Baking | Lamb & Purslane Pide … Turkish cuisine with British flavour

” You should eat delicious things while you can still eat them,
go to wonderful places while you still can…”
Nora Ephron

Lamb & Purslane PideChomp, chomp, chomp.Ooooh, this is good“, declared Mr PAB between bites. Then gesturing wildly he said, “This MUST go on the blog. It’s GOOD!” So with recommendation, hot off the press oven, here are Lamb and Purslane Pides, or simply put Turkish Flatbread Pizza!Lamb & Purslane Pides What is purslane? It is an annual succulent, found in North India in the hot summer months, is funnily considered a weed in America {LOL}, and cooked extensively through much of Europe, Middle East, Asia and Mexico! It is known as kulfa saag here, and was the only green other than spinach that I could find to replace the chard! It worked a charm …  and went undetected by the ‘green hating‘ terrible teens!Lamb & Purslane Pides It’s been ages since I cooked lamb mince. By healthy choice I’ve switched over th chicken mince but the lamb murmur has been growing stronger of late. My SIL is a great lamb lover and mentioned that she prefers lamb to chicken any day. I was listening. Then the other day, a meeting with someone from BBC GF and she mentioned her undying love for lamb too. Now I was all ears!Lamb & Purslane Pides “Next kebabs will be have to be lamb“, I thought as I got mince from the butcher. However, this morning I lost my inclination to make kebabs. I wanted something on dough, something baked, something quick! I recollected the Turkish pides with sumac I had made long ago and googling got me to a Lamb & Chard Pide recipe on BBC GF!

Pides, local pita bread, are delicious flatbread pizzas topped with different ingredients from Turkeys rich cuisine. You have specialty Turkish pide restaurants across Turkey which sell different avatars of this flatbread. It is popular street food there as well. Regional variations in the shape, baking technique, and topped materials create distinctive styles for each region which include chicken, beef, cheese, potatoes, garlic and many other ingredients.

Lamb & Purslane Pides It came together fairly quickly. I did a quick rise dough, and by the time the dough was rising, the lamb was ready. Baked quick, crisp and nice, the lamb pides were wolfed down faster than the time I took to make them… not a crumb remained!Lamb & Purslane PidesThe recipe suggestion was to drizzle pom molasses over it. I didn’t have any but I did have a fresh plum prune sauce I developed for Del Monte. To that, I added some red harissa that I had made last week. It was H O T! 10 red chilies, more fresh red chilies = fiery HOT! That said, it’s almost gone and I am ready to make my next jar! Lamb & Purslane Pides Red Harissa The lamb offered subtle, gentle flavours, lilted further by the cottage cheese and bell pepper. The pickled peppers added some zest, and a drizzle of plum chili sauce brought out a delicious complexity of flavours … all pairing beautifully together!Lamb & Purslane Pides I loved how quickly and beautifully the meal came together. Of course we had the much dreaded power cut halfway through, so I baked a couple on a heavy griddle pan covered with a lid over low heat …. and there was no reason to complain {pictured above}. So there you, if it’s too hot to turn on the oven OR you suffer power cuts like we have all summer, these cook up crisp beautiful on the stove top too!Lamb & Purslane Pides

Lamb & Purslane PidesI had some dough left over, so made some chicken, red harissa and plum sauce pides the next afternoon for the kids. Gone in minutes! They are filling yet light enough for a summer meal. Pair with a green salad, maybechilled summer cooler … and you have a meal!Summer CoolerBon appetit! Afiyet olsun!

And as I leave I wish to thank Lifezing for interviewing me. It was an honour and I loved doing it.
Catch it, with a whole lot of colour here

In conversation with Deeba Rajpal From Passionate About Baking

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

TURKISH PIZZA ANYONE..Serving Pides with Pride!

“Ideas are like pizza dough, made to be tossed around.”
Anna Quindlen
Turkish pizza anyone?

