I was visiting with my daughter last week and she asked me to make her favourite dish from Turkey. Now this meal is popular in the tourist Turkish restaurants but is also made in the homes. It actually just a saute using either chicken or lamb and occasionally steak. Sometimes a combination of all three, and if I am making in the UK I even add some pork but mainly my family prefer chicken. I think what makes it special for my daughter is it evokes great memories of holidays spent in Alanya Turkey and eating with friends in restaurants; smelling it cooking is evocative she says of hot nights and raki!
The ingredients for this ‘Turkish pan’ as she calls it is;
1 kilo of meat chopped into bite sized cubes,
2 onions, red peppers, mushrooms ( chopped and sliced to your preferences but not overly large pieces)
Tomato paste and chopped tomatoes (tinned or fresh)
Garlic ( 2-3 cloves depending on preference) sliced not pressed
Oregano; chili pepper, salt and black pepper.
I fry the onions, peppers for a few minutes in the olive oil, then add whichever meat I am using.
Once the meat is brown I turn down the heat and add in the garlic and seasoning seasoning -again this is preferences. I use about 2 teaspoon of dried oregano and a good handful if fresh. The chili depends on how hot you want it to be and how good your chili powder is – I do not like overly hot so use 1 teaspoon. Mix in well and add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, followed by the chopped tomatoes, add enough water to cover (the tomato paste thickens it). I add the mushrooms at this stage if I am using them.
Leave to cook for about 20 mins until the meat is ready and the sauce has thickened.
I normally make in the morning for the evening meal as I like the saute to stand and flavours to develop but can be eaten straight away. Serve with rice and a crisp green salad and fresh crusty bread. Some tzatziki dip adds to the meal.
I have a special saute pan I bought over from Turkey, it is like a wok but much flatter and just perfect for cooking this meal, not sure if it can be bought in the UK, if anyone knows where one can be bought maybe they can let me know