My girlfriend and I visited Istanbul earlier this year. It’s a pretty crazy place. Chaotic and a bit ramshackle, but very interesting. One of the things we were blown away by was the food. We had a few memorable meals, but again it was the local places that specialised in certain dishes that came out on top. If you ever go, I can heartily recommend the Sultanahmet Koftecisi near the Blue Mosque. Amazing.
Another discovery that we made whilst there was a spice called Maras Biberi. It’s on the table of most restaurants and seems to be a kind of pepper substitute. It’s a blend of chili, olive oil, lemon juice and salt, ground up and dried. We bought some at the Egyptian Souk to bring back with us; it’s not that easy to get in London, but I have found it in local Turkish supermarkets.
We’re pretty much addicted to the stuff, and it goes into quite a lot of what we eat, including this recipe which is a remix of a healthy coleslaw.
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 a head of spring / pointy cabbage, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, grated
For the dressing:
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons no fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon hummus
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Maras Biberi
Juice of half a lemon
50 ml olive oil
Handful of chopped leafy green herbs (mint / basil / tarragon / coriander etc) (more…)