Follow by Email


Turkish Cooking

This afternoon after the walk, three of us went to the Divan Cultural Center in Cary for Turkish cooking class where a couple of absolutely charming young woman cooked three recipes and we helped.

We made a meatball soup (my favorite), a pea, carrot, and potato side dish, and simit - little pastry rings - imagine pie crust with sesame seeds.

Oh and halva, a sesame paste and honey confection, which was already made.

While we were making tiny meatballs, it started snowing! This is early for us.

Snow conveniently corresponding with post UNC game traffic made the ride home from Southern Village where I parked for the walk, usually about ten - twelve minutes drive, take about thirty.
But people were mostly well behaved (except in Cary, several honkers there) and we all made it home unscathed.

I made a video (of the snow) but can't get it to post for some reason.
You'll just have to imagine it.
Here's the recipe for "treated soup" or meatball soup.

1 lb. minced meat (lamb or beef)
2 slices stale bread, crusts removed & insides crumbled by hand
3-4 tbsp. uncooked rice (they used short grain rice)
1 tbsp. black pepper (their recipe calls for a dessert spoonful)
1 egg
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 bunch of parsley - finely chopped

Mix together all ingredients except parsley. She kneaded the mixture for at least 5 minutes and said her mother throws the mixture down on the table 30-40 times as well.
There was some discussion between the two instructors about the parley. One advocated adding the parsley to the meat, the other wanted to roll the meatballs in the parsley. They compromised by doing both.

Make the meatballs small, about the size of a shooter marble. 

1 med. onion, finely chopped
1/6 of a cup oil
1tbsp tomato paste
1 quart (or so) of water (their recipe calls for 1.5 liters - there was some conversion math going on)
1 tsp. salt

Saute the onion in the oil. Add tomato paste and "turn them in the pan for a bit." Add the water, salt and meatballs. Cook for 10-15 minutes.
You may also (they did) add a can of drained chickpeas (garbanzo beans) OR 2 chopped potatoes and carrots.

The meatballs were very tender and light. I attributed this to the amount of kneading the meatballs received.


  1. The Turkish food seems interesting. I like to try different things. We had snow flurries here in Halifax as well but nothing accumulated.

  2. Turkish food is not too spicy, black pepper and cumin were common.
    She said the base for many of their dishes is tomatoes, onions, and oil/butter.
    That was the case in both the soup and the side dish we made. They use eggplant often.
    I can email you the recipe if you'd like.