…they call them PIDES, street food from Turkey. Quite similar to something called lahmajoun, an Armenian pizza. Scrumptious, I tell you!! I saw this post by Elle @ Elles New England Kitchen while following DB Filbert Gateaus posts 2 days ago & I was sold…hook, line & sinker.
Pide – Turkish Pizza

Pide is a staple Turkish food and you’ll find it all over the country. The Turkish eat an astounding four times as much bread as any other nation. Most of this must be mouth-watering pide, the Turkish flatbread sold in every store and baked on every street corner. Pide is also the name of Turkish pizza, the bread topped with lamb, onions, cheese and tomato or any variety of combinations. Pide is a long thin banana shaped bread, rolled with some skill from a small ball of dough. The bread is then covered with the topping of your choice and slammed into a large, solid fuel burning oven for about 10 minutes. The resulting pide is sliced up and served piping hot.

Serving Pides with Pride!

Just the words ‘Turkish pizza’ transported me to an exotic land, the land of my dreams; there was no stopping me. Morning broke &, thanks to Elle, I was engulfed with sweet dreams of Turkey & it’s street food.

This spice, sumac, comes from the berries of a wild bush that grows wild in all Mediterranean areas, especially in Sicily and southern Italy, and parts of the Middle East, notably Iran. It is an essential ingredient in Arabic cooking, being preferred to lemon for sourness and astringency.

I am the proud owner of a bag of Sumac powder that my sweet niece thoughtfully got for me from Dubai. She often makes the Turkish Adana Kebabs I posted long ago, recipe here, & enjoys them a lot. The bag of sumac, a beautiful purple-red powder, has been beckoning me to use it for a while; pide seemed to present one such opportunity, since I had been longing to use sumac for something other than adana kebabsdelightful, delicious & simple kebabs.

A small change to the recipe was the use of a fresh papaya tenderizer to soften the lamb…that’s just me because I do not like my lamb chewy. The flavours were great, the process SIMPLE; & the big bonanza…the kids loved them!
Moreish‘, rustic & delicious!
For the kids, I used a small amount of marinara sauce as the base sauce first, followed by the the topping & additional Baby Gouda cheese grated on top … was terrified of getting rejected on the ultimate pizza frontier I guess…but they loved them. Served pides to the kids as flat pizzas, the regular way & sliced. Was elated that they enjoyed pides so much; love it when they explore their tastes & experiment with new flavours; HUGE relief.

Here’s the recipe as adapted from Elles @ Elles New England Kitchen

Dough: ( I made 1 1/2 times the original recipe, got me 10 Turkish pizzas)
Active Dried Yeast – 1 1/2 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Flour – 4 cups
Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp

  • Mix the yeast, sugar and 1 cup warm water in a mixing bowl. Proof for 10 minutes.
  • Add flour, salt and oil, mix slightly, then knead the dough on a floured board until smooth.
  • Shape into a ball, cover and let dough rise for about an hour.

Ground lamb – 500gms (or your choice of meat)
Fresh green papaya – 1 tsp ; grated fine (very optional)
Onions – 2 small; finely diced
Garlic – 6-8 cloves/ 2-3 tbsp minced ( I like plenty of garlic)
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Tomatoes – 4-5; seeded and chopped
Green capsicum – 2 small; diced
Coriander – 1 bunch; finely chopped
Tomato paste – 2 tsp
Sweet paprika – 2 tsp
Sumac powder – 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Salt and pepper to taste
Low fat cottage cheese – 300-400gms (I used Le Bon)
Method for topping:

  • Marinade mince + 1 tsp papaya paste +1 tbsp minced garlic + 1 tsp sumac powder for 30 minutes, in the fridge.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat, add the oil and saute the onions and remaining garlic for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the mince & stir fry on high till cooked through well & any liquid dries up. If you use papaya, the mince will have a kind of pasty consistency, not crumbly. Take off heat.
  • To this, add the tomatoes, coriander, green capsicum, tomato paste & spices & mix it all up. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Heat oven to 450°.
  • Divide dough into 10 portions and roll out to thin circles. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment, and place 2 dough circles on each. Spread some of the topping on the first 2, top with grated cottage cheese or feta, then put the baking sheet in the oven.
  • Have 1/2 cup of cold water ready, and toss it in the bottom of the oven quickly, then shut the door. (I forgot to do this)
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Remove from pan to a cooling rack.
  • Roll pizzas up to eat.

