The first dish we made was grape leaves stuffed with minced meat and rice. Called Sarma in Turkish, this dish took forever and a day to prepare. After cooking the rice and meat half-way through, as well as soaking the grape leaves in warm water (to get the saltiness out), we then proceeded to wrap the grape leaves. Just a warning for ya'll: one must have patience to embark on this task, for it takes a long@ss time to individually wrap each and every delicate little grape leaf. Thankfully, Banu taught us all how to do it properly. And in a strange sorta way, I actually found it to be rather therapeutic.
We were 6 peeps in total, though the event was open to all CSers interested in coming. In the photo above, from left to right there's Palani (holding a knife sharpener), Bastian (holding a knife) and Björn (crossing his arms). Patrick, Banu and I also were also part of the cooking crew. The second dish we made was Banu's version of hummus, called Nohut Ezmesi in Turkish. I'm a big hummus fan and my version usually contains a bit of yogourt, but we didn't use any in this recipe. We did, however, use a lot of tahini and mashed garlic. Later, Banu topped the hummus off with minced meat, evoo & paprika.
The third and final dish we prepared was lentil "patties," (not sure what they're called in English) or, Mercimek Köftesi in Turkish. This was my favourite of all the dishes we prepared because I'd never tasted anything like it! In addition to lentils, it consists mainly of bulgar with spices, tomato paste and green onions added to the mix. Once the mixture had been made, we all used our hands to shape the Mercimek Köftesi into oblong pieces and then, it was ready to be served! The photo above shows us snacking on the Mercimek Köftesi while making them into funny little "patties." So good!!!
|Nohut Ezmesi / Hummus|
|Mercimek Köftesi / Lentil Patties|
|Sarma / Stuffed Grape Leaves|
Here's how my dinner plate looked... a work of art, no?! Oh, how effing delicious and wonderful it was. The plain yogourt was mainly to dip the grape leaves in, but I pretty much dipped everything into it. Banu said our selection of small dishes was called Mezze, of which different varieties are served all over the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Was definitely a great experience and a fun time!