Turkish Style Leek & 30 Minutes Meal

I made 30 minutes meal in this episode. Beginning with a traditional tarhana soup, leek dish with ground beef, and whole wheat spaghetti with tomato paste sauce. As a side dish I take out pickled cabbage that I made before and as a dessert 2 ingredient fig pudding which is a traditional dessert we call “incir uyutması” in Turkish.

  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 200gr. Ground beef or more
  • 1 onion (optional – I didn’t add this time as someone suggested but I usually do:)
  • 400 – 500gr. Leeks (most of the green part left out after scaled)
  • 1 carrot (optional would suggest adding)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper paste
  • 2 tbsp rice
  • Salt, ground black pepper, and hot red pepper flakes to taste
  • Enough hot water
  • For the whole wheat spaghetti
  • 500gr. Whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt to taste
  • The recipe for making tarhana from scratch is here: https://youtu.be/SkD09xJplBo. (it is in Turkish I will translate the ingredients first and the video as soon as I can) you can also buy ready ground tarhana from stores in Turkey and if they sell in Turkish shops in other countries. The recipe for 2 ingredient fig pudding is here: https://youtu.be/k6_wvjUwpus
Sauteing the leeks with ground beef and tomato paste

How To Make Ground Meat Leek Dish

  1. First, clean the top and bottom parts of the leeks and peel off one layer. Cut the leeks in 1 cm thickness.
  2. Meantime in a wide big pan heat olive oil and brown the ground beef. You can skip adding the meat and make it vegan too. Also to make it extra tasty you can cut one onion and add it over the ground beef before the leeks.
  3. After the meat is totally browned add tomato and red pepper pastes and continue to saute for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add leeks and washed and drained rice, saute for 3-4 minutes. Season it with red pepper flakes, salt, and black peppers. Pour over about half a cup of hot water and close the lid. Cook with its steam for about 10 minutes.
  5. After 10 minutes add more water until about halfway of the dish and continue to cook on low heat, lid close until veggies are soft. Let the dish rest for 20 minutes at least and enjoy!
30 minutes meal with Turkish Style Leek Dish

Turn the dish into a complete menu in 30 minutes:

I made a complete menu with the meat leek dish in the video in 30 minutes by making:

  1. Ancients Tarhana Soup
  2. Whole wheat pasta with tomato paste
  3. 2 ingredients Turkish fig dessert “Incir uyutmasi”
  4. Also served homemade pickles

To make the whole wheat pasta with tomato paste simply boil the pasta in hot salty water according to package and drain keeping 1/2 cup from the pasta water. Cook tomato paste in butter and olive oil for 2 minutes and add the drained pasta and about 1/3 cup from the pasta sauce. Stir until well coated. Turn off the heat, serve warm after 10 minutes rest.

Turkish Ancient Soup Tarhana

Turn Veggies Into A Fermented Soup With TARHANA & Use Year Long!

Tarhana is a very famous ancient recipe in Turkey. It is a dry fermented soup mix made with tomatoes, peppers, onions, fresh herbs and more.

After you make the dough you ferment it for 10 to 15 days depending on the weather and how sour you want it to be. Then it is dried and made it a grainy powder. If you dry it perfectly, you can enjoy it a year long.

Fermented Tarhana dough spread onto a table cloth to dry

There are many versions of Tarhana throughout the Anatolia, with or without vegetables, with different grains, using milk and other spices. Also, there are creamy versions too that you can keep in the refrigerator or even freezer. In this version, I am going to cook the veggies get the juice our so it will be more nutritious in veggies and with less flour.

Ingredients for fermented tarhana dough

  • 1 kg. sweet red pepper
  • 1+1/2 kg tomatoes (try to buy the kinds that have most flesh)
  • 1/2 kg. sweet green pepper
  • 300gr. cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 kg. thick plain yogurt
  • 1kg. onion
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 bunch of mint (you can add dill too)
  • 2 tbsp Boy otu (fenugreek)
  • About 2kg to 2+1/2 kg. flour
  • clean table cloth
  • food processor or strainer in different sizes
Drying the tarhana dough

how to make tarhana

  1. Peel and cut the onions to four. Take the seed and stem of the red peppers and cut it roughly. Also, cut the green pepper.
  2. Add everything to a big pot with half a cup of water and begin to cook lid closed.
  3. Meanwhile, clean the tomatoes and cut them in four and add it on top of the peppers. Some recipes use fresh vegetables. I will also try and share that one but in this method, you will get rid of many of the juice of the vegetables and we are not going to need to add too much flour.
  4. Drain the cooked vegetables from their juice (don’t throw away the juice yet) and puree with a hand blender or food processor and put it back to the pot.
  5. Puree the cooked chickpeas, mint, and add it to the mixture. If you can find “umbrella dill” tarakdalı in English, you can add that too.
  6. Add two tbsp salt and hot red pepper flakes along with yogurt and mix everything.
  7. Now by adding flour to our wet mixture we will make the Tarhana dough. If you have a sourdough starter you can add it at this point to introduce a healthy bacteria to your dough. This way when it is fermented it will be healthier.
  8. Agg more flour until you have a sticky dough that you cannot mix it with a wooden spoon anymore. Cover and let it rise until the next day. It is better to use bigger pan to prevent spill out the dough after it rises.
  9. Check two times a day, and stir it until it ferments and have a sour nice smell coming. I added my fenugreek the next day to the mixture. You can add different fresh greens or herbs too.
  10. Fermenting takes about 10 to 15 days to depend on the weather (hot weather makes it easier to ferment).
  11. At this point you can portion it and keep them in the freezer or fridge, drizzling oil on top or dry it:
Dried Tarhana

How to Dry Tarhana Dough

  1. Spread cotton or breathable cotton-like old clean tablecloth to your table where you don’t have to use it for a couple of days.
  2. Spoon the mixture like a pancake on to the tablecloth until all of it finished. Let them dry preferably in an airy hot place, without direct sunlight (It washes off the color of the tarhana) From time to time turn over the tarhana pancakes :). After a day or two, you will be able to break it in pieces and continue to dry.
  3. Before processing the tarhana with a food processor it should be dry enough to not form a dough again. Also, be careful not to over-dry so you can process it easily.
  4. Process the tarhana in batches and spread it to a tray to let it dry completely. It is recommended to store in a breathable cotton bag but I put it in a jar and keep it in the fridge for up to a year or little more than that.

This “Lentil Soup” is one of our national dish, so popular in Turkish cuisine: Turkish Lentil Soup “Mercimek Corbasi”

You might like this easy cold soup too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwTn1nqgV7o