Last week, Fethiye, and lots of other places in Turkey, were stuck under a cold front with icy winds which sent temperatures tumbling into minus figures. This is very much a rarity in Fethiye – we were cold! Only one thing for it in weather like this and that’s to hit the winter warming comfort foods.
Fortunately, Turkish cuisine isn’t all just summer meze dishes. Tencere yemekleri and güveçler are stews and casseroles that are perfect for colder days when you need something warm and wholesome inside you. Last week, we decided to treat ourselves to some lamb so that Barry could make us a ridiculously spicy jalfrezi. We only used half of the lamb so I decided to use the rest to make a pan of kuzu etli nohut yemeği.
A Turkish Recipe For Kuzu Etli Nohut Yemeği
This recipe makes 4-6 servings, depending on whether you serve it with rice or on its own.
It’s really simple to make and you can play around with herbs and spices to suit your taste. This is how we make Kuzu Etli Nohut Yemeği.
- First of all, melt a generous knob of butter in a pan (around 2 dessert spoonfuls – we did say this was comfort food).
- Cut 2 onions in half and slice them into half moons. Add them to your butter and stir around for a few minutes on a medium heat until they start to sweat.
- Now add 250-300g of lean lamb leg, cut into small cubes. Stir around until the lamb has browned.
- Chop one red and one green pepper into rough chunks and add those to the pan.
Once you’ve stirred everything around for a few more minutes, it’s time to add the rest of your juices – you should already have juices from your butter and the lamb.
You can now either add one tin of chopped tomatoes or 2 large chopped fresh tomatoes, followed by a mug of hot water.
- Bring to the boil.
- While you’re waiting for the stew to boil, add salt and pepper.
- You can either leave it like this or add more herbs and spices. We add a bay leaf, a pinch of kekik, a pinch of sweet paprika and, of course, chilli flakes.
- Once the stew has come to the boil, cover and simmer for around 45 minutes until the lamb has gone soft and tender.
After 40 minutes or so, add a large tin of drained chickpeas and a dessert spoonful of salça (tomato puree). Stir them in and leave to simmer for a further 5 minutes before removing from the heat and leaving to stand for a further few minutes.
Either serve your kuzu etli nohut as it is (that’s what we did) or give yourself a smaller helping and serve with Turkish rice on the side. Either way, kuzu etli nohut yemeği will make yourself feel all warm and cosy inside. The following day, we were left with lots of chickpeas in the stew and no lamb. That was the day we served it with rice. Chickpeas and rice served in this way is a very common dish in Turkey – we got two different meals from one pan.
- We made this dish on a whim and so used tinned chickpeas. Traditionally, dried chickpeas are used. If you are using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight in water and then boil for around 45 minutes (until almost soft) the day after.
- Add them to your stew 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time and allow them to soften in the stew.