Rolling in the PIDES – Pizza, the Turkish way

This one’s on its way to my old friend Ben @ What’s Cookin US for his I Love Baking’ event, a baking event for baking loving people…& to Susan’s @ Wild Yeast Blog for Yeastspotting.

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TURKISH ADANA KEBABS…Transcending borders, Finding flavour!

“Do not dismiss the dish saying that it is just, simply food.
The blessed thing is an entire civilization in itself”
Abdulhak Sinasi
Turkish Adana Kebabs…from a cuisine which is unique!

Here’s something new I made yesterday…Adana kebabs. The recipe comes from my younger sister who’s known as the ‘chicken queen’ of our family. We’re constantly digging into her reservoir of recipes because she’s always trying different chicken recipes from cuisines across borders. These days she’s exploring Turkish & North African cuisine, & I sit & wait for ‘reviews & must try recommendations’! Lucky me…these kebabs from her Turkish-Mediterranean Cookbook were on the list of ‘must tries’ & were certainly worth the recommendations. The only hard work is the chopping…so for those of you who are game to chop, take out your Santuko knives & hit the deck!! My life is a lot easier & fun ever since my sis presented me with my 2 fave kitchen tools…the microplaner & Santuko knives.
Turkish cuisine inherited its Ottoman heritage which could be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. Adana Kebab is a long, charcoal grilled, minced meat brochette mounted on a wide skewer. It is named after Adana, the fourth largest city of Turkey, in the Mediterranean region.The people of this region have a passion for spicy hot food. By far its best-known dish is the namesake Adana Kebab — a spicy hot, grilled meat specialty. And when the cooking of it begins, guests gather round the mangal (BBQ) grill to engage in pleasant conversation.

Moist & delicious…as hot as you want them!

Adana kebabs are traditionally made out of lamb mince, then skewered & grilled over a BBQ. This is a pan-fried chicken version; can be grilled too. Time for the recipe then…
Chicken mince – 1 kg
Onions – 2 medium, finely chopped (like for a dip)
Garlic cloves – 6 big ones, finely chopped
Red bell pepper – 1 finely diced
Red chili flakes – 1/2 tsp (adjust or omit according to taste)
Green chili – 1 , deseeded and finely chopped
Fresh coriander leaves – 1 big cup, finely chopped
Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
Garlic paste – 1 ¼ Tbsp
Paprika – 2 tsp
Sumac powder – 1 ½ tsp (I didn’t have this :0( )
Roasted Cumin powder – 1-2 tsp
Lime juice – from 1 lime
Oil – 1-2 Tbsp

  • Mix all the ingredients together working quickly; make sure the mixture is all well blended. Let it marinate for at least about 30mins to 1 hour.
  • Put a heavy bottom pan on medium high heat & coat the bottom with oil.
  • Form kebabs with the chicken mixture…approx 4” long, & thin & flat. The mixture will not be firm, but a bit squishy, but just work quickly forming the kebabs & keep putting them into the pan. Make sure they’re sort of flat coz they tend to swell up a bit when they cook..& you don’t want them very thick.
  • Let them cook for a few minutes, till you see the bottom turning white & getting firm, then shake them around a bit.
  • After 4-5 minutes flip them over & cook the other side; keep shaking them around to cook on all sides, incl the edges.
  • When they are a nice medium brown & the juices stop flowing out, they’re done. Don’t overcook or they’ll get tough.

  • Note: Serve with a nice crisp salad, or a chutney, sliced onions & lime wedges. YUMMY!! Can even cut them into bite-sized pieces & put toothpicks and serve as finger food.
  • Another idea from her is to use hot dog buns; or even make a few round kebabs like burger patties and they’d be fine in burger buns.…with lettuce, tomato, onions & cheese.
  • This makes about 25-30 kebabs, & they can be frozen after frying too.

Food across cultures…a fascinating journey!

Kebab” is a category of food which is typically Turkish dating back to the times when the nomadic Turks learned to grill and roast their meat over their camp fires.