The country of Turkey is an exotic destination where east meets west, and that’s reflected in its flavorful cuisine. While specialties vary throughout the country, Ottoman traditions influence much of Western Turkey, including the use of rice, bulgur, and spices. Ingredients are always fresh and locally sourced, and the dishes simple yet delicious. To learn more about this culture and cuisine, check out our 9-night Turkey cooking vacation, The Cuisine of Sultans, which includes tours through Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Kusadasi.
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Turkish Stuffed Peppers with Minced Meat
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Cook method: Simmer
- 6-8 dry peppers
For the stuffing:
- 500 grams (1 lb. 1 oz) mince meat, beef or lamb
- 1-2 onions
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 200 grams (7 oz) rice
- 100 grams (3.5 oz) Bulghur rice
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp red pepper paste
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 100 ml (4 fl. oz) water
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp sumac
- 1 tbsp dried mint
For the sauce:
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- Hot water
1. Soak the peppers in boiling water for 15-20 minutes. Do not over soften the peppers.
2. Wash the peppers with cold water and set aside.
3. Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing, and stuff the peppers with the mixture. Make sure you don’t fill them all the way to the top as the rice will expand as it cooks.
4. Seal the tops of the peppers by pressing the sides together and laying them in a pot.
5. In a separate bowl mix the ingredients for the sauce, and pour the sauce over the peppers.
6. First cook the peppers over high heat, and then turn down the heat and cook until the liquid is absorbed by the stuffed peppers for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Cooking for vegetarians? Try a Greek recipe for Stuffed Green Peppers and Tomatoes or for Greek Grilled Stuffed Peppers.
By Peg Kern
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