In one case, the Turks are very similar to Italian or French: They prepare their food the same way as always. Tradition in the preparation is very important, the main thing is, it tastes good and makes everybody happy. Their aim is to make everyone feel good. The food is always at the center of the common social life, little spice compositions may change here and there, but the food should taste like always.
For several years, new innovative chefs enchanted Turkey with their creations. They prepare the familiar dishes in a new way and breathe new life into the dusty kitchen philosophy. So a few Turkish chefs have begun to experiment with the ingredients as kadaifi pastry or baklava pastry sheets which are traditionally used for desserts. Needless to mention, that meat and fish can be wonderfully wrapped in baklava pastry sheets or kadaifi pastry. The Turkish cooking magazines are full of new ideas with kadaifi pastry or baklava pastry sheets. This movement in Turkey was noticed first by the English speaking chefs and they begun to experiment with these ingredients. The TV chefs in Germany are now experimenting with kadaifi pastry and baklava pastry sheets, too.
I enjoy this new openness, freedom to develop and inventiveness in Turkish cuisine. I want to share this new development with you and will try to share new recipes with you.
Today, we will start with Turkish ravioli in kadaifi pastry. You need fresh kadaifi pastry, you can get in larger Turkish or Parkistani grocery stores. Especially before and during Ramadan.
Open the kadaifi pastry pack purchased and unfold the kadaifi pastry gently. Often you can unfold the pastry and then see a loop with kadaifi pastry with a length of about 30cm. I unfold the pastry twice and halve these in the middle, so that I get kadaifi pastry strings in the length of 25-30 cm. Then I massage melted butter into the kadaifi pastry strings. Thus the kadaifi pastry is silky and soft. From the meat mixture I shape hazelnut-sized dumplings. I wrap kadaifi pastry around the dumplings and place them on a lined baking tray. This way I coat the meatballs with kadaifi pastry. Then I bake my fake “ravioli” until golden and serve them with garlicy-yogurt and mint-tomato-sauce. Crispy and delicious! Enjoy it! Afiyet olsun!
Ingredients for 4-6 Portions
400 g kadaifi pastry
150 g butter, melted
For the meat balls:
500 g minced beef
1 heaped tablespoon dried mint
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the yogurt sauce:
500 g plain yogurt Turkish or Greek style
1 garlic clove, finely crushed
For the mint-tomato-sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1 pinch of salt
100 ml water
- Unfold kadaifi pastry on a large clean board or plate, air a little and cut into 25-30 cm long strings. Massage the melted butter spoon wise into the kadaifi pastry until smooth and soft. Set aside.
- Mix the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl and knead well. Form little hazelnut sized meatballs.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Wrap kadaifi pastry around the meatballs until covered nicely and place the wrapped meatballs onto the baking tray. Continue until all meatballs are nicely covered with kadaifi pastry and placed on the baking tray nicely side by side.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC (fan 180ºC). Bake the meatballs on middle tray at 200ºC (fan 180ºC) for 20-30 minutes until golden.
- Mix yogurt and garlic in a bowl and set aside.
- In a sauce pan heat olive oil and stir in tomato puree, mint, thyme, paprika and salt. Pour in 100 ml water and bring to a boil. Switch off the heat, cover the saucepan and let it rest.
- To serve, place the meatballs on plates and top up with yogurt and mint-tomato-sauce. Enjoy it! Afiyet olsun!