Bake the pides for 18 – 20 minutes, until lightly golden with a crisp crust around the edges. Transfer them to a wire rack. If you want them to retain their softness, wrap them in aluminum foil or in a dry towel while still warm.
Notes
To keep the pides soft and warm, place a dry towel over them when fresh out of the oven. You can also reheat them before eating; just sprinkle them with water and place in a hot oven (180 C/ 350 F) for a few minutes.
 

Continue Reading

Kayseri Style Layers of Flat Breads with Gound Meat and Vegetable, Yaglama

One of my readers wrote recently; she visited Kayseri, in Central Anatolia and greatly enjoyed this local specialty called Kayseri Usulu Yaglama; Layers of flat bread with a scrumptious ground meat and vegetable topping between each layer. She wanted to recreate this regional specialty at home and asked the recipe from me. And I am so glad she did.

Kayseri Style Layers of Flat Breads with Ground Meat and Vegetables Topping; Kayseri Usulu Yaglama

Kayseri Style Layers of Flat Breads with Ground Meat and Vegetable Topping; Kayseri Usulu Yaglama

Kayseri is truly a foodies’ heaven, nestled in Central Anatolia. Kayseri is the home of the famous manti, Turkish ravioli (tiny stuffed pastry with meat filling), Turkish cured beef, Pastrami, Pastirma, spicy Turkish cured sausage, Sucuk and many more. I have been in touch with the Turkish Culinary Historian Ms. Nevin Halici recently; Nevin Hanim says, “Yaglama is as important as Manti (Turkish ravioli) in Kayseri Cuisine”.  Kayseri also has a rich historic heritage dating back to c. 3000 BCE. I was in Kayseri a few years ago during one of my Culinary tours; the city is a mesmerizing historical settlement and the local cuisine is heavenly, so worth the trip. Kayseri also makes a great stop en route to the fascinating Cappadocia .

IMG_1620

Turkish flat breads form a very important part of the culinary history.

Kayseri Usulu Yaglama makes use of the flat breads that had been a part of Turkish cuisine since the 6th century. Turkish Nomads had been making flat breads while they were in Central Asia; they made their way to today’s Turkey through the centuries and haven’t stopped making these flatbreads since then! When I was a child, our neighbor (originally from Kayseri) used to make this dish and would kindly share with us (sharing food between neighbors is still a very much alive tradition at home, which I love). My mother then learned how to make it from her neighbor and we greatly enjoyed this dish during my childhood.

Layers of deliciousness; Kayseri Usulu Yaglama; layers of flat bread with ground meat sauce

Layers of deliciousness; Kayseri Usulu Yaglama; layers of flat bread with ground meat sauce

This lovely dish consists of layering the flat breads, Sebit, as they are called in Kayseri, with the filling of cooked ground meat, onions and tomatoes between each layer.  Once stacked on top of another, it is cut in four pieces and served with garlic yoghurt. It makes a wonderful party food to share with friends and family. My children absolutely loved it and they helped making the flat breads; a great way to get the children interested in food preparation and also passing on traditions and recipes.  My son said’ “It is a bit like stacked lahmacun, though it is lighter and there are more of them!” True, it looks a bit like lahmacun, though the filling and the base flat breads are cooked separately.

Kayseri Usulu Yaglama; layers of flat bread with delicious ground meat sauce, great for sharing!

Kayseri Usulu Yaglama; layers of flat bread with delicious ground meat sauce, great for sharing!

The original recipe calls for the Turkish hot pepper paste, biber salcasi; this paste will add a lot of flavor to the sauce if you prefer to add.  You can also use these flat breads to enjoy delicious mezzes like this Walnut and red pepper paste dip.

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 are now 30 % OFF at this link and delivered worldwide, including the US and Canada.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

Serves 4 -6 generously (makes 11 flatbreads of about 23cm/9” each)

For the dough:

460 gr/1 lb./4 cups plain flour

7gr/2tsp. dry yeast

3 tbsp./45 ml olive oil

2 tsp./10 ml sea salt

300ml/10 fl oz. warm water

For the meat & vegetables sauce:

500gr/1lb 2 oz. ground beef

30ml/2 tbsp. olive oil

2 large onions, finely chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 medium tomato, finely chopped

15 ml/ 1 tbsp. concentrated tomato puree

10 ml/ 2 tsp. Turkish hot pepper paste (optional)

300 ml/12 fl. Oz/ 1 ½ cup water

Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Plain or garlic yoghurt to serve

Leave the dough to rest and rise for 45 minutes.

Leave the dough to rest and rise for 45 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and yeast and mix well. Stir in the olive oil and warm water and knead into a soft dough by hand (if it’s sticky, you may need a little extra flour to shape the dough). My mother says, “the dough needs to be of ear lop softness” – kulak memesi kivaminda olacak – As  expected, we also have a saying for the consistency of the dough in Turkish 🙂 Cover the dough with a dish cloth and leave to rest and rise at a warm spot for 45 minutes or until it doubles the size.

Ground meat and vegetables filling for the yaglama; make sure there is generous liquid in it.

Ground meat and vegetables filling for the yaglama; make sure there is generous liquid in it.

While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Stir in the onions and garlic, cook until soft for a few minutes. Add the ground beef and cook for 2-3 minutes, mixing well. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato and red pepper paste (if using) and combine well. Add the water and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover, turn the heat to medium to low and cook for about 30 minutes. Once all is cooked, stir in the chopped parsley, give them all a good mix and turn the heat off (at this stage you can also check the seasoning to your taste). The filling needs to  have quite  a bit of liquid to cover the flat breads so add a little more water if needed.

). On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a thin, round circles of about 23cm -9” in diameter.

On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a thin, round circles of about 23cm -9” in diameter.

Once the dough has risen, divide the dough into 11 pieces and roll into 11 small balls (each about a size of a small tangerine). On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a thin, round circles of about 23cm -9” in diameter. Dust each of these circles with flour so they don’t stick together and keep them covered with a damp towel so that they won’t dry out.

Cook the flat breads on a wide non-stick pan or griddle.

Cook the flat breads on a wide non-stick pan or griddle.

Cook the flat breads on a wide non-stick pan or griddle, flipping over them as they begin to go brown and buckle. Pile them on a plate.

spread a thin layer of the ground meat Spread a thin layer of sauce over the flat bread and place and place another flat bread on top.

Spread a thin layer of the ground meat sauce over the flat bread and place and place another flat bread on top.

Now it is time to assemble the dish. Place a flat bread on a wide, circle serving dish and spread a thin layer of the ground meat sauce over. Then place another flat bread on top and spread the sauce again; continue this layering until all the flat breads are finished with the remaining of the sauce spread at top.

Cut the Yaglama all the way through into 4 equal pieces and enjoy!

Cut the Yaglama all the way through into 4 equal pieces and enjoy!

Cut the Yaglama all the way through into 4 equal pieces, and serve immediately. A few spoonfuls of garlic yoghurt goes very well with this dish. (For garlic yoghurt; simply crush and finely chop a clove of garlic into a cup of plain yoghurt and season with salt to your taste).

Delicious, melt-in-the-mouth Yaglama, Kayseri Style.

Delicious, melt-in-the-mouth Yaglama, Kayseri Style.

 Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

 

Continue Reading