Eric Akis: Chickpea salad with Turkish flavour

Turkey is an interesting united state of America, a small part of it in southeastern Europe and a huge component in western Asia. It’s additionally part of the Middle East and over its lengthy records, the Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires motivated its tradition.

Those dynamics, and also the country’s geography, with its numerous landscape and surrounding seas, including the Black, Aegean and Mediterranean, have simmered together to create a cuisine that’s remarkably numerous.

Perhaps the man or woman maximum aware about this is Musa Dagdeviren, a talented chef and owner of 3 Istanbul eating places, which include the acclaimed Çiya Sofrasi (ciya.Com).

Dagdeviren is kind of a Turkish food anthropologist — many, a few years ago, he has become captivated with mastering all he ought to approximately his u. S. A .’s meals.

He did that with the aid of travelling throughout Turkey, sampling dishes, documenting his studies and gathering recipes.

You can get a flavour of ways extensive his studies turned into using looking Chef’s Table on Netflix — he changed into a topic of the docuseries in Season 5.

But for an in-depth examine Turkish cuisine, you’ll need to purchase Dagdeviren’s recently published hardcover tome The Turkish Cookbook (Phaidon, $59.95).

It’s an extraordinary, hefty, 510-page ebook packed with rich and riveting records approximately Turkish food. It has 550 recipes, unfold over 14 chapters, with thirteen of them dedicated to a positive sort of meals, which include soups, vegetables, eggs and pulses, stuffed and wrapped dishes, pilafs, pork, bread and pastries, and desserts.

An extra bankruptcy in Dagdeviren’s ebook capabilities delicious recipes from eight guest cooks.

You’ll discover recipes for yoghurt and cracked wheat soup, vegetarian filled vine leaves, sole kebab, bulger pilaf with lamb, lentil bread and sumac cordial. And that’s only a tiny sampling.

To analyze extra approximately the e-book, I emailed inquiries to Dagdeviren in Istanbul. They, and his solutions follow.

Akis: The Turkish Cookbook is epic, nearly encyclopedic. How many years did it take you to collect the recipes and related information, and what stimulated you to commit a lot of effort and time to this task?

Dagdeviren: I have been chasing after and documenting genuine recipes in Turkey for approximately 40 years. It is a real labour of affection. You cannot do it any other manner. I based Çiya Foundation and were publishing Yemek ve Kültür (Food and Culture) mag, in addition to strolling Çiya Publications.

I am captivated with new recipes, ingredients, cooking strategies, regional versions of dishes and the cultural significance of recipes.

My ardour has to turn out to be my undertaking over time. I now sense an obligation to maintain for so long as I can.

Akis: For someone now not acquainted with Turkish cuisine, is there a quick manner to explain what it’s all approximately it?

Dagdeviren: The Turkish Cookbook is a completely best introduction to Turkish culinary practices. It is tons more than a set of recipes. It provides cultural, nearby context. In terms of recipes, it is a very comprehensive collection, which offers access to the classics in addition to nearby, nearby recipes, that are notably difficult to understand. It is a good advent to the diversity of Turkish delicacies and provides a very good framework about the significance of seasonal ingredients, the importance of geography. I am hoping that it’s going to serve as a great reference for Turkish, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern chefs and global meals aficionados.

Akis: The e book has over 500 recipes, however, can you inform me one in every one of your favourites and why?

Dagdeviren: Allow me to mention two — garlic kebab and onion kebab. They are both easy recipes with very simple ingredients, using comparable strategies. You pattern the alternate of seasons with those dishes.

Akis: Why do assume a person in Canada who likes to cook might enjoy this book?

Dagdeviren: Discovering a brand new delicacies is constantly exciting, so someone who’s in it handiest for the recipes could get loads out of the ebook. The extra critical cook dinner, or allow’s say the food lover, might virtually enjoy the cultural connotations of the recipes, their memories and regional versions. I desire all of them to revel in it.
Chickpea Salad (Nohut Piyazi)

This flavourful recipe is customized from one in The Turkish Cookbook.

Author Musa Dagdeviren says it’s famous street food in Turkey’s Adiyaman province.

Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus in a single day soaking

Cooking time: one hour forty mins

Serves: Four

Two hundred grams (1 cup) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), soaked, blanketed in water, in a single day

60 mL (1/four cup) olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced into crescents

2 garlic cloves, kind of chopped

1 small hot purple bell pepper, sliced into crescents

2 sundried tomatoes, finely sliced

half tsp salt

half of tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp dried chilli (pink pepper) flakes

1 tsp floor sumac (see Note)

2 Tbsp lemon juice

half bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely sliced

6 clean basil sprigs, finely sliced

Drain the soaked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), then cook in a saucepan of simmering water till smooth, approximately 1 half of hours.

Drain and place the cooked chickpeas right into a large bowl.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, upload the onions and garlic, and prepare dinner for 2 mins.

Add the bell pepper and sundried tomatoes and cook dinner for an also minute.

Add 1/2 tsp salt, then pour the mixture over the chickpeas and blend gently.

Add the cumin, dried chilli (red pepper) flakes, sumac, lemon juice, parsley, and basil, mix lightly and serve.