Reading the newspaper is a pain, every single page is full of murder, mayhem, suicide and bomb blasts. It is very easy to overlook and get used to this kind of news, but not when you have a connection, you are familiar with the place; its different. The past few weeks I have been reading about the military coup, the airport blast and the suicide bomb attacks in Turkey; and I compare it to the image of the Turkey I remember.
The Turkey I remember was of happy people , trams on congested roads, lots of café displaying mind boggling array of sweetmeats, and people sipping tea along the roads lined with tea houses and cafes. We stayed in the Sultanahmet square in Istanbul and everything from the Grand bazaar to the blue mosque was in walking distance. Every morning I would start from hotel exploring the Grand bazaar or catching a tram to some other part of the city. The Bosphorus cruise was amazing with seagulls flying close to our ferry and how can I forget the awesome seafood lunch in one of the numerous restaurant along the Bosphorus bridge.
But my most endearing food memory is the Turkish kebabs and the salad bar at various restaurants, the mind boggling type of kebabs, the variety of greens and the delicious bulgur kofte at the salad bar; and also a strawberry and cream on a pie dessert which I gorged on , but I unfortunately do not remember its name. But If you are ever in Istanbul, look for it in any café, just ask for the strawberry desert.
As I was reminiscing about Turkey I tried to make some Turkish kebabs at home, and I definitely wanted to use the bulgur I brought back home from Turkey, so here’s how I went about it.
Turkish Bulgur Kofte
1/2 kg ground lamb
1/2 cup bulgur
1 –2 green chillies finely chopped
1 tsp chilly flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 big onion grated
handful parsley finely chopped
3 clove garlic minced
1/3 cup mint, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and ground pepper
Pour hot water over the bulgur in a bowl, to barely cover it, let it stand for 10 minutes to soak, till done.
Add the rest of the ingredients and salt and pepper to your taste.
Shape them into oval patties, cook them in a non stick frying pan with little oil, brown on both sides.