Turkish cuisine is a rich fusion of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Caucasian and Central Asian flavours, from barbequed octopus and calamari on the Aegean coast to delicately prepared ‘Sigara Boregi’ cigar pastries, to homemade Anatolian herbed cheese, Turkish is one of the most varied cuisines in the world. It’s so good that we have a two week foodie tour where you can see the main highlights of Turkey whilst eating and cooking your way around the country!
Today I’m going to show you how to make Guvec! I first discovered this dish at a Turkish restaurant in Hackney and snuck my way into the kitchen to watch the chef make it – he even kindly wrote the recipe down for me! It’s an oven baked stew, similar to a ratatouille or moussaka and made with meat or seafood, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, paprika and various spices and then the finishing touch of cheese!
The dish is so popular it has spread to Balkans, Romania, Croatia and Serbia! This is a very easy recipe to try at home and the secret to this hearty dish is the slow cooking of the ingredients which brings out the flavour of the spices and the meat. If you don’t have a clay pot or a tagine then a good old Le Cruset type pot will do fine.
Chicken or lamb
3 gloves of garlic
Teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
Tin of chopped tomatoes
Mushrooms/courgettes/ whatever other vegetables you have in the fridge!
Red wine vinegar
Cheese for topping
Marinade the meat with the pepper, salt, vinegar, paprika, garlic for a few hours. Fry the onions with some garlic and marinated meat until fragrant and slightly browned and add to the pot with the vegetables, spices. Top with cheese and bake for 45 minutes. Serve with rice or salad.