Master Home-Cooked Turkish Food at the Direction of Turkey’s Most Acclaimed Chef

In a collaboration that’s sure to please taste buds and eyeballs around the globe, acclaimed Istanbul chef Musa Dağdeviren and Phaidon have produced a cookbook. The Turkish Cookbook offers its culinary explorers a perusal of expertly curated recipes of some of Turkey’s best loved dishes as well as the know-how to make them from scratch, to perfection. We’ve even pulled out four of our favourite recipes for you to enjoy at home.

Musa’s guide teaches you everything from pita and hummus to Lamb Kofte and Chicken Kebab, and introduces you to some lesser well-known dishes that span the country’s variety of food cultures along the way. Journey through its pages and discover the country’s dynamic cultural heritage at the mercy of your tastebuds.

The Turkish Cookbook by Musa Dağdeviren is published by Phaidon on 22 March.


—–Lettuce Salad (Mural Salatasi)—–

Region: Malatya, Eastern Anatolia
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

500g- lettuce hearts, washed, dried, and thinly sliced
4- fresh purple basil sprigs, finely sliced
80g- Tulum cheese (a pungent, soft, crumbly goat’s milk cheese)
50g- walnuts, toasted and crushed
¼ tsp- salt
80g- sundried sour apricots, halved, then finely sliced
2 tbsp- olive oil

Put the lettuce and purple basil into a large, deep bowl. Crumble the cheese with your hands and sprinkle it over the greens. Add the walnuts, salt, and dried apricots and drizzle with olive oil. Give it a quick, gentle stir and serve.


—–Hummus (Humas)—–

Region: Mersin, all regions
Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus overnight soaking
Cooking time: about 1 ½ hours
Serves: 4

200g- chickpeas (garbanzo beans), soaked overnight
4- garlic cloves, crushed
1/8 tsp- ground cumin
60 ml- tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tbsp- sesame oil
60 ml- lemon juice
1 tbsp- ground sumac
½ tsp- dried chilli (red pepper flakes)
6- flat-leaf parsley sprigs, finely sliced
2 tbsp- olive oil

Drain the soaked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), then cook in a pan of simmering water until soft, about 1 ½ hours.Drain and let cool, then remove the skins.
Mash the chickpeas with the crushed garlic, cumin and ½ teaspoon salt either with a fork or in a food processor.
In a separate bowl, whisk the tahini, sesame oil and lemon juice. Then ass to the chickpea mash gradually, making sure all is smooth and well combined. If you prefer a more running consistency, add a small amount of water to loosen the hummus.
Divide among serving plates, sprinkle with sumac, dried chilli (red pepper) flakes and parsley, then drizzle with olive oil and serve.


—–Rooster Hot Pot (Horoz Etli Güveç)—–

Region: Adana, Mediterranean Region
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Serves: 4

2 (2kg)- small roosters, meat only, chopped into 2-cm (3/4-inch) pieces
400g- potatoes, chopped into 2-cm(3/4-inch) pieces
1.5 kg- tomatoes, chopped into -cm(3/4-inch) pieces
3- garlic cloves, peeled
2 tsp- red bell pepper paste
1 tsp- dried chilli (red pepper) flakes
1 tbsp- dried oregano
200ml- olive oil

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Mix the rooster meat, potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic, red bell pepper paste, dried chilli (red pepper) flakes, dried oregano and olive oil with ½ teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl for 3 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to an earthenware cooking pot or casserole (Dutch oven). Bake in the hot oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Transfer to serving platters and serve.


—–Bread Pudding with Sour Cherries (Visneli Ekmek Kadayifi)—–

Region: Afyon, all regions
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 30 minutes, plus 4 hours resting
Serves: 4

1(15-cm)- round loaf or whole meal bread, crust only
For the syrup:
300g- sugar
350 – sour cherry juice
1- cinnamon stick
3- cloves
100g- walnuts, crushed
200g- clotted cream (or lor, fresh curd cheese)

Preheat oven to 120 degrees Celsius /250 degrees Fahrenheit
Put the bread crust on a baking sheet and dry in the oven for 1 hour.
To make the syrup:
In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, sour cherry juice and cinnamon to a boil over medium heat, until the temperature of the mixture reaches 87 degrees Celsius /188 degrees Fahrenheit on a cooking thermometer.
Add the cloves. Reduce the heat, add the bread and cook for 10 minutes on each side.
Remove from the heat and let cool at room temperate for 1 hour. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 3 hours.
Cut into 4 pieces, sprinkle with walnuts and serve with clotted cream.


—–Olive Borek (Zeytinli Börek/ Semsek)—–


—–Spiced Meat-Topped Flatbread (Lahmacun/ Gaziantep)—–