Tag: Pomegranate Molasses Recipe

THE GREAT EUROPEAN FOOD ADVENTURE | Üsküdar | İçli Köfte (bulgur meatballs)

Crust (dough)
  • 500 ml  water, boiled
  • 350 g bulgur, fine ground
  • 150 g semolina, fine ground
  • 30 g walnuts, fine ground
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Semolina, coarse, for coating

Soak bulgar and semolina in the hot water, leave to rest for 30 minutes, then add the walnuts and seasonings. Wet hands and knead into a soft dough.

Core (filling)
  • 250 g beef, double minced
  • 200 g onions, chopped
  • 100 g walnuts, coarse chopped / fine ground
  • 4 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped (optional)
  • 4 tbsp parsley, finely chopped (optional)
  • 45 g red pepper paste / tomato paste (quantity optional)
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 30 ml pomegranate molasses
  • 15 g  red pepper (paprika) flakes
  • 1 tsp sumac, ground

Sauté onions in oil, about 15 minutes. Add the meat, break and fry for three minutes. Add paprika, sumac and walnuts. Increase heat, stir for three minutes until the walnuts release their oil. Stir in the molasses and paste, leave to cool.

If desired, work the herbs into the mixture. Divide dough into walnut-sized pieces, about 30 g each. Using thumb and forefinger make a cavity with thin sides in the bulgar dough. Place 10 g of filling inside the cavity, push down and fold dough over the filling, seal and shape into a ball.

Deep fry in sunflower oil at 190°C until golden or shallow fry in a large frying pan or bake in a 200°C oven or boil in salted water.

Note: The pastes can be bought in jars but they are easy to make if good fresh red peppers and tomatoes, preferably Turkish, are available.

Note: For a colourful description on how to make red pepper paste go here.

Note: The crust for icli köfte is not always made with bulgar. Semolina became a crust ingredient along with nuts aeons ago. Wheat grits have also played a part while in more recent centuries potatoes have been combined with eggs and flour. Some recipes call for double-ground meat to be added to the various flours that define the crust. The bulgar can be coarse ground and also fine ground, the latter producing a crispy crust. The cooking method is also variable. According to Sahrap Soysal, author of A Cookery Tale, fried icli köfte are called irok, while the boiled version is known as igdebet.

Breads of Europe | Toast Bread


The dry gerstel leaven can be omitted and replaced with the same amount in wholewheat flour. The poolish is optional.

  • 630 ml water, heated to 38ºC
  • 600 g strong white wheat flour
  • 400 g white wheat flour, t550
  • 100 g spelt berries, soaked for two hours in 200 ml mineral water, drained
  • 60 ml 50:50 rye-mineral water poolish (optional)
  • 50 g dry gerstel leaven / 50 g wholewheat flour
  • 25 g yeast
  • 15 g pomegranate molasses
  • 15 g salt
  • 15 g sugar
  • Malted barley flour / malted rye flour, large pinch
  • Butter, for greasing

Stir the dry leaven into the poolish, add the molasses and a small piece of yeast, leave for an hour at room temperature.

After 45 minutes dissolve remaining yeast in the warm water with the sugar and 50 g of the white flour, leave to froth.

Combine the flours, add the salt, yeast mixture and poolish mixture.

Knead into a smooth dough, about 15 minutes, leave to rise for an hour, degas and leave for a further hour.

Work the berries into the dough.

Divide into two pieces, place in greased loaf tins, allow to rise, about two hours.

Preheat oven to 220ºC.

Bake for 40 minutes.