Patlıcan Biber Kızartması (Fried aubergine and pepper in olive oil and tomatoes) was one of the first home-cooked Turkish recipes we tried when we moved to Fethiye. We were round at a Turkish friend’s house and his mum had made some for us.
It’s not the most appetising looking of dishes and it’s highly unphotogenic (no such word) so you’re just going to have to trust us that it tastes fabulous. We’ve discovered that it’s great the day after with a boiled egg for lunch. The flavours just work together.
We have a tiny kitchen so we both have our own dishes that we cook and whoever is cooking, the other doesn’t interfere – most of the time. It’s better that way. So this kızartma is Barry’s version. I’ve never made it so I asked him to tell me how he does it.
He didn’t know without actually making it so he dictated it to me as he went along. I amused myself by writing it as he said it so we’ve decided to post the transcript of what he said here. It’s a train of thought…(The additions in brackets are me clarifying what was going on at the time.)
Barry’s Turkish Recipe For Kızartma
- Put oil in heavy based pan until you think you’ve put too much in – and then put a little bit more in.
- Slice aubergines into long thin rectangles like that (the aubergine was held up – it looked about 1.5cm wide and 0.5cm thick). Oh, about 4 medium-sized aubergines. We should be listening to Deep n Chill now. (That’s the music we usually play when we have people round to our house for a barbecue.)
- Roughly chopped cloves garlic. We like 3 biggish. Flat-blade about half of it. (I think he means squash some of it with the wide end of the blade of your knife.)
- Try not to let your aubergines stick to pan (I bet they were sticking because he was playing with the garlic).
- Garlic’s in.
- Bit o’ cumin – certainly not traditional. Acı biber if you want. We want. (Acı biber is chilli powder.)
- We can just say it’s our version because I’m gonna put some chillies in. Slice ’em down middle like when you have jalfrezi at an Indian restaurant. Three in but just leave em as optional.
- Big long peppers. You can leave tops on but I like just doing that. (Demo of pepper cut in half horizontally). Till you think you’ve got enough. I don’t know, about ten or something.
- By now some of yer aubergines should be looking a bit mushy (a few mins). But others still firm.
- Then bang a lid on but leave it slightly open and keep checking that it’s not stickin. You wanna do this till your peppers start wiltin a bit. 10-15 mins, dependin on your peppers.
- When everything starts looking a bit glossy, season…well…season well. Salt n pepper.
- Roughly chop yer tomatoes. About 8 I suppose. Depending on what size they are.
- Put toms in pan and then about this much vinegar (around a tbsp).
- Slowly tip yer sugar jar and sprinkle (about 2 teaspoons)
- Then mix a teaspoon of salça in (salça is tomato puree)
- Lid back on. Probably about another 10 mins or so till your toms are cooked down but be careful; you don’t want a soupy consistency.
- Oh…bit of oregano or whatever other greenery you have to hand. (Ours is thyme)
- This’ll be rubbish in England cos of aubergines. (We tried to make this back in sunny Wigan once and the aubergines cost us a small fortune and were just full of water. No matter how much tomato puree we squirted in from those awful tubes, the dish stayed a silvery grey colour. Tasted great, looked awful! Luckily we have the fantastic Fethiye market near us, so we use that.)
- After that, pour it into your favourite wide dish so it cools quickly. If you’ve got time, stick it into fridge for an hour or so.
- When it’s cooled down, add more seasoning as necessary – as in, add more salt.