Off topic: Questions to Turkish cooks
Thread poster: Agnesf

Local time: 18:36
English to French
+ ...
Nov 5, 2012

Dear fellow Turkish translators,

I am just back from a wonderful holiday with my family in Turkey and, as expected, we already miss many things, among which various delicious dishes that I would like to try cooking here.

My first question is: what is the spice that you use in ““Bulgur pilavi”? I know how to cook “pilavi” but we did not manage to guess what gives the Bulgur its lovely taste. Nor could we get the information from the people we met. In this particular case, there was no way we could overcome the language barrier.

My second question requires a slightly longer answer: who knows how to cook “Dolma”, in particular the eggplant and green pepper ones? I found many recipes on the Internet but I'd rather be sure I get the real one.

Many thanks in advance for your replies.
Teşekkür ederim


PS: Please answer in French, English or German. As you may have guessed, I am totally hopeless in Turkish.


Howard Sugar  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:36
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
Ref. recipes. Nov 5, 2012

I am not Turkish but I do have some 200 cookbooks. Dolma basically means stuffed vegetables. The are known as dolmathes in Greek, mashshi khodar in Arabic , Dolmeh in Persian and there are hundreds of variations. (The most accessible cookbook on this topic is "The New Book of Middle Eastern Food" by Claudia Roden. The "Bulgar pilavi" is more or less cracke bulgar wheat cooked either in water "more or less like couscous except is has larger grains" or broth. Cooking is also sometimes done with onions sauteed and the grains stirred, then the bulgar is added. The spices added are at the cook's discretion.


The Misha
Local time: 12:36
Russian to English
+ ...
I usually cook my bulgur in chicken stock Nov 5, 2012

or use some bouillon cubes (well, mine are not really cubes but rather come in a large jar and need to be scooped out with a spoon). I also add something called Vegeta which is a Yugoslavian mixture of spices, dried vegetables and toxic chemicalsicon_smile.gif). It doesn't make the dish any more authentic, but it sure does taste good this way. Depending on where you are, you may or may not have that, so why don't you experiment with the stuff you have on hand? Unlike in baking, there are no rules here, and that's the beauty of it. And, of course, I am sure you know that you don't really need to "cook" bulgur: just pour boiling water over it (or pour it into boiling water, it makes no difference), stir and let it sit for five minutes in a closed pot. Piece of cake.


Ahmet Saraçoğlu  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:36
English to Turkish
+ ...
Various spices Nov 5, 2012

Hello Agnès,

Due to the fact that bulgur is made of wheat, which has no distinctive flavour of its own, there are many different spices that can be added inside the pilav. Black pepper, flaked red peper, cummin, mint and thyme are popular, yet adding a bouillon cube or cooking it in either meat or chicken broth may change its taste.

But dolma is a different scenerio for sure.

15 green peppers
250 gr. minced meat
1 glass of rice
1/2 glass of olive oil
1 onion
1 table spoon of tomato paste
2 glass of boiling water
black pepper
red pepper

In Turkey, there are two types of rice. Pilav rice and dolma rice. But you can use any type of rice you can find.

Remove the stems of the green peppers. Fill them with a mixture of rice, raw minced meat, chopped onion and spices of your choice. Put them in a pot and add oil, tomato paste, salt, black pepper and boiling water in the pot. Cook them until the mixture is boiled and check if the water is completely absorbed by the dolmas and stick a fork into the peppers to check their softness. After the mixture is boiled, lower the heat and cook for 30 minutes. They are ready when the water is almost gone and the peppers and rice are completely soft.

You can do the the same thing with carved eggplants, tomatoes or zucchini.

I hope this helps, bon appetit.


Local time: 18:36
English to French
+ ...
I'll give it a try very soon Nov 5, 2012

Many thanks to you all for your replies. It should not be long until I try all this.


Alison Sparks (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:36
French to English
+ ...
@Ahmet Nov 5, 2012

That sounds delicious. You've solved my problem of what to have for dinner! Nothing like varied cuisine for fun. Chinese last night, French the day before, and Indian the day before that. Now I can add Turkish to the list.icon_smile.gif


Yigit Ati  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:36
English to Turkish
+ ...
Lentil Soup - Mercimek Çorbası Nov 6, 2012

Hi there,

I am not one of the best Turkish cooks, but thanks to Google, I found the detailed recipe of my favorite soup and It has been verified by my mother.


1 large chopped onion
1 large carrot
1 mug of red split lentils
6 mugs of chicken stock (you can use water with a stock cube, but the really delicious taste is only achieved using long boiled chicken stock. A perfect stock can be made from the leftover bones and skin of a Sunday roast chicken, boiled with an onion and a carrot!)
Large knob of butter (don’t skimp and don’t use margarine!)
Salt, pepper and cumin to season

Peel and chop the onion and carrots finely. Fry in the butter until they start to soften, but are not browned. (The onions should look transparent). Add the lentils and stock, with some seasoning (go easy at this stage). Simmer over a gentle heat until the lentils are soft. Blend in a food blender (make sure you leave it to run for quite a while, it is important that the soup is really smooth). Season with salt, pepper and cumin to taste. For an extra flourish, add a sprinkle of paprika to the bowl.

Serve steaming hot with wedges of lemons. Squeeze liberally in to the soup to taste. Some nice crusty bread makes a perfect accompaniment!

Once made, the soup can be kept cool in the fridge for several days and consumed at your leisure with delight and satisfaction.

Afiyet olsun;)

Source site:


Local time: 18:36
English to French
+ ...
Thanks Yigit! Nov 6, 2012

Another one worth trying!


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